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Thursday, 13 August 2015
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " TERRY BRADFORD " A TOP VOCALIST WHO HAS BEEN WINNING THE HEARTS OF CONCERT GOERS SINCE 1990 : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Terry Bradford has been winning the hearts of concertgoers since 1990, the date of his first appearance on Star Search, the CBS reality talent show that predates American Idol by 19 years.Bradford's winning presence and multi-octave range was put into service to deliver a diverse repertoire that included everything from pop to soul, gospel, jazz, show tunes, and standards from the classic American songbook. In four short weeks he went from new contestant to winner of Best Male Vocalist. He continued his success with work as a studio singer backing vocalist for stars like Whitney Houston, Elton John, and Patti LaBelle; voiceover work and vocal contributions to TV shows including Rugrats, Hang Time, and City of Angels; and soundtrack work on movies like The Lion King, Mystery Men, where he sang lead soprano, 200 Cigarettes, Amistad, and What's Love Got to Do with It. He wasCeline Dion's touring duet partner for five years, appearing in two of her DVDs Live in Memphis and All the Way: A Decade of Song & Video singing with her on "Beauty and the Beast." Dion gave him a solo spot every evening, which help win him legions of fans. He also toured with Linda Ronstadt on her Millennium tour, dueting with her on "I Don't Know Much," coincidently one of the songs he sang on his Star Search appearances. He currently runs his own record label and concert production company, putting on inspirational shows that entertain and uplift his audiences. "My music has no particular style, but it does have a goal," Bradford said in a recent interview. "I want to help people to fall in love with themselves. That's the only way to make a real difference in the world; to open up and trust one another. I can sing everything, because I learned in the studio how to do rock, classical, pop, dance, jazz, you name it. I can sing in Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and English, but it's not about being a chameleon, the goal is to bring my music to the people and make them happy."
Bradford was born in Montgomery, AL, and raised in Orlando, FL, the second son in a family of five children. He started pounding on the piano when he was only three. Bradford's father played piano, and his grandmother suggested that Bradford Sr. give his son proper piano lessons, if only to make the racket more harmonious. Terry's grandmother was president of her church choir, and taught him to pick out songs by ear, and also introduced him to choral singing. Bradford wasn't crazy about his enforced music lessons, but his grandmother told him that children don't always know what's in their best interest, so she made him practice, training him to sing the melodies of every song and classical piece he played.
Bradford had a natural talent for music and by the age of nine he was playing piano and directing gospel choirs in churches all over Orlando. He'd go to school days and at night play revival meetings and, of course, sing and play every Sunday in church. He had no idea about making music his career, music was just part of the social fabric of his family and religious life.
Bradford was also working on his solo career. He cut his first independent album, 1998's Bradford, in his living room with a computer and his piano. Its original compositions included pop, R&B, and jazz-flavored tunes. He sang the vocals with a blanket over his head so he wouldn't disturb his neighbors and programmed the drums, strings, and orchestrations himself. Bradford got the attention of motivational speaker and Yoruba priestess Iyanla Vanzant. He supplied the song "Today" for her audio book Yesterday I Cried. The tune has become a popular wedding song since its release.
Since 1998, Bradford's Terry Bradford Concerts label has released three more CDs. Terry Bradford Live: The Experience, Unanimous, another studio effort of original material, and 2007's In Concert in the Napa Valley, another live set, which was picked up by PBS for broadcast all across the country. By running his own operation, he's free to pursue his one musical path and put out the music that speaks to his heart. With digital distribution, his own web page, and a growing word of mouth buzz, he's building a reputation as a generous, emotive performer. "I have a positive outlook," the singer says. "I like pouring myself into the song. If it's a sad song, I'll cry on-stage and I laugh when it's a happy song. I'm very free on-stage and tell people we can all be tickled together, cry together and sing together. I'm not afraid to let my feelings show. The stage feels like my living room, no matter how big the venue is."