Image of Will Bradley on trombone.

Will Bradley

(Trombone) - 1989

The Will Bradley Orchestra was actually conceived by band manager Willard Alexander who advised trombonist Will Bradley and drummer Ray McKinley to co-lead a big band in 1939. The swing era was at its height and the trombone and drums had already proved popular with fans as the success of Tommy Dorsey and Gene Krupa had shown. Bradley was one of the most respected trombonists in the business and McKinley had been featured drummer with Jimmy Dorsey for four years, and so the idea had commercial as well as musical sense.

Almost immediately, the band caught on with instrumentals like "Celery Stalks" and in mid 1940 recorded a series of big band boogie woogie arrangements that consolidated success. The main highlights were the drumming and "texan drawl" vocals of McKinley, Bradley's sweet and hot trombone, and the arranging of Freddy Slack. A young Peanuts Hucko was also an important soloist on tenor saxophone.

By mid 1941, a series of reorganisations and also some differing of musical opinion by the leaders began to spell danger ahead. The band was still very popular and regularly filled important hotel ballrooms in New York and Chicago. Never the less in February of 1942, just as the US was mobilising for war, the trombonist and drummer went their seperate ways. McKinley formed his own band and led it for a few months before entering the military service and joining the legendary Glenn Miller Army Air Force organisation. Bradley similarly tried to carry on but the difficulties caused by the war forced him to disband and return to studio playing.

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Image of Hep CD1061 - Will Bradley and his Orchestra with Ray McKinley - Hallelujah

CD 1061

WILL BRADLEY and his Orchestra with Ray McKinley


Recorded in New York City during 1939-40.

Titles - Forevermore / The Love Nest / Memphis Blues / Old Doc Yak / I'm Comin' Virginia / As Long As I Live / Make With The Kisses / Fit To Be Tied / Mean To Me / You're Lucky To Me / The Johnson Rag / This Changing World / Hallelujah / Swingin' A Dream / Celery Stalks At Midnight / I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance / Strange Cargo / Jimtown Blues / After I Say I'm Sorry / Flying Home / O Sole Mio / So Far So Good / This Is The Beginning Of The End / Rhumboogie.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Will Bradley - "Hallelujah"

Image of Hep CD1071 - Will Bradley and his Orchestra with Ray McKinley - It's Square But It Rocks


WILL BRADLEY and his Orchestra with Ray McKinley

"It's Square But It Rocks"

The second collection of this great swing band recorded during 1939-41. Vocals from Carlotta Dale, Louise Tobin and Lynn Gardner.

Titles - I Thought About You / Gotta Get Home / It's A Wonderful World / Watch The Clock / Scramble Two / In A Little Spanish Town / Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar / Rock A Bye The Boogie / Deed I Do / Don't Let It Get You Down / Scrub Me Mama, With A Boogie Beat / There I Go / Dearest, Darest I / The Lonesome Road / Five O'Clock Whistle / Three Ring Ragout / I Should Have Known You Years Ago / I Boogied When I Should Have Woogied / This Little Icky Went To Town / Break It To Me Gently / That's Her Mason Dixon Line / Chicken Gum Boogie / It's Square, But It Rocks.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Will Bradley - "It's A Wonderful World"


WILL BRADLEY and his Orchestra with Ray McKinley

"Swingin Down the Lane"

The best of 1941/42 performances.

Titles - Think of Me / Tea for Two / Swingin' Down The Lane / Flamingo / April in Paris / When You and I Were Young Maggie / Hall of the Mountain King / Get Thee Behind Me Satan / The Land of Sky Blue Water / All That Meat and No Potatoes / Love me a Little Little / I'm Tired of Waiting / Basin St Boogie / Stop and Ask Somebody / Jack and Jill / Fry Me Cookie / Three Bs / Request for a Rhumba / Etude Brutes / If I'm Lucky / Turn The Knob on the Left / Celery Stalks No 2 / Easy Ride / Lonely Moments / Bop'n'Boogie.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Will Bradley/Ray McKinley - "Hall of the Mountain King"

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