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Janie Bradford

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Information about Janie Bradford

Profile image of Janie Bradford

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Off-White
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Los Angeles, California
Favorite Quote:
If The Elevator Stops, Take The Stairs.

Birthplace

Born:
6/2/1939
Birth Location:
Charleston, Missouri

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Off-White
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Los Angeles, California
Favorite Quote:
If The Elevator Stops, Take The Stairs.

Birthplace

Born:
6/2/1939
Birth Location:
Charleston
See how Janie Bradford is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Songwriter Janie Bradford was born on June 2, 1939 in Charleston, Missouri, the youngest of three children born to Richard Henry, a minister, and Elizabeth Bradford. Although her father prohibited secular music in their home, Bradford was influenced early in life by diverse music styles, including country and gospel. In 1956, Bradford graduated from Lincoln High School in Charleston then migrated to Detroit, Michigan where she attended the Detroit Institute of Technology and lived with her sister Clea Bradford, a jazz singer. There, Bradford met Jackie Wilson, who introduced her to the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy.

In 1958, Bradford joined Motown Records as a secretary but soon became a songwriter for Motown singers. The first two sings she co-authored with Gordy were included on Jackie Wilson’s album, Lonely Teardrops. The next collaboration that Bradford co-wrote with Gordy was the song, “Money (That’s What I Want),” which been covered over two hundred times by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Muddy Watters, The Supremes and Boyz II Men. Bradford’s administrative involvement with Motown Records continued to grow, and Gordy named her director of writer’s relations. Bradford worked for the company for more than twenty-five years as a songwriter at Motown Records where she wrote numerous hit songs such as “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby,” “Your Old Standby,” “All The Love I’ve Got,” “Time Changes Things” and “Contract On Love,” which she wrote for Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder, respectively.

She independently wrote the lyrics for Marvin Gay’s top-selling track, “Just Keep Thinkin’ Bout My Baby,” which was one of his top-selling singles. Bradford served as an administrative secretary for Jobette Records, and has received credit for naming “The Supremes,” who were originally known as “The Primettes.” Bradford went on to become the founder of Mountain Goat Music and Music Notes Gift Shop in Beverly Hills, California where she publishes Entertainment Connection Magazine. In addition, she is the executive director of the Janie Bradford Heroes and Legends (HAL) Scholarship Fund and producer of the HAL Awards. In 2010, Bradford established Twin Records with songwriter and singer Marilyn McLeod. Together Bradford and McLeod produced Bradford the album titled, I Believe in Me.

Bradford has been honored by BMI with a Certificate of Achievement for her co-authoring “Money” and “Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby.” Jack the Rapper presented her with the Vivian Carter Award for her contributions to music, and during L.A. Music Week in 2011 the City of Los Angeles presented her with honors.

Music writer Janie Bradford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 28, 2012.

See how Janie Bradford is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janie Bradford's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janie Bradford lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Janie Bradford describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janie Bradford describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janie Bradford talks about her father's migration from Mississippi to Missouri, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janie Bradford talks about her father's migration from Mississippi to Missouri, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janie Bradford remembers segregation in Charleston, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janie Bradford describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janie Bradford remembers her father's congregation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Janie Bradford lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Janie Bradford describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Janie Bradford remembers her community in Charleston, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janie Bradford remembers her household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janie Bradford recalls the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janie Bradford remembers her sister's musical career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janie Bradford describes her early musical interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janie Bradford remembers her interest in poetry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janie Bradford remembers the Bird's Mill School in Charleston, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janie Bradford describes her father's discipline
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janie Bradford recalls her experiences at Lincoln High School in Charleston, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janie Bradford describes her extracurricular activities at Lincoln High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janie Bradford recalls moving to Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janie Bradford describes her early years in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janie Bradford talks about her early work with Berry Gordy and Jackie Wilson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janie Bradford remembers writing 'Money (That's What I Want)'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janie Bradford talks about the invention of 45 rpm records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janie Bradford describes her songs on Jackie Wilson's 'Lonely Teardrops'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janie Bradford recalls the naming of The Supremes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janie Bradford talks about her popular Motown Records songs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janie Bradford talks about her popular Motown Records songs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janie Bradford reflects upon the success of her songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janie Bradford talks about covers of her songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janie Bradford describes how she earns money from her songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janie Bradford remembers her duties with Jobete Publishing
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janie Bradford reflects upon her career with Motown Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janie Bradford remembers The Funk Brothers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janie Bradford recalls turning down a partnership with Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janie Bradford remembers Motown Records' move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janie Bradford describes Mountain Goat Music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Janie Bradford talks about the Music Notes gift shop in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Janie Bradford describes the Heroes and Legends Scholarship Fund
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janie Bradford talks about the Heroes and Legends Scholarship Fund
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janie Bradford describes her plans for the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janie Bradford talks about her favorites musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Janie Bradford describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Janie Bradford reflects upon her life and legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Janie Bradford talks about her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Janie Bradford describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Janie Bradford narrates her photographs