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Bill Bradford Music

by Various Artists

A comprehensive catalog of 61 soulful various artists releases from Charlotte, NC composer/producer Bill Bradford. iTunes link and reviews at lower left. For History, scroll to bottom of page.
Genre: Urban/R&B: Soul
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Right Here, Right Now
Sonja Grier
4:08 $0.99
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2. Somethin' You Got
Maria Howell
4:04 $0.99
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3. Said I'm Sorry
Sonja Grier
3:55 $0.99
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4. Think It Over
David Cook
3:53 $0.99
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5. Hold On
Sonja Grier
3:52 $0.99
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6. Let You Go
Maria Howell
3:54 $0.99
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7. Cool
Debby Dobbins
4:43 $0.99
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8. Last Flight Out
Maria Howell
3:50 $0.99
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9. Good Girl Gone
Pamela North
3:57 $0.99
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10. Where Do Our Dreams Go
Maria Howell
4:40 $0.99
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11. Thief in the Night
David Cook
3:54 $0.99
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12. Don't Let the Sun Set (On a Broken Heart)
Debby Dobbins
4:01 $0.99
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13. Run for Cover
Sonja Grier
4:15 $0.99
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14. Misconstrue
Maria Howell
3:41 $0.99
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15. I Didn't Know
The Pelicans
2:48 $0.99
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16. How You Gonna Feel
Debby Dobbins
3:52 $0.99
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17. Lockdown
The Groove Doctors
3:13 $0.99
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18. Been in the Storm Too Long
Sonja Grier
4:14 $0.99
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19. Snake in the Bag
Mandyl Evans
3:36 $0.99
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20. Blue Tattoo
Spider Simms
3:05 $0.99
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21. A Starry Night in Baghdad
Debby Dobbins
4:13 $0.99
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22. Take Another Chance
Sonja Grier
4:16 $0.99
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23. Ellaree
The Pelicans
3:05 $0.99
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24. Corporate Man
Mandyl Evans
3:50 $0.99
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25. Edge of Destruction
Maria Howell
4:13 $0.99
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26. Drive Me Home Baby
Rufus Williams
3:33 $0.99
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27. Fallin' so in Love With You
Thomas Moore
3:56 $0.99
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28. Can't Help This Feelin'
Debby Dobbins
4:20 $0.99
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29. Can't Help This Feelin', Pt. 2 (feat. Pat Walters)
Debby Dobbins
4:20 $0.99
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30. (Talkin 'bout) The Cakes My Baby Makes
Jimmy Styles
4:02 $0.99
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31. Cover Me
Pervis Lee
4:12 $0.99
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32. Pick 'n Go
Maria Howell
4:05 $0.99
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33. Reverse Evolution
Sonja Grier
4:09 $0.99
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34. She's Sixty (But She Still Looks Good)
The Pelicans
3:18 $0.99
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35. Law of Love (Es La Ley)
David Cook
4:08 $0.99
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36. Spider Woman
Benny Benson
3:17 $0.99
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37. Glad I Found You
Debby Dobbins
3:45 $0.99
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38. Good Rockin' Woman
Bradford & Bell
4:21 $0.99
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39. Good Rockin' Woman, Pt. 2
Bradford & Bell
4:25 $0.99
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40. Conkin'
The Groove Doctors
4:04 $0.99
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41. (I Want To) Solve Your Mystery
Maria Howell
4:32 $0.99
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42. Can't Hold Back
Sonja Grier
3:46 $0.99
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43. Love Flight 109
Maria Howell
4:02 $0.99
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44. Midnight Symphony
Daryle Ryce
4:57 $0.99
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45. Optical Illusion
Maria Howell
3:20 $0.99
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46. Love Thief
Debby Dobbins
4:00 $0.99
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47. I Don't Want to Fall in Love Again
Winston Phillips
4:27 $0.99
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48. Fallin' so in Love With You
Debby Dobbins
3:58 $0.99
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49. Brainstorm
Sonja Grier
4:37 $0.99
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50. Dream Filled Haze
Autoclave
3:44 $0.99
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51. X-Ray Eyes
Sonja Grier
3:27 $0.99
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52. 'til Tomorrow
Alvin Jones
6:06 $0.99
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53. Tradin' in the Blues for Love
Debby Dobbins
3:23 $0.99
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54. I Can't Stay Away from You
Thomas Moore
3:40 $0.99
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55. Hey Mr. Stranger
Debby Dobbins
3:26 $0.99
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56. Popsicle Pusher
Bradford & Bell
3:22 $0.99
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57. Cool Whip
Bradford & Bell
4:12 $0.99
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58. (They Call It) Mr. Dollar's
Bradford & Bell
3:36 $0.99
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59. (They Call It) Mr. Dollar's, Pt. 2
Bradford & Bell
2:35 $0.99
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60. What Does Christmas Mean to You
Maria Howell
3:29 $0.99
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61. Song for a New Day (feat. Rick Blackwell, Maria Howell & Darlyle Ryce)
The Charlotte 3
4:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Bill Bradford's songwriting and production has consistently found it's way to contemporary pop/soul/R&B charts and playlists in the US and abroad. This 61 song collection covers the arc of his work for the Spirit label from 2013 back to early work with Sandy Bell and the Spirit Records label which they co-founded in 1979. His productions are grounded in the traditions of popular soul/R&B, fusing classical elements with new. Other artists today working in this genre include Raphael Saadiq, James Hunter, Meyer Hawthorne, The Dap Kings, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Angie Stone, and others. Bradford's work from 2013 forward will be documented in a later volume.

