A top drummer during the swing era and a likable and personable singer who always displayed good humor, Ray McKinley was most significant in the 1940s in several settings. He played at the start of his career in territory bands, with Smith Ballew and then the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, staying with Jimmy after the battling Dorseys went their separate ways. In 1939, McKinley became the co-leader (in reality, if not in its name) of the new Will Bradley Orchestra. His vocals and the boogie-woogie piano playing of Freddie Slack made the band a hit with such numbers as "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" and "Celery Stalks at Midnight." By 1942, trombonist Bradley had gotten sick of the repertoire (which also included "Rock-A-Bye the Boogie," "Scrub Me Mama With a Boogie Beat," "I Boogied When I Should Have Woogied," "Boogie Woogie Conga," ...
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Class of '49 1976 Class of '49
 
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