TIR 100: Philip Bailey Expounds on Earth, Wind & Fire’s Elements of Excellence


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 100: Singer-songwriter-percussionist-producer Philip Bailey, who for has spent 47 years as a primary figure of the legendary funk, R&B and pop band Earth, Wind and Fire. Born and raised in Denver, Bailey’s early influences included Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Sarah Vaughan and Dionne Warwick.

Famous for his four-octave vocal range and particularly for his show-stopping falsetto register, Bailey has recorded some 20 albums with Earth, Wind and Fire and another 10 as a solo artist. The Grammy Award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has also collaborated with numerous other artists, and in the late 1970s produced the Kinsman Dazz band’s first two albums. That group later became the Dazz Band.

Here, TRUTH IN RHYTHM caught up with Bailey from the road between tour dates with the new band supporting his latest solo album called Love Will Find a Way. His first solo effort since 2002, which is primarily jazz-tinged cover tunes including the lead Curtis Mayfield-composed single “Billy Jack,” features upper echelon musicians like Chick Corea, Steve Gadd, Christian McBride, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, will.i.am and Bilal (buh-laal). Although this was taped prior, the album was released June 21 and so is available now from your favorite retail, download or streaming providers.

The real meat of the interview though is a discussion of Earth, Wind and Fire’s creative peak and funkiest period, spanning 1974-1977 and including the treasured works for the ages: Open Our Eyes, That’s the Way of the World, Gratitude, Spirit and All N All. Along the way are Bailey’s tributes to late EWF founder and figurehead Maurice White, his brother Verdine White and late composer, arranger and group mentor Charles Stepney.

You’ll have to forgive the technical shortcomings not uncommon when dealing with hotel connectivity. With that, let’s wish TRUTH IN RHYTHM a happy 100th episode and find out all the Reasons why Philip Bailey and Earth, Wind and Fire continue to be so Mighty, Mighty.



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.