On The Fringe
Owen Bradley, the man who, in 1955, built the first music-business structure on what became Music Row in Nashville, died on January 7, 1998 at the age of 82.
Bradley's achievements in the Country music industry included laying the foundation for the phenomenal success of the Decca/MCA label and producing the hit records of more Country Music Hall of Famers than anyone in history (six). He was a hit songwriter, a successful bandleader, a radio star and a talented keyboardist.
When Bradley was named head of Decca in 1958, he produced a string of country hits that incorporated sophisticated pop sounds and helped define the "Nashville Sound." He worked with such legends as Bobby Helms, Del Reeves, Charlie Walker, Grandpa Jones and Burl Ives. But it was his work with female vocalists such as Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee that Bradley scored his greatest chart successess. His production of such Cline hits as "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces" and Walkin' After Midnight" are still selling strong 30 years after they were recorded and are still the standard against which all female country records are measured today.
In 1974 Bradley was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, and from 1976 to his death, he had been working as an independent producer. He was tapped to be Musical Director for the motion pictures Coal Miner's Daughter and Sweet Dreams. In 1987, he recorded with K.D. Lang, and at the time of his death, he was producing an album for Mandy Barnett, who is best known for her portrayal of Patsy Cline in the production of Always...Patsy Cline.
Friends and music business associates of Owen Bradley would like to remember Mr. Bradley by placing a permanent tribute to him in the Owen Bradley Park. The family is very supportive of the tribute honoring him and his career. The park, named after the music pioneer by Metro Parks Department in Nashville last summer, is located at the entrance to Music Row. If you would like to join in this tribute, please send donations to the Owen Bradley Memorial Park Fund, Kraft CPAs, 1200 Parkway Towers, 404 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, Tennessee 37219, in care of Vic Alexander.
From a tribute to Owen Bradley on ASCAP's Official Website.
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