All songs above were written and produced by Bill Bradford except: "(They Call It) Mr. Dollar's", "Popsicle Pusher", "Cool Whip", & "Good Rockin' Woman", co-written and produced by Bradford & Sandy Bell.

All songs published by Stoney Point Music/BMI, except "Love Flight 109" by Stoney Point Music/Universal Music. All rights reserved.

Cover photo courtesy of Brad Kuntz Photography

History:

Spirit Records creates and produces all-original contemporary pop/soul and R&B influenced music. Over the years, his songs have been recorded by multiple artists, received Billboard recognition, and have consistently found their way to regional, national, and international charts and play-lists including SiriusXM satellite radio. All music is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and many other online sources including www.spiritrecords.org

Spirit kicked off 2018 with the January 31 release of David Cook's "Law of Love (Es La Ley)" single. In February, Sonja Grier's "Jimmy Mack Ain't Comin'' Back" rose to !0 on The Beach Music Top 40. The month of March, saw Bradford & Bell's "Doctor In Paradise" hit the #1 spot on Willie C's R&B Beach Music Cafe chart. It would be knocked off it's perch in April by Maria Howell's "Don't give Up On Love", this song's second time to occupy the number one position on this chart. March also saw Maria Howell's "Solve Your Mystery" move to #5 on The Beach Music Top 40, and to #3 on Ted Bell's Top 20 in May. On May 22, 2018, Sonja Grier's new "I Want To Know" single was released.

The summer of 2017 was significant for Spirit Records as twenty-eight of Spirit's single releases were chosen for play on SiriusXM's new Carolina Shag channel. 2017 also saw two new releases by Debby Dobbins reach #1 on The Beach Music Top 40. "Be My Baby Tonight" went #1 in April, and her "Love Thief" single reached #1 in October, 2017. This brought her to three #1 singles within 36 months, beginning with 2015's "Take Me Away". By summer's end, Spirit had posted seven #1 singles within the past three years, and owned ten of the top twenty singles on one chart. And, Sonja Grier's "Run For Cover" still reigned at #1 on the National Association of R&B Deejays chart.

The first quarter of '17 also saw the release of Mandyl Evans' "Snake In The Bag" (#13, R&B Beach Music Cafe, October), and Sonja Grier's "Jimmy Mack Ain't Comin' Back" single (#19 R&B Beach Music Cafe, October). A new Bradford and Bell single, "Doctor In Paradise" was also released in the summer of '17. In October Sonja Grier's single, "Run For Cover" was nominated for National Dance Song of the Year by the CBMA, which she will perform at the annual awards ceremony on November, 4th.

