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date: 01 June 2020

Bradford, Alexlocked

  • Horace Clarence Boyer

Extract

(b Bessemer, AL, Jan 23, 1927; d Newark, NJ, Feb 15, 1978). American gospel singer and composer. At the age of 13 he joined the Protective Harmoneers, a children’s gospel group in Bessemer, and had his own radio show on a local station. He attended Snow Hill Institute in Snow Hill, Alabama, and as a student teacher acquired the title “professor,” which he maintained throughout his career. While traveling with Mahalia Jackson in 1941–2, he copied down the names of promoters from her address book and left her employ to organize his own group, the Bradford Singers. When they made no great impression on the gospel field, Bradford joined Willie Webb and his singers, with whom he recorded “Every day and every hour” (1950). On the strength of its success he organized the Bradford Specials, an all-male group who sang in robes with pastel stoles and choreographed most of their songs. In ...

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