Tiny Bradshaw

Last updated
Tiny Bradshaw
Tiny Bradshaw.jpg
Bradshaw in 1942
Background information
Birth nameMyron Carlton Bradshaw [1]
Born(1907-09-23)September 23, 1907 [2] [3]
Youngstown, Ohio, United States
DiedNovember 26, 1958(1958-11-26) (aged 51)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Genres Jazz, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Pianist, drummer, singer, songwriter, bandleader
Instrument(s) drums, piano
Years active19331958

Myron Carlton "Tiny" Bradshaw (September 23, 1907 – November 26, 1958) [4] was an American jazz and rhythm and blues bandleader, singer, composer, pianist, and drummer. [5] His biggest hit was "Well Oh Well" in 1950, and the following year he recorded "The Train Kept A-Rollin'", a song that was pivotal to the development of rock and roll. Bradshaw co-wrote and sang on both records.

Contents

Early years

Myron Carlton Bradshaw was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Cicero P. Bradshaw and his wife Lillian Boggess. Bradshaw graduated from high school in Youngstown. [6] After graduating from Wilberforce University with a degree in psychology, Bradshaw turned to music for a living. [7] In Ohio, he sang and played drums with Horace Henderson's campus oriented Collegians. [7] [8] Then, in 1932, Bradshaw relocated to New York City, where he drummed for Marion Hardy's Alabamians, the Charleston Bearcats (later the Savoy Bearcats), and the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and sang for Luis Russell. [5]

Bandleader

Tiny and saxophone players from his band, 1934. Tiny Bradshaw with saxophone players from his band.jpg
Tiny and saxophone players from his band, 1934.

In 1934, Bradshaw formed his own swing orchestra, which recorded eight sides in two separate sessions for Decca Records that year in New York City. [6] The band's next recording date was in 1944 for Manor Records, [6] at which point its music was closer to rhythm and blues. In 1947 Bradshaw recorded for Savoy Records under the auspices of label producer Teddy Reig. [6]

The band recorded extensively for the rhythm and blues market with King Records between late 1949 and early 1955, [5] [6] and had five hits on the Billboard R&B chart. His most successful record at the time was "Well Oh Well", which reached number two on the R&B chart in 1950 and remained on the chart for 21 weeks. Two follow-ups, "I'm Going To Have Myself A Ball" (no. 5, 1950) and "Walkin' The Chalk Line" (no. 10, 1951) also made the chart before a break of almost two years. [9]

What is now Bradshaw's best known recording was "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" (1951) not a chart hit at the time which passed from rhythm and blues history into rock's legacy. [5] The song was recorded by Johnny Burnette & The Rock and Roll Trio in 1956 and by The Yardbirds with Jeff Beck in 1965. It was covered again by Aerosmith in 1974 and by Motörhead in 1977. Furthermore, Jimmy Page reported in an interview that the first song played, at the very first rehearsal of what would become the English rock band Led Zeppelin was "The Train Kept A-Rollin'".

Bradshaw returned to the R&B chart in 1953 with "Soft" (no.3), an instrumental later recorded by Bill Doggett, and "Heavy Juice" (no.9). Both of these 1953 hits featured Red Prysock on tenor saxophone. [9]

Bradshaw's later career was hampered by severe health problems, including two strokes, the first in 1954, that left him partially paralyzed. He made a return to touring in 1958. [8] His last session that year resulted in two recordings, "Short Shorts" and "Bushes" (King 5114), [6] which proved an unsuccessful attempt to reach out to the emerging teenage record market.

Weakened by the successive strokes as well as the rigors of his profession, Bradshaw died in his adopted hometown of Cincinnati from another stroke in 1958. [4] He was 51 years old. [5]

Legacy

Photograph of Tiny Bradshaw Maud Cuney Hare-137-Tiny Bradshaw.jpg
Photograph of Tiny Bradshaw

Bradshaw is remembered for a string of rhythm and blues hits. As a bandleader, he was an invaluable mentor to important musicians and arrangers including Sil Austin, Happy Caldwell, Shad Collins, Wild Bill Davis, Talib Dawud, Gil Fuller, Gigi Gryce, Big Nick Nicholas, Russell Procope, Red Prysock, Curley Russell, Calvin "Eagle Eye" Shields, Sonny Stitt, Noble "Thin Man" Watts, and Shadow Wilson. [5]

Discography

Singles

Decca Records

Regis Records

Manor Records

Savoy Records

King Records

Compilation albums

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Brown (musician)</span> American blues singer (1922–1999)

Tony Russell "Charles" Brown was an American singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced nightclub style influenced West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s. Between 1949 and 1952, Brown had seven Top 10 hits in the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. His best-selling recordings included "Driftin' Blues" and "Merry Christmas Baby".

Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams was an American jazz and blues saxophonist, bandleader, and songwriter. His record "The Huckle-Buck", recorded in December 1948, was one of the most successful R&B records of the time. In his Honkers and Shouters, Arnold Shaw credited Williams as one of the first to employ the honking tenor saxophone solo that became the hallmark of rhythm and blues and rock and roll in the 1950s and early 1960s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lucky Millinder</span> American swing and R&B bandleader

Lucius Venable "Lucky" Millinder was an American swing and rhythm-and-blues bandleader. Although he could not read or write music, did not play an instrument and rarely sang, his showmanship and musical taste made his bands successful. His group was said to have been the greatest big band to play rhythm and blues, and gave work to a number of musicians who later became influential at the dawn of the rock and roll era. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1986.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Red Prysock</span> American rhythm and blues saxophonist

Wilburt "Red" Prysock was an American R&B tenor saxophonist, one of the early Coleman Hawkins-influenced saxophonists to move in the direction of rhythm and blues, rather than bebop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Fontane Sisters</span>

The Fontane Sisters were a trio from New Milford, New Jersey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roy Brown (blues musician)</span> American blues singer (d. 1981)

Roy James Brown was an American blues singer who had a significant influence on the early development of rock and roll and the direction of R&B. His original song and hit recording "Good Rockin' Tonight" has been covered by many artists including Wynonie Harris, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Joe Ely, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, James Brown, the Doors, and the rock group Montrose. Brown was one of the first popular R&B singers to perform songs with a gospel-steeped delivery, which was then considered taboo by many churches. In addition, his melismatic, pleading vocal style influenced notable artists such as B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Little Richard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cecil Gant</span> American blues musician (1913–1951)

Cecil Gant was an American blues singer, songwriter and pianist, whose recordings of both ballads and "fiery piano rockers" were successful in the mid- and late 1940s, and influenced the early development of rock and roll. His biggest hit was the 1944 ballad, "I Wonder".

Arthur Prysock Jr. was an American jazz and R&B singer best known for his live shows and his deep baritone, influenced by Billy Eckstine. According to his obituary in The New York Times, "his heavy, deep voice projected a calm, reassuring virility."

Connie Curtis Crayton, known as Pee Wee Crayton, was an American R&B and blues guitarist and singer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Train Kept A-Rollin'</span> Song first recorded by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951

"Train Kept A-Rollin'" is a song first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. Originally performed in the style of a jump blues, Bradshaw borrowed lyrics from an earlier song and set them to an upbeat shuffle arrangement that inspired other musicians to perform and record it. Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio made an important contribution in 1956 – they reworked it as a guitar riff-driven song, which features an early use of intentionally distorted guitar in rock music.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buddy Johnson</span> Musical artist

Woodrow Wilson "Buddy" Johnson was an American jump blues pianist and bandleader active from the 1930s through the 1960s. His songs were often performed by his sister Ella Johnson, most notably "Since I Fell for You", which became a jazz standard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlie Parker discography</span>

This is a list of recordings by American jazz alto saxophonist Charlie Parker ("Bird"). Parker primarily recorded for three labels: Savoy, Dial, and Verve. His work with these labels has been chronicled in box sets. Charlie Parker's Savoy and Dial Sessions have been issued on The Complete Savoy Sessions, Charlie Parker on Dial and Complete Charlie Parker on Dial and The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes. His Verve recordings are available on Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve and The Complete Verve Master Takes.

Carl Perkins was an American jazz pianist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Billy Wright (musician)</span> American singer

William Wright was an American singer. He is considered one of Little Richard's greatest influences in his formative years.

Henry Coker was an American jazz trombonist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Paul (drummer)</span> American studio drummer (1925–2022)

Philip Paul was an American studio drummer from Cincinnati, Ohio.

James Douglas Wayne, who recorded in the 1950s and early 1960s as James Waynes, James Wayne, and Wee Willie Wayne, was an American rhythm and blues singer, songwriter and musician. He recorded "a fine blend of Texas blues and New Orleans R&B". He had a no.2 hit on the Billboard R&B chart in 1951 with the song "Tend To Your Business", and that year also recorded one of the earliest versions of the widely performed song "Junco Partner".

This is the discography for American jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes.

"Well Oh Well" is a song written by Lois Mann, Tiny Bradshaw, and Henry Bernard. The song was based on Bing Crosby's "San Fernando Valley". It was performed by Bradshaw and released on the King label. It debuted on Billboard magazine's R&B chart on May 20, 1950, peaked at No. 2, and remained on the chart for 21 weeks. It was ranked No. 7 on Billboard's year-end list of the best-selling R&B records of 1950. Singer pianist Moon Mullican covered the song, also on the King label, in 1950.

References

  1. ASCAP Biographical Dictionary. Fourth edition. Compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers by Jaques Cattell Press. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1980
  2. Ohio, Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, 1968-2007. (www.familysearch.org) Certificate No. 78528 Myron Bradshaw entry. Vol. No. 15588
  3. Some sources give his year of birth as 1905, but this appears to be an error. Brother Norman Bradshaw was born 9 March 1905 in Youngstown, OH [Ohio, County Births, 1856-1909 (www.familysearch.org) entry for Norman Bradshaw, Vol. 8 page 168]. This makes it highly unlikely that Myron was born a mere five months later in September of 1905. Also, census data provides Myron's age in both the 1910 and 1920 census with an estimated birth year of 1907. Myron's birth record remains elusive. His death record, as cited earlier, indicates a birth year of 1907.
  4. 1 2 "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 50s and earlier". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Tiny Bradshaw". Brad's Blues. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mohr, Kurt. 1961. Discography of Tiny Bradshaw. Jazz-Publications. Reinach, Switzerland. 16pp.
  7. 1 2 "Bradshaw Biography". Oldies.com. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  8. 1 2 Biography by Scott Yanow at AllMusic. Retrieved 3 April 2013
  9. 1 2 Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 43.