July 13, 1922 – July 23, 2009
Music legend Frank Chesley Bailly, whose swinging saxophone entertained Calgary audiences for over six decades, died peacefully Thursday, July 23 at the Rockyview Hospital. He was 87.
Born in Calgary July 13, 1922, Frank was the son of Gladys and Harle Bailly, the part-owner of the Variety Theatre and a pianist for the silent pictures. Frank was raised in Sunnyside, where he learned saxophone and clarinet as a teenager and joined his first band at fourteen. At nineteen, Frank married Marie Louise (Tootie) Spaapen, who would be his wife for over 58 years and who would share with him five children. During the Second World War, Frank signed up for the Army Service Corp when a lucky spot opened up in the Canadian Army’s touring show: the Swing Patrol. His ebullient style and quick humour won him many friends, and Frank performed across Europe, traveling and entertaining Allied troops and civilians. After returning to Calgary, Frank worked days selling toys and confections for the E.T. Marshall Company, and later co-founded McCrum’s Office Furnishings with friend Ross McMillan. And Frank always made a little time to play the horses. By night Frank would play gigs with his then famous quartet: The Frank Bailly Band.
In the early days, young couples flocked to his shows; Frank would have them dancing, night after night. Later, Frank put together the sixteen-piece Frank Bailly Orchestra, played over thirty years of Stampede Grandstand shows and Ice-Capades, and was a staple at weddings and parties all over town. Loved by musicians and audiences alike, Frank’s arrangements were simple, his style was smooth.
Warm, funny, and always the lady’s man, Frank Bailly will be sorely missed. Frank was pre-deceased by his loving wife Tootie and son Jim (JB), and is survived by four of his children Diane Kepford, Frank Bailly (Pearl), Bob Bailly (Cathryn), and Michelle Bailly, his daughter-in-law Paula Bailly, his sister Marion (Mitzie) Nichols, his dear friend Margaret Diplock, his grandchildren Jeff, Mike, Dann, Troy, Simone, Leah, Kelly, Nicole, Jake and Elysse and his great-grandchildren Cole, Aden, and Benjamin.
A Memorial Celebration and Reception for Frank will be held at the Carriage House Inn (9030 Macleod Trail S.E.) on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Frank Bailly a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences