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 by The Gene Watson Fan Site, 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.
Harold Bradley's older brother, Owen Bradley (Thursday 21 October 1915 - Wednesday 7 January 1998), who was a member of The Country Music Hall of Fame, was a strong early musical influence.
Although Owen Bradley had earned his spurs as a pianist, Harold Bradley was at first fascinated by the banjo.
However, Harold Bradley also began learning to play a guitar.
While still a teenager, Harold Bradley landed a much-coveted band spot with legendary country music artist Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984) in 1943. After high school graduation, Harold Bradley joined the United States Navy.
Upon his discharge in 1946, Harold Bradley studied at George Peabody College under the GI Bill. To enhance his income, however, Harold Bradley played on The Grand Ole Opry with Eddy Arnold (Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Thursday 8 May 2008) and Bradley Kincaid (13 July 1895 - Saturday 23 September 1989).
Harold Bradley's first recording session took place on Tuesday 17 December 1946 with Pee Wee King (Wednesday 18 February 1914 - Tuesday 7 March 2000) & The Golden West Cowboys in Chicago.
Two of Pee Wee King's songs, on which Harold Bradley's contribution was notable, were 'Texas Toni Lee' and 'Tennessee Central Number Nine', both of which were included on 'Swing West' (Cactus Records, 1956).
Harold Bradley soon recorded with Red Sovine (Wednesday 17 July 1918 - Friday 4 April 1980).
The first million selling track, on which Harold Bradley played, was Red Foley's 'Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy', which was written by Harry Stone and Jack Stapp (Sunday 8 December 1912 - Saturday 20 December 1980).
Red Foley's 'Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy' was recorded at Castle Records and reached No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1949, and was subsequently included on Red Foley's 'Golden Favourites' (Decca Records, 1961), which was released in February 1961.
Harold Bradley also participated in 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 recording sessions.
Harold Bradley played on the following recordings by Bobby Helms (Tuesday 15 August 1933 - Thursday 19 June 1997):
'Fraulein', which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 - Thursday 26 July 2007) (No.1 for four weeks in 1957)
'Jingle Bell Rock', which was written by Joseph Carleton Beal (1900 - 1967) and James Ross Boothe (1917 - 1976) (No.13, 1957)
Harold Bradley played on the following recordings by Brenda Lee:
'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree', which was written by Johnny Marks (10 November 1909 - Tuesday 3 September 1985) (No.14, 1958)
'I'm Sorry', which was written by Dub Allbritten and Ronnie Self (Tuesday 5 July 1938 - Friday 28 August 1981) (No.1, 1960)
Harold Bradley also played on all of the recording sessions, bar two, for Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963).
Harold Bradley also played on many classic music tracks, both country music and pop music, including the following:
'Only The Lonely', which was written by Roy Orbison (Thursday 23 April 1936 - Tuesday 6 December 1988) and Joe Melson / this track, which was recorded by Roy Orbison (Thursday 23 April 1936 - Tuesday 6 December 1988), reached No.2 on the Billboard Top 100 pop music singles chart in 1960 and was included on Roy Orbison's 'Lonely & Blue' (Monument Records, 1961)
'Crazy' (written by Willie Nelson) / this track, which was recorded by Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963), was included on 'Showcase' (Decca Records, 1961), achieving the following chart positions:
No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1961
No.2 on the Billboard Easy Listening Chart in 1961
No.9 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1961
No.56 on the Australian Kent Music Report Chart in 1961
No.14 on the United Kingdom singles chart in 1990 (re-issue)
No.14 on the Irish singles chart in 1990 (re-issue)
'Crazy' (written by Willie Nelson) was included on Patsy Cline's 'Showcase' (Decca Records, 1961), which was released in November 1961.
Following her death, on Tuesday 5 March 1963, Decca Records re-released 'Showcase' in 1963 and it peaked for the first time on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, reaching No.73. The cover was changed to the more familiar shot of Patsy Cline in a white blouse, red capri pants and gold booties.
In 1973, Patsy Cline's 'Showcase' was re-issued by MCA Records, which had taken over Decca Records that year, and it was later digitally remastered and re-released on CD in 1988, which included the same cover as the 1963 re-release.
Patsy Cline's 'Showcase' was also released internationally; in 1961, the album was released in the United Kingdom by Brunswick Records and in New Zealand by Festival Records.
