I had a great conversation with Bill Baley recently when we profiled his commercial roofing and waterproofing company, C.I. Services Inc., for our June issue of RC. Bill is also the president of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA), and we talked about the issues facing contractors today and the role of associations in helping contractors improve their businesses. (By the way, the WSRCA show is June 10-12 in Reno, Nev., and Bill heartily urges everyone to attend.)
You can check out all of the important topics we talked about in the article, but there is one thing that has stuck in my mind ever since we talked about it. I had to ask Bill how often people asked him about the song about a man with a similar name: “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.” The song was a standard — we sang it in choir in school — and it’s the first thing I thought of when I was introduced to Bill several years ago. So I had to ask him if people gave him a hard time about his name and what he thought about the song.
He said he took some ribbing about it as a kid, but once he became a professional he loved it. “It was an easy way to remind people of my name, and people would remember it,” he said.
Baley still gets comments about the song, but only from members of the older generation. “Young guys don’t have a clue when someone says that to me,” he said.
This threw me a bit. I tested out his theory by asking co-workers, family and friends if they were familiar with the song. So far, everyone I’ve asked who is over 50 knows the song well. No one under 50 has ever heard of it.
I guess that officially makes me a member of the older generation. How about you? Can you hum a few bars of “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey”?