BIOGRAPHY AND DISCOGRAPHY

 


Myron “Tiny” Bradshaw was one of the first artists to move into rock ‘n’ roll from another musical field and also one of the oldest of the original members of the rock club, forty-two years old in 1947 with a twenty year career already behind him that took him from big band swing to mellow pop-jazz, recording only sporadically along the way with none of it finding much success.

The advent of rock ‘n’ roll gave him another chance, one he seized with both hands. Unlike some elder statesmen at its outset Bradshaw wasn’t merely hopping on board the rock train as a lark or because it may prove commercially successful, he was fully convinced of its musical potency from the beginning. The bandleader’s infectious enthusiasm for the style propelled him to stardom in the early 1950’s on King Records, delivering some of the most tightly played celebratory songs of the idiom.

Scoring a half dozen hits along with a record in “The Train Kept A Rollin” that failed to chart but proved to be one of the first rock “standards”, Bradshaw oversaw one of the most rousing self-contained rock bands of the first decade, featuring a series of tenor sax stars, most notably Red Prysock, that helped to define his sound over the years. Bradshaw’s own somewhat eccentric vocals were hardly the epitome of skill but they too conveyed the party-time atmosphere his songs thrived on.

The band’s exuberant stage shows were their stock in trade and they were a touring giant until Bradshaw’s health deteriorated after a 1954 stroke. He died four years later, marking the passing of one of the original rock visionaries.
 
 

TINY BRADSHAW DISCOGRAPHY (Reviews To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):
 
TAKE THE HANDS OFF THE CLOCK
(Savoy 655; October, 1947)
As a veteran bandleader Bradshaw knows precisely what he’s doing and his eternally youthful spirit is contagious… he can barely contain his enthusiasm and this half-assed joyous record is his coming out party. (6)

GRAVY TRAIN
(King 4337; December, 1949)
A welcome return for one of the more unlikely rock practitioners who after two years off comes roaring back into the picture as wildly enthusiastic as ever on a tight record played with a spirit to rival his own infectious vocal exuberance. (7)

WELL OH WELL
(King 4357; April, 1950)
A joyful demolition of domestic tranquility as suited for the rock universe with Bradshaw raring to get moving and have as much fun as humanly possible… the pace never lets up, his enthusiasm never wanes and his demented belief in himself, this music and the listener never wavers. (8)

BOODIE GREEN
(King 4376; June, 1950)
A good idea that’s done in by whitewashing the salacious nature of the dance they’re describing and replacing it with a clinical description over a tepid musical backing which is completely lacking the energy and rhythm needed to lose your inhibitions. (3)

I’M GOING TO HAVE MYSELF A BALL
(King 4397; September, 1950)
Rock’s reigning senior citizen shows the kids how to live life without any cares as he throws another wild party on record that hits all of the right notes, literally and especially in terms of attitude, as Bradshaw’s enthusiastic advice steals the show. (7)

BREAKING UP THE HOUSE
(King 4417; October, 1950)
Another party anthem that may follow the usual formula for these kinds of things but does so with such skill that you don’t mind the repetition, as the musical arrangement featuring some great work by Rufus Gore on sax overwhelms the slightly weaker lyrics. (7)

WALK THAT MESS
(King 4427; February, 1951)
More freewheeling joyous nonsense from the demented master of ceremonies with even less of a story than usual but which is all the better for the vague set-up as Tiny hollers with glee and Rufus Gore blows up a storm on sax until the roof caves in. (8)

ONE, TWO, THREE KICK BLUES
(King 4427; February, 1951)
Aside from a brief semi-spoken intro Bradshaw sits this one out, letting Dorena Deene handle the vocal on the song she wrote which has a decent melody and larger theme but is hurt by the awkward lyrical emphasis on the rumba. (4)

TWO DRY BONES ON THE PANTRY SHELF
(King 4447; March, 1951)
The third – and the best – of his recent unofficial party trilogy with an amusing twist to the story that features Tiny’s engaging rhythmic vocals and his slightly reconstituted band with Red Prysock now on sax which provides the appropriate musical support. (8)

BRAD’S BLUES
(King 4447; March, 1951)
A more appropriate change of pace than the pop ballads he’d done in the past and it contains an interesting story but musically it’s hampered by co-writer Jimmy Robinson’s clunky piano solo which derails the song which was somewhat generically constructed to begin with. (4)

WALKIN’ THE CHALK LINE
(King 4457; May, 1951)
As a concession to age Bradshaw promises to settle down his wild activities and manages to do so vocally as well as musically here and while the immature hell-raising Tiny is more enjoyable to be around, he pulls this off with understated grace all the same. (6)

BRADSHAW BOOGIE
(King 4457; May, 1951)
Tiny and the band try and bridge the gap between old school jazz horns and a more modern rock outlook with gritty sax solo, guitar and boogie piano, all of which comes off fairly well even if it’s hardly very ambitious. (5)

T-99
(King 4487; August, 1951)
A hastily cut cover version of a rising blues hit is refashioned nicely as a rocker with Bradshaw’s energetic vocals shifting the meaning slightly but the song is effective even with that new outlook and the musical support is first rate. (7)

LONG TIME BABY
(King 4487; August, 1951)
A very competent job all around featuring somewhat subdued vocals by Bradshaw backed by good interplay between Willy Gaddy’s guitar and Red Prysock’s saxophone… a perfect B-side, modest and unassuming but well executed and never boring. (5)

I’M A HI-BALLIN’ DADDY
(King 4467; November, 1951)
While the upbeat attitude he displays here contradicts his verbal doubts, Bradshaw is winning enough in the same old role to make few people regret hearing this as he storms around from start to finish, happy to have a ride. (6)

THE TRAIN KEPT A ROLLIN’
(King 4497; December, 1951)
The epitome of Bradshaw’s most enduring game plan wherein he takes the structure of an older composition and completely retools it with new lyrics sporting a modern outlook, dripping with attitude and a muscular arrangement highlighted by a churning riff that never gets old. (9)

KNOCKIN’ BLUES
(King 4497; December, 1951)
An ideal flip side to something so infectious as this bluesy mid-tempo cut doesn’t aim high, contains no memorable lyrics or flashy performances, but everything within is solidly constructed while Bradshaw delivers it all with a casual ease. (5)