Jimmy Valentine

Vocalist Jimmy Valentine sang with lo­cal bands in his na­tive Texas be­fore be­ing dis­cov­ered by drum­mer Ray McKinley while the lat­ter was on tour with Jimmy Dorsey in the late 1930s. Valentine was ex­tremely pop­u­lar with crowds in his home state, up­stag­ing even Dorsey vo­cal­ist Bob Eberly.

After McKinley and trom­bon­ist Will Bradley formed an or­ches­tra in 1939, McKinley of­fered Valentine a job in January 1940. Though the young tenor proved a ca­pa­ble bal­ladeer for the band, he was ex­tremely shy, of­ten run­ning off the stage when his num­ber was over. Valentine had lit­tle op­por­tu­nity to gain ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, as Bradley and McKinley soon hit upon their for­mula for suc­cess in play­ing boo­gie woo­gie rhythms, leav­ing the singer lit­tle to do. He re­mained with the band un­til January 1941.


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  • There I Go
    Will Bradley (Jimmy Valentine), Columbia (1940)
  • High on a Windy Hill
    Will Bradley (Jimmy Valentine), Columbia (1940)

All recordings are from the Internet Archive's 78rpm collection. Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. The Online Discographical Project. Accessed 21 Dec. 2015.