Will Bradley

Will Bradley

Will Bradley was a bandleader whose career took off during the 1930s and still had impact into the 1940s. He also played a great trombone.  His influence was strongly felt in Boogie-Woogie music.  Boogie-Woogie had a great beat to dance to, so naturally it became a large influence on the dance bands of the 1930's.

In the late 1920's and 30's, he was a member of bands such as Red Nichols and His Five Pennies and The Ray Noble Orchestra.  In 1939 he started a big band with Ray McKinley, a swing drummer and vocalist from Texas. The band included Freddie Slack, Arthur Rollini and Lee Castle to name a few.  Many of his best songs were written by Don Raye.

The Bradley band became well known for Boogie-Woogie music.  "Beat Me Daddy (Eight to the Bar)" is a perfect example of that.   Take a listen:

Audio of "Beat Me Daddy (Eight to the Bar)" by William Bradley and His Orchestra

The song reached the top ten in the charts, as did "Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat" and "Down the Road a Piece". The latter song was recorded by the Will Bradley Trio.

Audio of "Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat" by William Bradley and His Orchestra

In 1942, Ray McKinley departed to form his own band. Bradley hired trumpeter Shorty Rogers and drummer Shelly Manne in a failed effort to keep the band rolling, but many members wound up in the military due to the draft, and the band dissolved.

You can hear Will Bradley right here on Swing City Radio.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

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