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Gene Watson's peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers who were contacted during 2007 were most gracious with their time and words. It is here, within this special part of the Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Harold Bradley, which he submitted to this site on Monday 5 February 2007.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Harold Bradley who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Monday 5 February 2007.
'Gene Watson is one of the greatest and natural country music singers of all time. I was very privileged to be his leader on some of his hits.
When we did 'Farewell Party' in one take, Gene turned my head when he hit the high note on the end. He's been turning peoples heads ever since he started his career'.
Thank you, Harold Bradley, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Harold Bradley...
Harold Bradley was born on Saturday 2 January 1926 in Nashville. His older brother, Owen (a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame), was a strong early musical influence. Although Owen had earned his spurs as a pianist, Harold was at first fascinated by the banjo. However, he also began learning to play a guitar.
While still a teenager, Harold Bradley landed a much-coveted band spot with legendary Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984) in 1943. After high school graduation, Harold joined the navy.
Upon his discharge in 1946, Harold Bradley studied at George Peabody College under the GI Bill. To enhance his income, however, Harold played on the Opry with Eddy Arnold and Bradley Kincaid.
Harold Bradley's first recording session took place on Tuesday 17 December 1946 with Pee Wee King and The Golden West Cowboys in Chicago. Two King songs on which Harold's contribution was notable are 'Texas Toni Lee' and Tennessee Central Number Nine'.
Harold Bradley soon recorded with Red Sovine (Wednesday 17 July 1918 - Friday 4 April 1980). The first million seller he was on was Red Foley's 'Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy', recorded at Castle. Harold also did one recording session with Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953).
As Nashville began to expand recording-wise, Harold Bradley began to be involved in more sessions. He was on 'Jingle Bell Rock' and 'Fraulein', both of which were recorded by Bobby Helms (Tuesday 15 August 1933 - Thursday 19 June 1997), 'I'm Sorry' and 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree', both of which were recorded by Brenda Lee, along with all of the recording sessions, bar two, for Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963).
Harold Bradley also played on such classic country tracks as the following:
'Only The Lonely', recorded by Roy Orbison (Thursday 23 April 1936 - Tuesday 6 December 1988)
'Crazy', recorded by Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963)
'Battle Of New Orleans', recorded by Johnny Horton (Thursday 30 April 1925 - Saturday 5 November 1960)
'Big Bad John', recorded by Jimmy Dean (Friday 10 August 1928 - Sunday 13 June 2010)
'King Of The Road', recorded by Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992)
'Harper Valley PTA', written by Tom T Hall and recorded by Jeannie C. Riley
'Stand By Your Man', recorded by Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998)
'Make The World Go Away', recorded by Eddy Arnold
'Coal Miner's Daughter', recorded by Loretta Lynn
'Ebony Eyes', recorded by Everly Brothers
'Swinging', recorded by John Anderson
Among the cinematic soundtracks boasting Harold Bradley's touch are 'Kissin' Cousins', 'Clambake', 'Stay Away Joe', 'The Fastest Guitar Alive', 'Sugarland Express', 'A Walk In The Spring Rain', 'Tick, Tick, Tick', 'Breathless', 'Smokey and The Bandit II', 'Coal Miner's Daughter', 'Six-Pack', 'Missing' and 'Sweet Dreams'. Harold also appeared briefly In Robert Altman's award-winning movie 'Nashville' in 1975.
Harold Bradley worked with Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977) from 1962 until 1967, a period during which he had ten No.1 songs. Elvis Presley was one of twenty-five musicians in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with whom Harold Bradley worked. Harold can be heard on some of Elvis Presley's records and movie soundtracks.
Harold Bradley can also be heard on recordings from the following music entertainers:
Perry Como (Saturday 18 May 1912 - Saturday 12 May 2001)
Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959)
Pee Wee King (Wednesday 18 February 1914 - Tuesday 7 March 2000)
George Morgan (Saturday 28 June 1924 - Monday 7 July 1975)
Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953)
Burl Ives (Monday 14 June 1909 - Friday 14 April 1995)
Hank Snow (Saturday 9 May 1914 - Monday 20 December 1999)
Jim Reeves (Monday 20 August 1923 - Friday 31 July 1964)
Marty Robbins (Saturday 26 September 1925 - Wednesday 8 December 1982)
Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993)
Artists that Harold Bradley has represented or produced personally include Byron Whitman, Slim Whitman, Eddy Arnold and Ireland's Sandy Kelly.
Harold Bradley can boast a trio of his own albums on the Columbia Records label, namely 'The Bossa Nova Goes To Nashville' (Columbia Records, 1963), 'Misty Guitar' (Columbia Records, 1966) and 'Guitar For Lovers Only' (Columbia Records, 1966).
Harold Bradley's musical input can be heard on Bear Family Records' ambitious four-compact disc set 'Webb Pierce: The Wandering Boy, 1951-1958' (Bear Family Records, 1990) and on Alan Jackson's 'Here In The Real World' (Arista Records, 1991).
Three tracks, 'The Old Man And His Horn', 'Cowboys Don't Get Lucky All The Time' and 'I Won't Be Sleeping Alone', which were included on Gene Watson's 'Beautiful Country' (Capitol Records, 1977), were recorded at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee in 1977.
Harold Bradley's brother, Owen Bradley (Thursday 21 October 1915 - Wednesday 7 January 1998), had purchased a farm outside of Nashville in 1961 and had converted a barn into a demo studio. Within a few years, 'Bradley's Barn' had become a legendary recording venue within country music circles.
Harold Bradley was also a session musician on the following Gene Watson albums:
'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978): Rhythm Guitar and Lead Guitar
'Should I Come Home' (Capitol Records, 1979): Rhythm Guitar and Lead Guitar
'No One will Ever Know' (Capitol Records, 1980): Rhythm Guitar and Lead Guitar
'Between this Time & the Next Time' (MCA Records, 1981): Acoustic Guitar and Electric Guitar
'Old Loves Never Die' (MCA Records, 1981): Guitar and Mandolin
'This Dream's on Me' (MCA Records, 1982): Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar and Bass
Harold Bradley is the Nashville native who holds down the Presidency of the Nashville Association of Musicians Local 257 & is the man who may be the most recorded guitarist in history.