Harold Bradley, guitarist, musicians union rep/exec
Guitarist ~ Musicians union rep/exec
birth name: Harold Ray Bradley

Harold Bradley

January 2, 1926, Nashville, TN

He was part of the original “A Team” of Nashville superpickers, one of those John Sebastian immortalized in his song ‘Nashville Cats.’ Harold Bradley can be heard on some of Elvis Presley's records and movie soundtracks as well as those of such entertainers as Perry Como, Joan Baez, Buddy Holly, Ivory Joe Hunter, Pee Wee King, George Morgan, Hank Williams, Burl Ives, Henry Mancini, Connie Francis, George Beverly Shea, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, Charley Pride, Leon Russell, The Everly Brothers, Gene Watson, Marty Robbins, Freddie Hart, Conway Twitty and Roy Clark. ~ Nashville Sound: Harold Bradley ~ retrieved May 7, 2014 © Nashville Sound

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January 2, 1988 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Whitesnake, Is This Love ~ #2 (2) Whitney Houston, So Emotional ~ #1 (1) George Michael, Faith


Historically, he represents the prolific session men of country music's past. The session men of today, however, argue that Bradley doesn't represent them at all. At least not as vice president of the AFM's International Executive Board (IEB), the governing body that makes the union's policy decisions. It isn't too often that you have a local union president - like Bradley - who is also a major player within the IEB. And that's a boon, this member of countrypolitan royalty says. To his detractors, though, that smelled more like a conflict of interest. When it came time to stand up for the recording musicians who pay half the AFM's dues, they say, Bradley sided instead with the governing board, and a stubbornly analog model of the music industry. ~ Nashville Scene: A power shift within Nashville's musicians union ~ March 19, 2009 © The Nashville Scene

Harold Bradley ~ Inducted in the 2006 Country Music Hall of Fame ~ Though he is a capable lead guitarist, Bradley's studio specialty has been rhythm work. On many sessions, he was part of a studio-guitar triumvirate with lead specialists Hank Garland and Grady Martin. Garland excelled in jazzy licks, Martin in funkier leads. In the aftermath of Garland’s disabling 1961 car accident, Bradley often took Garland's place, and Ray Edenton played rhythm guitar. Bradley’s rhythm playing wasn’t always apparent when listening to recordings, although his parts were essential contributions, as in Roy Orbison's #2 pop hit Crying (1961). Occasionally Bradley did play lead parts that stood out. ~ 2006 © Country Music Hall Of Fame

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Leon Russell ~ Hank Wilson's Back (1973) ~ Named one of the Vivascene Top 10 Country Albums Every Music Fan Should Own in 2014 ~ Not since Ray Charles had taken on Nashville material in 1962 had an established musician ventured so far from familiar ground. It turned out that Leon's persona, Hank Wilson, may be the real Leon Russell, so convincing is this album. ~ 2014 © Vivascene

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