Peach Jam Podcast: Pony Bradshaw
Pony Bradshaw is a Renaissance man. After many moves, many jobs, and a stint in the military, he found his passion for songwriting later in life than most. He joins the Peach Jam Podcast to discuss his journey from open mics to becoming a working musician, his connection to Georgia, and his love for storytelling.
Peach Jam Podcast features stories and songs recorded live in our GPB studios from a variety of incredibly talented and diverse bands and artists who call the Peach State home.
Pony Bradshaw is a Renaissance man. After many moves, many jobs, and a stint in the military, he found his passion for songwriting in his 30s. While that is not old, it is much later in life than most musicians. But Pony Bradshaw is not most musicians.
Jeremy Powell: How did you get into performing music so late in your life? I don't want to say it like 30 is so old, but in your 30s, it's not normally when you decide, "Hey, I'm going to be a professional musician now."
Pony Bradshaw: Yeah, I mean, I was just rambling. Basically my whole life I was in the military at a young age, lived in Colorado, lived on couches everywhere. I didn't really have any focus. I mean, I think I learned a few chords on a guitar in my mid 20s, late 20s, but I never really had any interest of doing anything with it. I don't think I knew that you could make a career out of writing a song and singing it, you know, other than just big fame, those types of people. The working class kind of career as a musician, I didn't know existed. And I did a few open mics in Chattanooga, and I guess that's all it takes is somebody saying, your songs are good, you know, and it pushes you further and further into that world.
Jeremy Powell: What did you do beforehand? What kind of jobs did you have?
Pony Bradshaw: Well, my first job ever, I was a cop in the Air Force.
Jeremy Powell: Wow. Really?
Pony Bradshaw: That didn't work out too well. I was booted after two and a half years, I think, and just just wasn't ready for folks to holler at me all the time, you know? I don't think I'm ready for that now either. But I never really had it like a great job. You know, I was bumming a lot. I mean, it's it's the truth. It's not an admirable time of my life, but, uh, my first real job after the military was in Chatsworth, though, I worked as a financial analyst at a flooring manufacturer for about eight years. And then, my last job, I was a newspaper writer, sportswriter for our local paper, and that was about five years ago, the last time I had a straight job.
Jeremy Powell: That's incredible. So you were able to flex that muscle, that writing muscle, I guess.
Pony Bradshaw: Yeah, I flexed that too much at work and get in trouble for my Microsoft Word pulled up writing all day instead of doing my job.
Jeremy Powell: You were writing songs?
Pony Bradshaw: Oh, yeah.
Jeremy Powell: Right.
Pony Bradshaw: Somehow they would monitor our screens and I would get written up every now and then for not doing what I was supposed to be doing.
Jeremy Powell: Yeah. So do you have songs recorded that you wrote in the office at the newspaper?
Pony Bradshaw: Yeah. I mean, most of the songs on, um, well, it wasn't at the newspaper, they didn't care what I did. It was at that financial analyst job
Jeremy Powell: Oh, it was the financial analyst job. Okay.
Pony Bradshaw: Um. Yeah. I mean, half of the songs on my first record, Sudden Opera. "Bad Teeth" and those songs where I wrote them at desk there.
Jeremy Powell: Are you famous in some part of the world that would be surprising to people?
Pony Bradshaw: Mm hmm. I can tell you that I'm not famous where I live. I don't think anybody listens to my records where I live.
Jeremy Powell: Nobody knows you at Chatsworth?
Pony Bradshaw: No, man. There's a few younger dudes that have been coming out to some shows, which is surprising, I think, about 20 years old or something like that. And they're they're into it. But for the most part, even, you know, family members, they just they just don't listen to it. And they they'd rather hear the jukebox some Hank Jr. or something like that. Yeah, it's good, though. I mean, it'd be cool to be received well there, but I don't want to be bothered, you know? So I guess it's more positive than negative.
The Peach Jam podcast from GPB features songs and stories from a variety of the incredibly talented and diverse bands and artists who call the Peach State home.
Recorded live in our GPB studios, you get a front row seat for the intimate musical performances and free-flowing conversation from a truly eclectic variety of Georgia musicians. You can find more at GPB.org/PeachJamPodcast — please download and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform as well.