Denver East High Trio Anchors EW&F
(Bailey – Dunn – Woolfolk)
In 1972 – a few years after the formation of Earth, Wind & Fire, group founder Maurice White – formerly of the Ramsey Lewis Trio – brought in two former Denver East High students – Philip Bailey and Larry Dunn to shore up the group which to that point had met with very moderate success on Warner Brothers records. In short order they would sign with Columbia Records and not long after it was off to the races for this R&B super group.
In 1973 they were in search of a saxophone player so Bailey called upon yet another East High student from Denver – Andrew Wolfolk (Bailey, Dunn and Woolfolk had all been members of a group called Friends & Love while in Denver). As Friends & Love they would open a 1971 Denver performance by Earth, Wind & Fire while still a fledgling group.
All three Denverites would remain with Earth, Wind and Fire during their glory years. The group over time would employ over 40 musicians but these three were key members along the way. Philip Bailey continues to this day leading the group on stage.
Earth, Wind and Fire have been inducted into every musical Hall of Fame imaginable almost and have performed far and wide – and have sold nearly 100 million albums. The discography below represents the Philip Bailey era releases.