Will Bradley Biography

Wilbur Schwichtenberg, 12 July 1912, Newton, New Jersey, USA, d. 15 July 1989, Flemington, New Jersey, USA. Bradley played trombone with various bands in New York in the late 20s and at the beginning of the next decade established the working pattern for his whole career, combining studio work with playing in name bands. In the early 30s he recorded with Red Nichols and in 1935 was in the band assembled by Glenn Miller that played under the leadership of Ray Noble. In 1939 Bradley formed a big band with drummer Ray McKinley that enjoyed great popular success, owing in part to a string of orchestrated boogie-woogie numbers, including ‘Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar’. Bradley found the format somewhat limiting and the band folded in 1942, when McKinley entered the armed forces, and thereafter, Bradley concentrated on studio work. In the 50s he played briefly with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, and in 1959 successfully joined forces with Johnny Guarnieri to recreate the big band boogie style with a studio-assembled band. His musical interests were extensive and he composed for symphony orchestras and chamber groups. His son, Bill, became a bop drummer, working with Tony Scott, Kai Winding and with Woody Herman’s 1956 big band.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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