Will Bradley

Will Bradley

Will Bradley (July 12, 1912 – July 15, 1989) was an American trombonist and bandleader during the 1930s and 1940s. He performed swing, dance music, and boogie-woogie songs, many of them written by Don Raye.

In 1928, he moved to New York City and became a member of bands such as Red Nichols and His Five Pennies. During the 1930s, he was a studio musician for CBS except for one year with the Ray Noble Orchestra.

In 1939 he started a big band with Ray McKinley, a swing drummer and vocalist from Texas, and changed his name from Schwictenberg to Will Bradley. The band included Freddie Slack, Arthur Rollini, Peanuts Hucko, Lee Castle, and Pete Candoli. Vocalists included Terry Allen, Carlotta Dale, Lynn Gardner, Steve Jordan, Ray McKinley, Phyllis Myles, Larry Southern, and Jimmy Valentine.

The Bradley band became well known for boogie-woogie, particularly its hit record, "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar". The song reached the top ten of Billboard magazine's popular music chart, 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, consisting of McKinley, Slack, and Doc Goldberg, with guest vocals by songwriter Don Raye.

In 1942, McKinley departed to form his own band. Bradley hired trumpeter Shorty Rogers and drummer Shelly Manne, but many members wound up in the military due to the draft, and the band dissolved. For the rest of his music career, Bradley composed chamber music and orchestral works.

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Listen to Will Bradley on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Will Bradley - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
Strange Cargo
Basin Street Boogie
In the Hall of the Mountain King
There I Go
Jimtown Blues
Flying Home
Quicksilver Boogie
Rhumboogie
Down The Road A Piece
Beat Me Daddy (Eight To The Bar)
Scrub Me Mama, With a Boogie Beat
Celery Stalks At Midnight

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