In the summer of 2016, Sonja Grier's "Run For Cover" exploded into the top ten on Carolina's Beach Music Charts, and ultimately the #1 spot on the National Association of RnB DJs year end chart. It was also named the number one song of the year on WKTE's Top 20, while rising to #2 on Ted Bell's 94.9 The Surf Top 20. Though more difficult to document, "Run For Cover" also received considerable play in the UK.

During this period, Debby Dobbins' "Be My Baby Tonight", released in June, was gradually working it's way up the charts and in February, 2017 reached the #1 position on the Willie C's R&B Beach Music Cafe Top 50 chart. Also, the song was, as of March, 2017, holding the #5 spot on The Beach Music Top 40 chart.

Thomas Moore's "Fallin' So In Love With You", released in early 2016, rose to the #1 spot on Willie C's R&B Beach Music Cafe Top 50 in October of that year. This was a milestone for Spirit Records in that now all Spirit artists with single releases had reach the #1 spot on at least one chart, as David Cook's "Thief In The Night" release had reached #1 on the above chart in July.

Spring of 2016 saw the Spirit single, "Think It Over" by David Cook, ascend to #1 on the R&B Beach Music Cafe Top 50 in May with four other Spirit singles holding down another three spots in the Top Ten. The additional three include Maria Howell's "Don't Give Up On Love" at #2, Debby Dobbins' "Take Me Away" at #5, and Sonja Grier's "I'll Know (When The Right One Comes Along)" at #8. Debby Dobbins' "Take Me Away" single was a consensus #1 on The Beach Music Top 40, #1 on Ted Bell's Top 20, and #1 on WSGE's Beach Music Top 25 in 2015 and late 2014. This was followed by the release of Sonja Grier's "I'll Know (When The Right One Comes Along)' which hit #1 in June, 2015 on the WSGE Top 25, and rose to #3 on The Beach Music Top 40 and #3 Ted Bell's Top 20. Both singles also received significant play in UK and European markets. David Cook's "Think It Over", charting at #1 in May. 2016, was significant in that all four artists currently recording with Spirit have had a #1 single on at least one chart over the past eighteen months.

September 30, 2014 saw the release of the Maria Howell single, "Don't Give Up On Love", which received play in international soul/jazz markets, and which rose to #1 on The R&B Beach Music Cafe Top 50. Also, it rose to #4 on The Beach Music Top 40 in June, 2015. One point, 2015 saw Spirit productions holding down three spots in the top ten of the Beach Music Top 40.

2013 saw the release of two CDs: “Back to Detroit” , an original 12 track compilation of multiple-artist Bradford-penned releases which carry the musical DNA and soulful legacy of this iconic city, and "Back To Blues", another multi-artist blues-oriented compilation of previous releases from the Spirit catalog.

In 2012, "Queen City Soul", a 14 track catalog compilation of charted singles from nine Bradford-produced Charlotte area vocalists was released.

Artists that Bradford has produced include Debby Dobbins. Thomas Moore, Sonja Grier, Maria Howell, Pamela North, Daryle Ryce, David Cook, The Pelicans, Mandyl Evans, The Groove Doctors and others. Many songs have charted regionally in the US, the UK, particularly in the flourishing “Northern Soul”/"New Soul" markets, and other European soul-jazz play lists.

The past decade has seen individual CD releases from Sonja Grier (Soul Evolution), Debby Dobbins (Cool and Collected), and Maria Howell’s "Soul" CD, along with four compilation CDs: "Soul Singles Vol. 1: Spirit Records", and "Soul Singles, Vol. 2". Also, included is the Groove Doctors “House Calls” CD, and "Soul Project: Reconnection", a critically acclaimed CD that features new soul music from eight Spirit artists, and yielding Pamela North’s charted single, "Good Girl Gone".

