Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Julius Bradley - Joy Comes In The Morning

Please join me in saying goodbye to our friend Julius Bradley who left this world yesterday morning, March 16th, a victim of the cancer that had ravaged his brain. One of the most spiritual men I have ever met, he has been called home by the God he loved so much.

His good friend Sylvestor Sartor asked me to post this song, as it was one of his favorites:

Joy Comes In The Morning

Taken from the 2008 album Julius produced with the man he referred to as 'The Master', Willie Mitchell, this beautiful Bradley composition reflects the faith and hope that he brought to everyone around him. Willie Mitchell and Julius Bradley were a team, working together since The Memphians days back in the mid-seventies, right up to the last album Willie produced, Solomon Burke's Nothing Is Impossible. That CD, which will be released early next month, will feature two songs that Julius wrote especially for the project.

It was Sylvester Sartor who made it possible for me to visit with both Julius and Willie this past October, and I can't thank him enough for that. Both men, who had brought so much to the rich history of Memphis music, were reaching the end of the road, and he knew it. Sylvester, who worked along with us on the O.V. Wright Memorial, continues to dedicate his life to the music, and is one of my most treasured friends. In his tireless efforts at the Public Defender's office, as in all his endeavors, he is a shining light and a credit to The City of Memphis.

Below is the biography that Sylvester wrote for his friend when he was promoting He Is Coming Back:

Julius Bradley, songwriter and composer, issued forth from the loins of his parents on March 17, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. Born to assimilate the muses in the medium called music. As a child, weekly, Julius climbed those steep and rocky slopes to ascend the summit of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church where he received in earnest the sermons of his father, Rev. Archie Bradley, and heard the voices of the ethers weaved into the hymns of dedication and devotion that has now become the call of his conscience.

In 1960, Julius entered Lane College where he pursued a curriculum in the sciences and was a member of the Lane College Choir as he matriculated to the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1964. After graduation, he returned home to Memphis and joined the flock of young musicians guided and guarded by those twin Shepherds, Mr. Willie Mitchell and Mr. Onzie Horne – both masters of composition, arrangement and production in the genre of popular music titled as Rhythm and Blues.

He grazed in these lush and fertile fields until he came into his own voice, laboring brilliantly in the studios with his past accomplishments including "He Is The Light" by Al Green, "Just Another Piece Of My Heart" by Wet, Wet, Wet Band of Scotland, "I Love You, I Need You" by Otis Clay, "I Get Excited" by Paul Butterfield, "Love Me Like You Do" by Lynn White, and now "Oh What A Feeling" and "New Company" by Solomon Burke.

With the first major production entirely his own, He Is Coming Back, Julius has proven to be an original and unique storyteller. His songs are parables for the 21st Century. Passion pursued is purpose. The deeper the path penetrates into the Heart, the greater is the scope given to the pursuit. He has come home to Gospel Music clad in the raiments of a prophet, worth his weight in cloth and colors. The music is fluid and uplifting. The lyrics are clean and universally appealing. Julius has found that rare stillness in his mind that has permitted him to enter those free spaces of his heart to deliver messages of Hope, of Salvation and of Grace in his songs of faith and wisdom needed to meet the demands and challenges of this global society.

Truly, the Cross has now fallen fully to Julius and he is walking with the Spirit in He Is Coming Back. Julius has one son, Julius Brooks Bradley, a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, who is an aspiring guitarist in his own right...

My sincere condolences to the Bradley family, who is still mourning the loss of Julius' brother Reverend Archie Bradley, Jr. in January of 2009.

I am truly proud and honored to have known this humble and gentle man.

May he Rest In Peace.

Funeral Services for Julius Bradley:

Wake - Friday March 19th from 4-8pm
M.J. Edwards Funeral Home
1165 Airways Blvd
Memphis, TN 38114

Funeral Service - Saturday, March 20th 1pm
New Sardis Baptist Church
7739 E. Holmes Rd
Memphis, TN 38125