Growing up in the rural southeastern part of the state, Bradley absorbed the various musical cultures that were influences on bluegrass. She started playing and singing at 14, and by high school she was in her first band, Backporch Grass. Up to this point, she had lived in a coal mining region with no running water or reliable electricity to her family’s home. Talk about a rough start!
After a move to Florida and the birth of her son, Dale Ann was away from music for a while, but a return to her home state led to a gig on the Renfro Valley show. There she also joined up with the New Coon Creek Girls with whom she toured until 1997. Since leaving that group, Bradley has led her own band, with multiple recordings for the Pinecastle, Compass, and Doobie Shea labels under her name.
From 2007-2009, she was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association, an award she won again in 2011 and 2012. Her 2015 Pinecastle album, Pocket Full Of Keys, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Bradley continues to tour with her own band, and as a member of Sister Sadie, an all-female side project that also includes Gena Britt, Deanie Richardson, Tina Adair, and Beth Lawrence.
Notified earlier this afternoon of her induction, Dale Ann was characteristically humble.
“Being inducted into The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame is an honor that has brought me smiles and tears of gratitude. I love my home state and all of her God gifted artists. I feel blessed to have been raised in these mountains, hollers.”
The official induction ceremony will be held on May 11, 2018 at the Center For Rural Development in Somerset, KY where Dale Ann is scheduled to perform this weekend. Previous bluegrass inductees include Sam Bush, Larry Cordle, The Goins Brothers, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, The Coon Creek Girls, The Osborne Brothers, Tom T Hall, and – of course – Bill Monroe.
Also in this class will be Dave “Stringbean” Akeman, Jason Crabb, Jackie DeShannon, Bobby Lewis, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Congratulations one and all, but especially to our dear Dale Ann Bradley!