NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) Harold Bradley, 93, guitarist for Nashville’s “A Team” and unofficial Music Row historian, died peacefully in his sleep during the early hours of Jan. 31, according to Music Row magazine.
With more than 60 years in the business, Bradley is possibly the most recorded instrumentalist in history, playing with everyone from Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley to Brenda Lee and Carl Perkins. His chops can be heard on “The Battle of New Orleans,” “Crazy,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Stand By Your Man,” “Make The World Go Away,” “Big Bad John,” “Long Black Veil” and “For The Good Times” among many others.
He also backed acts like Patti Page, Connie Francis, Leon Russell and Bobby Vinton. He was given the Recording Academy’s Superpicker Award every year from 1974 to 1979 and the AFM gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Belmont University announced a guitar scholarship had been established in his honor last week, according to Music Row.
Bradley was the first president of the Nashville chapter of NARAS.
Some of his longtime friends and collaborators have offered their condolences:
“When I was 10 years old, the Bradleys welcomed me into their family. When I married my husband Ronnie, they welcomed him like a son. Lost would be a good word to describe how I’m feeling right now, but I’m not lost because I’ll always have my memories. Harold Bradley is a big part of all of my memories. Harold is a big part of who I am today. He molded me from a little girl into one of his girls, along with Tammy, Patsy and Loretta. I’ll miss him dearly.” – Brenda Lee
“I was saddened to wake up today to the news of the great guitarist, Harold Bradley, having passed away. Harold was Owen Bradley’s brother, and the two of them left quite a mark on my early career. Owen produced my records, and Harold played on most of them. He was a talented, kind, gentle soul, and we were blessed to have had him with us for 93 years. Rest in peace my friend, secure in knowing that you made the world a better place.” – Bill Anderson
“Surely am sad to hear of the passing today of Harold Bradley. One of the best session players and brother of Owen Bradley. I was fortunate to have Harold as the session leader for the Reflections album back in 1978. That’s the album for the first recording we did of ‘Farewell Party’ and ‘Pick The Wildwood Flower.'” – Gene Watson