I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #94

From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.

  • January 2, 1926 Harold Ray Bradley was born in Nashville, Tennessee.

The younger brother to Owen Bradley, Harold Bradley filled in for him as producer of the recording session that took place on April 8, 1958. At this session it was the younger Bradley who made suggestions that led to the tighter arrangement of the tune Scotland, the version that we know and love. Also, cut that day was another instrumental, Panhandle Country.

While he was thrown in at the deep end in the first session, Harold Bradley is believed to have taken charge of another, that on March 26, 1970. During an evening session at Bradley’s Barn (where else?), Bill Monroe recorded four Gospel quartets; Road of Life, It’s Me Again Lord, Beyond the Gate and I Will Sing for The Glory of God.

Harold Bradley played banjo as a child but switched to guitar soon after. It was the instrument that took him onto his fame and fortune. A member of the Nashville A-team of session musicians, playing bass on hundreds of albums by country and popular music stars such as Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley. As a member of the A-team he was inducted into Musician’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Bradley has served as the president of the Nashville chapter of the American Federation of Musicians and as the AFM International Vice-President.

He was inducted in to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and earlier this year he was a recipient of the Trustees Award at the 52nd Grammy Awards.

The Bradley brothers built Bradley Film and Recording Studios (Bradley’s Barn), the first music-industry related business on what is now known as Music Row.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.