Renowned radio co-producer and talk show host, Ellen “Pat” Bailey of New York’s longest running Jamaican radio program, the “Gil and Pat Bailey Show” died peacefully at home in Long Island, New York, on Monday, December 12th, 2016 at age 77.
Her death came after suffering from a stroke on December 5, 2015 while broadcasting her popular “Let’s Hear It” segment on WPAT, 930AM. Pat was an icon in the Caribbean media community where she and her husband, the “Godfather of Reggae” Gil Bailey, entertained millions in the US and around the world for over 46 years.
In recounting his first radio broadcast on WHBI in 1970, Gil remembers Pat giving him his first punch line, “My name is Gil Bailey, the hit maker from Jamaica. I am tall and handsome and full of fame!” He credits her for being “the tower of strength behind the show’s success” and for “its reach and longevity.” He said, “Words cannot express how heartbroken he is, they have been inseparable since 1968.”
Many within the Caribbean community are in mourning for their beloved Pat, whose voice and charisma will be greatly missed from the airwaves. Pat was passionate about promoting local business who supported the Gil and Pat Bailey Show and was a true ambassador of Jamaican culture and folklore.
Since its inception, the Gil and Pat Bailey show, has been the launch pad for the careers of many reggae, dancehall, calypso, soca and gospel artists. The same can be said about the careers of many Jamaican Diaspora media personalities and producers including Janice Julian, whose distinguished voice is synonymous with the weekly news; Sharon Gordon, journalist; co-founder and chair, Coalition to Preserve Reggae; DJ Roy and Irwine Clare of Irie Jam Media; Nathaniel “Twin Thumb” Baker of Twin Thumb Promotions; Noel “Dancemaster” Stevens of the Money Train; Sharon Goldbourne long time program director and co-host and many others throughout the years.
Over the years, the enterprising Pat Bailey was known for her many business ventures including, The Gil and Pat Bailey Record Store in the Bronx which eventually moved to Brooklyn, her pioneering efforts as an independent juke box and arcade game distributor; Jo Jo Shipping and her favorite, Yaad and Farrin Jamaican Grocery Store, as well as managing the properties they owned. Pat along with her husband avidly promoted reggae and gospel shows and numerous boat rides.
She is survived by her husband Gil, five children, two step children, grand and great grand-children and other relatives and friends.
Pat Bailey was put to rest on Friday, December 23rd.