Wednesday, June 10, 2015

HEAVEN IS GETTING A FABULOUS SHOW

 
Heaven is getting a fabulous show these days with standing room only!

 
 The  chic and campy, Jon over at Delores Delargo Towers gave a nice tip of the hat last week to the great female impersonator Jim Bailey who passed away on May 30th.
 
Jim Bailey, a self-proclaimed “character actor” who did spot-on re-creations of such iconic female entertainers as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Madonna, Mae West and others has died. He was 77, and died  of cardiac arrest from pneumonia complications at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, CA. His Barbara, Judy And Phyllis have to be seen to believe!!!!!!!
 
 
A native of West Philadelphia, Bailey performed in nightclubs around the world and in such celebrated venues as the Palladium in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. He was a regular in Las Vegas for years, did a Streisand tribute at halftime of the 1978 Super Bowl and put out three albums.At age 11, Bailey entered and won his school’s talent contest, singing “You Made Me Love You,” one of the first songs Garland sang when she was a child star. He later attended the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and studied opera, then headed to New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“I did jazz clubs in Greenwich Village, went on the Playboy circuit, that sort of thing. I wasn’t doing badly, but I needed that gimmick, something to make me different, unique,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a 1995 interview. His first impression was of comedienne Phyllis Diller, to whom he was introduced in the late 1960s, and he hit pay dirt after he heard Garland on the radio and decided to impersonate her. When Garland came to see Bailey's show, she jumped on the stage and asked him to sing a song with her: "Bye, Bye Blackbird." In 1973, Bailey teamed with Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli at The Flamingo in Las Vegas to re-create performances by her and her late mother in London. He and Minnelli became great friends.Three hours of preparation were required for each of his full-length concerts, so he could only do one impersonation for each show.
 

 
“It’s my job to make people believe they’re seeing and hearing Judy Garland,” he said in the Inquirer interview. “Convince them that I’m Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, take the audience on a magical trip.” Just watching this talent gives me chills and tears.
 
Rest in Peace Our Sweet Queen! 

20 comments:

  1. native son, YO! RECOGNIZE!

    I remember jim making all the variety show rounds; can you see judy and jim singing a duet in the clouds?

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  2. WOW! OMG!!!!!!He truly inhabited his characters. R.I.P. Jim.

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  3. He was the best in the biz and one of the few impressionists who sang with their own natural voice...a lot of performers just lip synch to recordings! My late mother was a huge fan too!

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  4. SIMPLY AMAZING! That is hands down the BEST I have ever seen.

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  5. Jim bailey was the rupaul of his time....he did not disappoint here..."dont rain on my parade" is barbara's signature song and he is doing it at a time when it was its most popular and does not do a bad job with it at all....and if lucy ball booked you on her show you are among the best.

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  6. :-) Always learn something interesting.

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  7. He was wonderful! - my tribute to Mr Bailey is here. Fab as he was, however, your pictures #3 and #4 are actually of the faboo Rick Skye ("Slice'O'Minelli") and Stephen Brinberg ("Simply Barbra") respectively, who we went to see together on stage way back in 2009... Jx

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    1. My darling gin blossom, your absolutely right and not only that, but I forgot to link your name in blog. Another reason not to have a gin and tonic while posting. I will have to rectify this........XOXOX

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  8. I loved Jim Bailey. His Phyllis Diller was uncanny!!!!!

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  9. I have never seen a drag queen or impersonator that was THAT GOOD!!!!

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  10. I remember seeing him on all those old talk/variety shows. I loved his Judy ... go figure.

    But I'd forgotten he did Diller. That was amazing!

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  11. To do just one star so well is amazing, but to do some many so well is just mind blowing. What an inspiration he was.

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  12. I remember this clip when I was in junior high. I thought he was simply amazing and what performer. He is one reason I did drag later. Sexuality and all that didn't even enter my mine then.

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  13. What an incredible performer!!!!

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  14. Great clip!!!! I tried to do Barbara once....wasn't working. Every once and a while I watch this clip. He was the gold standard of female impersonation, let alone Streisand.

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  15. He was an incredible performer. Every one of these creations is done to perfection with the artistry of a true craftsman. Rest in peace Mr Bailey....you brought such joy and pleasure.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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