'Battle of New Orleans', which was written by James Corbitt Morris (known professionally as Jimmy Driftwood / Jimmie Driftwood) (20 June 1907 - Sunday 12 July 1998) / this track, which was recorded by Johnny Horton (Thursday 30 April 1925 - Saturday 5 November 1960), reached No.1 on the Billboard pop music singles chart in 1959 and was included on 'The Spectacular Johnny Horton' (Columbia Records, 1959)
'Big Bad John', which was written by Jimmy Dean (Friday 10 August 1928 - Sunday 13 June 2010) and Roy Acuff (Tuesday 15 September 1903 - Monday 23 November 1992) / this track, which reached No.1 on both the Billboard country music singles chart and the Billboard pop music singles chart in 1961, was included on Jimmy Dean's 'Big Bad John' (Columbia Records, 1961)
'King of The Road', which was written by Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992) / this track, which reached No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1965 and No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1965, was included on Roger Miller's 'The Return of Roger Miller' (Smash Records, 1965)
'Harper Valley PTA' (written by Tom T Hall) / this track, which was recorded by Jeannie C. Riley, was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in September / October 1968, and was included on 'Harper Valley PTA' (Plantation Records, 1968); the track also reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1968 and reportedly sold 1.6 million copies in its first ten days of release
'Stand by Your Man', which was written by Billy Sherrill (Thursday 5 November 1936 - Tuesday 4 August 2015) and Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998) / this track, which was recorded by Tammy Wynette, was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in November / December 1968, and was included on Tammy Wynette's 'Stand by Your Man' (Epic Records, 1969)
'Make The World Go Away', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) / this track, which was recorded by Eddy Arnold (Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Thursday 8 May 2008), was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1965, and No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1965, and was included on Eddy Arnold's 'My World' (RCA Victor Records, 1965)
'Coal Miner's Daughter' (written by Loretta Lynn) / this track, which was recorded by Loretta Lynn, was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in December 1970, and was included on Loretta Lynn's 'Coal Miner's Daughter' (Decca Records, 1970)
'Ebony Eyes' (written by John D. Loudermilk) / this track was recorded by The Everly Brothers - Don Everly & Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014) - and reached No.25 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1961, and No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1961
'Swingin', which was written by John David Anderson and Lionel Alton Delmore (Tuesday 19 March 1940 - Monday 20 May 2002) / this track, which was recorded by John Anderson, was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in March / April 1983, and was included on John Anderson's 'Wild & Blue' (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
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 & The Bandit II', 'Coal Miner's Daughter', 'Six-Pack', 'Missing' and 'Sweet Dreams'.
In 1975, Harold Bradley also appeared briefly in the award-winning movie 'Nashville', which was produced by Paramount Pictures and was directed by Robert Altman (Friday 20 February 1925 - Monday 20 November 2006).
Harold Bradley worked with Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977) between 1962 and 1967, a period during which Elvis enjoyed 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 Bradley 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 whom Harold Bradley has represented or produced personally include Byron Whitman, Slim Whitman (Saturday 20 January 1923 - Wednesday 19 June 2013) and Eddy Arnold (Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Thursday 8 May 2008), along with Sandy Kelly from Ireland.
Harold Bradley can boast a trio of his own albums, all of which were released on Columbia Records; 'The Bossa Nova Goes to Nashville' (Columbia Records, 1963), 'Misty Guitar' (Columbia Records, 1963) and 'Guitar For Lovers Only' (Columbia Records, 1966).
In February 1963, Harold Bradley saw the release of 'Bossa Nova Goes to Nashville' (Columbia Records, 1963), which included the following tracks:
'Born to Lose'
'Your Cheatin' Heart'
'Mary Ann Regrets'
'Release Me (and let me love again)'
'I Can't Stop Loving You'
'Walk on By'
'Little Bitty Tear'
'You are My Sunshine'
In September 1963, Harold Bradley saw the release of 'Misty Guitar' (Columbia Records, 1963), which included the following tracks:
'Stranger on The Shore'
'Third Man Theme'
'Like Someone in Love'
'While We're Young'
'It's All in The Game'
In February 1966, Harold Bradley saw the release of 'Guitar For Lovers Only' (Columbia Records, 1966), which included the following tracks:
'Theme From Picnic'
'Fly Me to The Moon (in other words)'
'Serenade in Blue'
'As Time Goes By'
'Days of Wine & Roses'
Harold Bradley's musical input can be heard on Bear Family Records' ambitious 4-CD box 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).
'The Old Man & His Horn' (written by Dallas Harms), 'Cowboys Don't Get Lucky All The Time' (written by Dallas Harms). 'I Won't Be Sleeping Alone' (written by Charles Stewart and Jerry Abbott) and 'Barnum & Bailey' (written by Jerry Abbott, Charles Stewart and Kenneth Hagler) were included on Gene Watson's 'Beautiful Country' (Capitol Records, 1977), and 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), purchased a farm outside of Nashville in 1961 and converted a barn into a demo studio.
Within a few years, 'Bradley's Barn' became a legendary recording venue within country music circles.
Harold Bradley was also a session musician on the following Gene Watson albums:
Harold Bradley played rhythm guitar and lead guitar on Gene Watson's 'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978).
Harold Bradley played rhythm guitar and lead guitar on Gene Watson's 'Should I Come Home' (Capitol Records, 1979).
Harold Bradley played rhythm guitar and lead guitar on Gene Watson's 'No One Will Ever Know' (Capitol Records, 1980).
Harold Bradley played acoustic guitar and electric guitar on Gene Watson's 'Between This Time & The Next Time' (MCA Records, 1981).
Harold Bradley played guitar and mandolin on Gene Watson's 'Old Loves Never Die' (MCA Records, 1981).
Harold Bradley played rhythm guitar, lead guitar and bass on Gene Watson's 'This Dream's on Me' (MCA Records, 1982).
Harold Bradley is the Nashville native who holds down the Presidency of the Nashville Association of Musicians Local 257 and is the man who may be the most recorded guitarist in history.
On Monday 6 November 2006, at the 40th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, Harold Bradley, along with George Strait and Sonny James (Wednesday 1 May 1929 - Monday 22 February 2016), was inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame.