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Your Morning Matters: Rock ’n’ roll history to celebrate the LP

Gov. Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost announced proposals for sweeping changes to police accountability and oversight in the state.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Thursday, June 18, 2020, and on this day in 1948 Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The LP, as we came to call it, was, combined with AM radio, a chief influence of the rock ’n’ roll era. In fact, a version of a song by Myron Carlton "Tiny" Bradshaw of Youngstown is part of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's exhibit of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll."

Bradshaw was born in Youngstown in 1907, and in 1934 he formed his own swing orchestra that recorded with King Records between 1949 and 1955, posting five hits on the Billboard R&B chart. His 1951 song “Train Kept A-Rollin'” did not make much of a stir — until 1956 when Johnny Burnette and the Rock & Roll Trio took Bradshaw’s jazz-influenced, rhythm-and-blues song and infused it with rockabilly. As it was in that era, many great black-composed songs were co-opted by white performers fueling the early rock ’n’ roll era.

Bradshaw suffered a series of strokes and died in 1958 before realizing the full impact of his song. The Yardbirds revived it in 1965, and others followed over the years. While the best-known version was the show-closer for Aerosmith’s concerts, it was Burnette’s version that the hall recognized.

In his book “Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock ’n' Roll,” music historian Larry Birnbaum wrote, "As it evolved from ragtime through jazz, boogie-woogie, big-band swing, small combo rhythm-and-blues, rockabilly, blues-rock, acid rock, heavy metal, punk, thrash, psychobilly, and points beyond, 'Train Kept A-Rollin'' became increasingly wild and dissonant as if each performer were trying to surpass the intensity of the previous one. Through all the transformations, the essence of Bradshaw's original survives ...”

Keep rolling, and let's be careful out there!

Now, here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

In response to ongoing civil unrest after the May death of George Floyd, new Ohio policing recommendations outlined Wednesday promise more accountability for the "fraction" of cops whom Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday are "not cut out to be in law enforcement."

Attorney General Dave Yost was blunt: "Those bad cops — and you know who they are — they're making your job and your mission harder. Those few bad cops are putting your life in jeopardy. They're making you less safe on the street." 


  • In the U.S.: 2,164,521 confirmed cases; 118,848 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. June 17.
  • In Ohio: 39,303 confirmed cases; 2,377 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 79,818 confirmed cases; 6,319 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 1,606 confirmed cases in Mahoning County; 675 in Trumbull County; and 923 in Columbiana County.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 26,119.61, down 170.37 points, or 0.65 percent.

Other matters

After announcing salary cuts and a college-eliminating restructuring plan, Youngstown State University has laid off 51 employees, spokesman Ron Cole confirmed Wednesday. The layoffs will take effect July 1. Mahoning Matters

Like other Ohio restaurants and bars, Club Switch, a gay bar in downtown Youngstown, reopened with pandemic-safe restrictions in place. That’s one reason why Switch won’t be celebrating gay Pride this year with a party: Enforcing capacity limits would require turning people away. “It doesn’t really embody the spirit of Pride," said Amelia Karousis, the wife of one of the bar's owners. Mahoning Matters

With temperatures poised to hover in the upper 80s this weekend, the American Red Cross has issued warnings for handling the summer heat. Mahoning Matters

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown will not seek to replace members of the elected school board before January 2023 because of a memorandum of understanding agreed to by the Youngstown Board of Education. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In-restaurant dining started last weekend at Cassese’s MVR, and now bocce, one of the main summer attractions, is also back. WKBN

Many of the Valley's elected officials say GM should pay at least something as a consequence for closing its Lordstown assembly plant last year. The Business Journal

The city of Struthers has accepted the resignation of a now-former officer who was at the center of a social media firestorm involving expletives and a racial slur. WFMJ

Thomas Zimmerman Jr., a Chicago attorney who specializes in class action lawsuits, can practice law in Ohio in the speed camera lawsuit against the City of Girard, a court has ruled. The lead attorney in the case is Marc Dann. WKBN

In case you missed it

The city’s annual use-of-force training is usually done behind closed doors. This year, Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees invited community members to sit in on the session. The backdrop was, of course, the nationwide debate on police brutality, racism and a call for social justice. A goal, Capt. Kevin Mercer said, is better dialogue with the community. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“Hope he addresses nursing home visitation. This isolation is awful for them.”

Donna Hendricks, on Gov. Mike DeWine’s Wednesday media briefing.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

Event of the day

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will present “What Brought Them Here: African American Migrations into the Mahoning Valley” in a special online Bites and Bits of History lunchtime program at noon today. The program will be available on MVHS’ YouTube channel and on its Facebook page.

To see what else is going on around the Mahoning Valley, check out Mahoning Matters’ event calendar here, or click the Events tab on the top menu at

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