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Perry Bradford

The first recording of vocal blues by an African-American singer, Mamie Smith's performance of Perry Bradford's "Crazy Blues" in 1920.

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Perry Bradford (14 February 1893, Montgomery, Alabama – 20 April 1970, New York City) was an African-American composer, songwriter, and vaudeville performer.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Biography

Perry Bradford grew up in Atlanta, where his family moved when he was six, and in 1906 started working with minstrel shows. He played in Chicago as a solo pianist as early as 1909 and visited New York City the following year.

Through extensive experience with traveling minstrel shows and theatre companies, Bradford obtained huge exposure and experience to African American folksongs. A huge feat of Bradford’s was severing the walls of racial prejudice that kept African-American singers from recording. He is, too often, unrecognized for this accomplishment. Prior to Bradford’s influence, African-American artists recorded in a style that was closely similar to those of white dance orchestras. There was little to no trace of African-American musical characteristics present in their recordings. Bradford persevered in getting the recording industry to value recordings of African-American artists recording in the style of their own subculture.[1]

As a pianist, singer, dancer and composer, Bradford worked in theatre circuits throughout the South and into the North for the next decade (1908–1919) in a song and dance act billed as "Bradford and Jeanette".,[2] While in New York City, Bradford convinced Fred Hager, of

  • Perry Bradford at Red Hot Jazz

External links

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance, by Marshall Winslow Stearns, Jean Stearns, Contributor Brenda Bufalino (1994), Da Capo Press, p. 111 ISBN 0-306-80553-7
  3. ^ Broadway: An Encyclopedia by Ken Bloom – Routledge; 2nd edition (November 11, 2003) ISBN 0-415-93704-3

References

See also

Bradford continued to promote blues and jazz recordings by publishing and managing. Bradford’s influence in the recording industry was negatively affected by the crash of the stock market, as well as by changes in the character of jazz and African-American songs. He was an irregular participant after the 1940s. [1] With the rise of the Little Richard had a hit with Bradford's "Keep A-Knockin'". In 1965, Bradford's autobiography Born With the Blues was published (New York: Oak Publications) with a foreword by Noble Sissle. Bradford's best-known songs were "Crazy Blues", "That Thing Called Love", and "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down".

He had offices in the Gaiety Theatre office building in Times Square.[3] Bradford toured and recorded with Smith, worked with Alberta Hunter and also headed seven recording sessions of his own during 1923–1927. Among Bradford's sidemen were Johnny Dunn, Bubber Miley, Garvin Bushell, Louis Armstrong (on two numbers in 1925), Buster Bailey, and James P. Johnson.

[1]

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