Maine's Country music scene lost one of its favorite sons this week, with the passing of Doug Baker.

I first met Doug about 35 years ago, when he was dating my dear friend Kay. He was long and lanky, with thick black hair, and a voice that was like pure velvet. I was impressed with his voice the first time I met him and, even more so, his love for country music. Not long after that, Doug joined Tom Morelli, the now-deceased Stephen Mooers, and Kris Woodward to form the band, Bootleg, that took Maine by storm.

Q-106.5 worked a lot with local bands in those early days, including hosting a 'Battle of the Bands' competition. Bootleg won the day and the opportunity to record an album. I still have that record, still in the plastic wrap, and remember what cutting it meant to Doug.

Everyone in the band had a lot of fun, but if there was one person who took the music more seriously than the rest, it was Doug. He was a true musician, in all senses of the word, whether he was writing music, playing his bass or singing. When Doug was on stage, you knew the music was going to be great. In the years since Bootleg broke up, Doug had played with a variety of bands. The quality never wavered, nor did his love for the genre.

It's been a tough couple of years for Doug, who's suffered many setbacks with his health. His sweet wife, Patty, kept us all informed on Facebook, as we prayed that Doug would rally once again. But, on Tuesday, I read a post that said he was once again in the hospital, and the prognosis wasn't good. By Wednesday, the news spread across Facebook like wildfire. Doug Baker had passed away.

My sincerest condolences to his wife, Patty, and all of his family, country music family, and friends. Doug will be greatly missed. Whenever I had the chance, I asked Doug to sing "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground." It seems appropriate to share a video of that song today. Fly high, Doug Baker. You've earned those wings.

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