With the return of original member Alan LeBoeuf and the release of a new album, the trio Baillie and the Boys aims to regain some of the musical territory it held in the late ’80s and early ’90s when it recorded for RCA. In its four-year run on the charts, the act scored seven Top 10 singles, including “Oh Heart,” “Long Shot,” “(I Wish I Had A) Heart Of Stone” and “Fool Such as I.”
The nucleus of Baillie and the Boys continues to be the wife-and-husband team of Kathie Baillie (pronounced “BAY-lee”) and Michael Bonagura. LeBoeuf, who plays bass and sings, was the other “Boy” when the trio first signed to RCA. He left in 1989, however, to take the role of Paul McCartney in the Broadway show Beatlemania.
The new album — The Road That Led Me to You — is an all-acoustic collection that Bonagura produced for the act’s own Synergy Records label. Two of the 12 songs on the album — “Treat Me Like a Stranger” and “I Can’t Turn the Tide” — are new versions of previously released singles. Eight of the songs are co-written by members of the trio.
Other songwriters on the project include Bob McDill, Gary Burr, Don Schlitz, Peter McCann, Susan Longacre, Rick Giles, Craig Bickhardt, Rory Bourke, Charlie Black, Bucky Jones and Amanda McBroom. The album is distributed by Select-O-Hits.
Although Baillie and the Boys hasn’t had a single on the Billboard charts since 1991, lead singer Kathie Baillie says the group never stopped performing. “I guess if people don’t hear a single on the radio, they think you went into plumbing. We did a lot of things after the RCA days. Of course, I co-hosted the Yesteryear show [on TNN]. And we toured. We still do tour but not as much as we’d like to. And we never stopped songwriting.”
In 1996 they recorded the album Lovin’ Every Minute for the independent Intersound label. “It’s difficult to go from a major label,” Baillie admits. “You’re totally spoiled rotten on the majors. Everybody does everything for you. Then you go to an independent, and you find yourself doing a lot of stuff for yourself anyway. As far as the Intersound album went, I felt I personally promoted the whole thing myself. I thought, ‘Well, if I’m going to beat myself to a pulp, I’m going to reap the benefits financially.'”
In August 1998, LeBoeuf reunited for a guest appearance with Baillie and Bonagura when they played a charity event in Florida. He then filled in for a month when the regular bass player went on leave. LeBoeuf now divides his time between recording and doing shows with the trio and performing in Beatlemania at the Epcot Center. “It’s interesting singing with Alan again,” Baillie says. “It’s like we never stopped. When three voices match like that, there’s magic always.”
There are no plans at this point to release singles from the album, Baillie reports. Instead, radio stations are being encouraged to make their own choices. The trio will perform at Tower Records in Nashville on Thursday, March 9 at 5 p.m. to promote the album. Baillie and the Boys’ website is www.songs.com/baillie.