Rock My World Canada, chapter 244: Curley Bridges

[Mike Carr has created a catalogue/reference work featuring all kinds of Canadian rock and alternative releases from the past few decades. Check out his massive volume on Canadian music history entitled Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. – AC]

Curley Wilson Bridges (February 7, 1934 – November 27, 2014) was an American electric blues, rock-and-roll, and rhythm-and-blues singer, pianist and songwriter. In 1953, he and the trumpet player Frank Motley, Jr., formed the Motley Crew. Bridges performed with this group until 1966; he was the lead vocalist and played the piano and, on occasion, the trombone or drums. In 1954, they recorded an upbeat version of the song “Hound Dog”, which was renamed “New Hound Dog” and issued by Big Town Records. By 1966, the band had relocated to Toronto.

Bridges left the group later that year. He recruited King Herbert and Frank Pelly from his former band, and they performed as the Rounders in Northern Ontario. In 1999, Bridges recorded his first solo album for the Electro-Fi Records label, Keys to the Blues. Bridges died in the Hospice Simcoe in Barrie, from cancer on November 27, 2014, aged 80.

Find out more about this artist and hundreds of other Canadian musicians at Rock My World Canada. Pick up your soft cover edition of our Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide here

Mike Carr has created a second catalogue/reference work in an ongoing series, this time featuring all kinds of Canadian Blues album releases from the past few decades.  Check out Canadian Blues Reference and Collectors Guide.  It’s an incredible discography of hundreds of blues artists. 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Rock My World Canada, chapter 244: Curley Bridges

  • February 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm
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    I really appreciate you posting the article on Curley Bridges. He first came to Toronto (and Canada) in early 1955 – as a member of Frank Motley and the Motley Crew as you say, but because the were so popular here, with bookings extended and re-extended in both Toronto and Montreal, that the band was de facto based in Canada, even though continuing to tour south to Boston and hometown Washington (and presumably elsewhere). We might see the fact that saxman King Herbert bought a house in Toronto in late ’62 or early ’63 as an indication of putting down serious roots. King stayed in that house until about 1990 when he and his wife moved to a condo in the Swansea neighbourhood. While Motley retired to the States due to ill health in the mid ’80s, Curley and King remained in the Toronto area until their respective passings. Curley continued gigging almost right up to the end. His last show – at the Dominion on Queen east of Parliament in March 2014 – was filmed and much of it can be found on YouTube.

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