KUNV 91.5 FM
Junior & the Classics
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Albert Lee Band
Jerry Lee Lewis
The Dell Vikings
3 Gold Albums
Two Motion Pictures
Junior Brantley ( in his own words.....2006 )
"I was watching The Steve Allen Show, & I saw this little Wurlitzer piano for the very
1st time. It was used by Ray Charles playing "what'd I Say", and the sounds it was
producing made me "flip out" with excitement. Because, at the time playing piano
on stage meant that the stage had to be equipped with a piano. And there were
very few stages with pianos. But this Wurlitzer was portable, and I just had to get
me one. So I shoveled snow, mowed lawns, and baby-sat kids to raise the $400.00
to buy that piano. Then I bought a 45 RPM of Ray Charles's "what'd I Say" which
was in the key of E, which gave me one more problem. I couldn't play in that key,
but I was determined to learn, and play that song just as Ray Charles played it.
I started working on it, and before too long I had it pretty good and playing all
threechanges...E, A, & B. Then I learned to play a little C, F, & G and from there I
went to A, D, & E, and I learned to play in the keys of D, G, & A, etc.
Then came the day that Arthur King, the guitarist for "Sonny Boy" Williamson
asked to borrow my little portable piano. I was concerned about the piano player
playing too hard, and breaking the reeds on my 'one & only ax". But I said yes
anyway. So he picked me up, and we drove to the "Play Boys Club" on 12th and
Walnut in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I set up my piano, screwed on the legs, attached
the sustain peddle, and it was all ready to play. Now, where is the piano player ?
Their piano player never showed up, And just as I feared....They asked me to play
in his place. As nervous as I was, I said yes sir...and would you believe it ? The
very first song was in the key of E. It was a good thing, that I had learned to play
"what'd I Say", because every time he returned to Wisconsin to play, he hired me.
After that first night I was "hooked on the blues", and started my own band when
"Sonny Boy" left to go overseas on tour. I had Rosco Webb on drums, a sax man
named Kent Ivy, ( who played for Lloyd Price ) and the great Jimmy Dice, a jazz
upright bass player. All noted, and talented musicians. ( You see, I had gigs.)
After a short stint as a band called Junior & the Classics, and record deals with
RCA, & MagicTouch Records, I went to play with a very good blues Band called
"Short Stuff' which released 2 Albums, and a hand full of 45s."
After a period of playing piano with Leroy Airmaster, This writer notes that:
Junior Brantley joined "The Fabulous Thunderbirds", and was awarded a
Gold Album, and toured the world with the "Hit" recording "Tough Enough".
From there he became the keyboard player for "Roomful of Blues", and appeared
in two motion pictures, were nominated for three Grammies, and toured more of
the world. In 1992 Junior Brantley moved to Las Vegas to do a tribute to Little
Richard in the American Superstars Show, and then recorded a CD with world
renowned blues Artist Jimmy Vaughan. 1996 brought Junior Brantley in touch
with the Dell vikings, and he toured the State, and played with them in Las Vegas.
Junior Brantley once again became a part of The Jimmy Vaughan Band in
1997, recorded another CD, and Toured for two more years to sellout crowds
around the globe.
Junior Brantley has settled in Las Vegas, where he hosts a Radio Show there
on KUNV 91.5 FM. While living in Vegas, he performs nightly at numerous
venues, and has been called upon to play with an array of noted Artists such as
Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard when they appear in the
City of Las Vegas
To cap off the many talents, and musical abilities Junior Brantley has acquired
through years of "hard" and rewarding experience, he has added collaboration
with Ritzy Lee, and Sam McWhorter to form Rock Bottom Blues Company as
an outlet for dedicated musicians, and singers to be heard, to be appreciated,
and to be compensated fairly for their work.
|Jimmy Vaughan, Junior Brantley