Other Bradford-produced tracks include Sonja Grier’s "Love Flight 109" (Spirit / RCA), a US top 20 and European club vinyl hit, and Maria Howell‘s seasonal "What Does Christmas Mean To You" which garnered a Billboard Magazine “Holiday Pick”. Also, Sonja Grier’s "Right Here, Right Now" single was a 2002 underground club hit in the UK. Many of the singles from Spirit’s early years are included on the CD "Carolina Soul: The Spirit Records Anthology". Significant Spirit releases during this period also included “I Didn’t Know” by the Pelicans in 1995, “She’s Sixty (But She Still Looks Good)” by The Pelicans in 1992, and Sonja Grier’s “Can’t Hold Back” in 1986.
All music is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and other digital platforms.

Bradford's music had it's genesis with the founding of Charlotte, NC pop/soul label Spirit Records with partner Sandy Bell in 1979. The label would serve as the vehicle for the duo’s songwriting and production. Both were musicians, and had grown up with strong influences of rhythm & blues and soul. With the company’s initial release (and having bigger plans down the road), they wanted to avoid making rookie mistakes with an established artist. So they decided to experiment with a first single on themselves. That tune would be the blues/r&b-influenced “(They Call It) Mr. Dollar’s“, written and recorded on a four-track machine in Bradford’s apartment. Little did they know that this "test-shot" would morph into a legitimate Carolinas Beach Music classic.

Both holding career-oriented jobs, the duo took two weeks of vacation in August of ’79 to promote the song. With a trunk full of vinyl 45’s in Bradford’s Triumph TR6 and working 18 hr. days, they covered nearly every radio station, record store, and club in the Carolinas. To their astonishment, the record caught on and became a regional hit. With their first record under their belts, a slew of contacts, and more successes than mistakes, the young company now had the opportunity to execute its broader musical and market vision.

The production focus would shift to other artists and a more sophisticated sound. Bradford & Bell set up shop in Charlotte's Sound-Craft Studios to record one of Charlotte’s hottest vocalists, Debby Dobbins. backed by an A-list of area musicians. The resulting Bradford penned single, “How You Gonna’ Feel”, became Spirit’s second release and an instant regional hit reaching a much wider and more diverse audience. Notably, this production would set the template for a string of singles and all that would follow. .

Today, Spirit Records has evolved and transitioned to the digital age, and through a variety of online sources reaches a world-wide "new pop/soul" audience. And, Spirit Records co-founder Sandy Bell remains involved as ever, providing valued counsel, musical and promotional assistance.

Bradford Bio:
Bill Bradford is a Charlotte, NC songwriter and producer of pop/soul music. His early musical influences were the popular song and jazz “standards” from his father’s substantial record collection. While piano lessons began at the age of six, all was changed at the age of 9 with exposure to childhood friend Tim Belk's R&B records. After hearing Jimmy Liggins, The Spiders, and The Dominos, nothing would be the same. Later influences would be music from the major soul-era houses of Atlantic (NY), Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia, along with writer/producers such as Smokey Robinson, Ashford & Simpson, Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff. Jazz and classical music have also been essential to the mix.

Over the years, Bradford-penned releases have charted for various artists regionally, nationally, and internationally - all of which can be found on the website www.spiritrecords.org and through iTunes or CD Baby at Bill Bradford Music.

While writing and producing has always been Bradford’s primary focus, he also handled sax and vocals for the Charlotte R&B band, The Belvederes, Sandy Bell’s award-winning fixture on the Charlotte club scene in the 1990's. Currently he plays alto sax with The Relics, and with the Charlotte-based jazz group, Jazzology. Also, he has been a long time fixture on sax with Charlotte's Toni Naples Band.

In 2018, Bradford continues writing, producing, and releasing music. All music is available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and all the usual places, and via the website, www.spiritrecords.org

Bradford is a native of Fort Mill, SC, a graduate of Davidson College, and, in addition to musical pursuits, survived a 29 year career in banking.

Contact: billbradfordmusic@gmail.com



















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