This 10-track J.R. Bailey volume is an August 2006 re-issue by tnhe U.K.-based Soul Brother of an April 2006 Japanese re-release, in digital format, of an original MAM LP (short for Management, Agency & Music Publishing Inc.) which emerged in 1974 as MAM 9. A management company run by Gordon Mills, his two biggest clients were Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, both then under contract to Decca, which also manufactured and distributed MAM discs. The pricey Japanese volume comes from Think! Records through the auspices of JASRAC (The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers). This option, which has excellent sound reproduction, is your best bet if this work of one James Ralph Bailey is your goal.
Born in 1932 in New York, he first performed in the late 1940s with The Velvetones, a group that had formed in 1943, although Bailey never recorded with them. He then did the same with The Crickets (not the Buddy Holly-associated group) before joining The New Yorkers Five, cutting Gloria My Darling/Cha Cha Baby towards the latter part of 1955 on Danice 801, a tiny New York-area label. After that he joined The Cadillacs in time to become part of their hit singles Peek-A-Boo (February 1959 on Josie 846 b/w Oh. Oh Lolita) and What You Bet? (September 1961 on Smash 1712 b/w You Are To Blame). He then briefly performed with another New York City group, The Halos, who had a 1961 hit with the novelty "Nag" on 7 Arts 709 b/w Copy Cat.
In 1965 he went solo as Jimmy Bailey for Columbia records, cutting the promo discs Hush/If Goodbye Means Gone (the last written by the great Jo Armstead) on Columbia 4-43408, and I Miss Her/Happy Train on Columbia 43340, both with orchestra arranged and conducted by Horace Ott. In 1968, Hold Back The Dawn/Too Late came out on Mala 12015, a label launched in 1959 as a subsidiary of Bell Records, but taken over around this time by Columbia. He also had an EP released in Portugal by CBS containing Everytime/Stop, Wait A Minute/I Miss Her/Happy Train (CBS EP 0082).
His next stop was Calla Records, another small New York label launched in 1965 as a subsidiary of Shakat Records by Nate McCalla, who also functioned as a bodyguard for Roulette Records chief Morris Levy, who had close ties to the mob (McCalla would be found dead in 1980, rubbed out "mob style"). There, late in 1968 and as J. R. Bailey, he would have the # 49 R&B charter Love Won't Wear Off (As The Years Wear On) on Calla 158 b/w an instrumental.
His next two hits were then released on the obscure Toy Records label which, with a wind-up key atop the "o" in Toy on the label, may have been a subsidiary of MAM Records. The first was Love, Love, Love which finished at # 31 R&B in July 1972 on Toy 3801 b/w Too Far Gone To Turn Around (not included here), while the second was After Hours which reached # 29 R&B in January 1973 on Toy 3805 b/w Heaven On Earth. Also here in this CD version of the album is Everything I Want I See In You, which became a minor # 90 R&B as single MAM 3639 in June 1974 b/w I Can't See Me Without You (which is not included).
His final charter came in August 1975 for Midland International Records, launched the year before by Bob Reno and Eddie O'Loughlin, and whose discs were manufactured and distributed by RCA up to 1978. Adapting a classic Scott Joplin tune, he had The Entertainer (If They Could Only See Me Now) reach # 77 R&B on Midland Int'l 10305 b/w You Pass My Love (Like A Moving Train). Both impossible to find on CD, as are the two sides of the 1976 promo release The Eyes Don't Know The Feeling/Super Star which came out on RCA 10799. In 1977 he also had an album released by United Artists, shown in the Comments below which also lists some of his best compositions.
You have to think that, if there was a market for this minimal 10-track release, then perhaps a 25 to 30 track compilation of at least all or most of his solo work would also sell well. Sadly, he passed away in 1980 at age 48.