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Janie Bradford

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Information about Janie Bradford

Profile image of Janie Bradford

Interview Dates

November 19, 2019
November 28, 2012

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Off-White
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

Interview Dates

November 19, 2019
November 28, 2012

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Off-White
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 to Richard Henry and Elizabeth Bradford. Bradford attended Birds Mill Elementary School and Lincoln High School. Upon graduation, Bradford attended the Detroit Institute of Technology in 1956.

In Detroit, Bradford lived with her sister, Clea Ethel. Their neighbor was Jackie Wilson, who introduced Bradford 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 songs 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 has been covered over two hundred times by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Muddy Watters, The Supremes, The Flying Lizards and Boyz II Men. Bradford was later promoted to director of writer’s relations at Motown Records. During her twenty-years as a songwriter with Motown Records, she wrote numerous hit songs such as Marv Johnson’s “All The Love I’ve Got” in 1960, Stevie Wonder’s “Contract on Love” in 1962, Mary Well’s “Your Old Standby” in 1963, The Supremes’ “Tie a String Around Your Finger” in 1963, The Temptations’ “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” in 1963, and Carolyn Crawford’s “My Smile Is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down)” in 1964. Bradford later founded Mountain Goat Music and opened Music Notes Gift Shop in Beverly Hills, California. 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 is the executive director of the Janie Bradford Heroes and Legends (HAL) Scholarship Fund and producer of the HAL Awards. She has been honored by Broadcast Music, Inc. with a Certificate of Achievement for her co-authoring “Money” and “Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby.” She received the Vivian Carter Award from Jack the Rapper in 1989, and was named one of Motown Historical Museum’s Women of Motown in 2000.

Janie Bradford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 28, 2012 and November 19, 2019.

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