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Bradshaw, Tiny (Myron)

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Bradshaw, Tiny (Myron), jazz/R&B singer, drummer, pianist, bandleader; b. Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 23, 1905; d. Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1958. He majored in psychology at Wilberforce Univ., Ohio. He began his singing career with Horace Henderson’s Collegians and subsequently worked in N.Y. with Marion Hardy’s Alabamians, The Savoy Bearcats, The Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1932). He sang with Luis Russell, then left to form his own band, which made its debut at the Renaissance Ballroom, N.Y., in 1934; later that year, they recorded for Decca. After residencies in Philadelphia, Chicago, and the Savoy, N.Y., the band achieved national fame with several big-selling records. He switched from big band in the mid-1940s, leading groups of essentially jazz- trained musicians into the developing field that came to be known as R&B. His small combo was said to be Buddy Holly’s favorite; its R&B hits in the late 1940s and early 1950s usually featured raunchy sax solos by Sil Austin or Red Prysock, both of whom went off and started similar successful combos of their own. Bradshaw continued to lead throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, including a U.S.O. tour of Japan in late 1945. His band had five Billboard hits (and also recorded the original ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’”) with King Records. Bradshaw’s band produced such saxophone stars as Sonny Stitt, Prysock, and Austin; among the vocalists to record with the group were Roy Brown, Arthur Prysock, Lonnie Johnson, and Tiny Kennedy. He worked regularly in Chicago, until suffering two strokes that forced his retirement.

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