Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist Harold Bradley dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist Harold Bradley, who played on hundreds of hit country records including "Crazy," ''King of the Road" and "Crying" and helped create "The Nashville Sound" with his brother Owen, has died at the age of 93.

His daughter Beverly Bradley said he died Thursday morning in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was born.

The Bradley brothers had a huge impact on Nashville during the 1950s and beyond, with Harold serving as a member of the "A Team" of session musicians and Owen leading Decca Records.

Harold was born in 1926 and switched from banjo to guitar at the urging of his brother. He was a teenager when he started playing professionally, touring with Ernest Tubb and making his debut on the "Grand Ole Opry."

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy and after his discharge, he came back to Nashville to become an in-demand session player. He played on songs for Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, the Everly Brothers, Burl Ives, Red Foley, Anita Bryant and Patsy Cline.

Many consider him to be one of the most recorded musicians ever, appearing on multiple Elvis Presley records. Some of the most well-known hits he played on include "Make The World Go Away," by Arnold, "Harper Valley P.T.A." by Jeannie C. Riley, "Stand By Your Man," by Tammy Wynette, and "Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton.

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Guitarist Harold Bradley through the years
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Guitarist Harold Bradley through the years
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1962: Nashville recording session, Bradley Studio,, early 1960s. L-R: Hank Garland, Mercury Records executive Shelby Singleton, unidentified man (seated), unidentified man (standing), guitarist Harold Bradley (seated), Margie Singleton, guitarist Jerry Kennedy, unidentified man (seated). Unidentified persons in background. (Photo by Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1962: Harold Bradley (front, seated) at a Nashville recording session, at Bradley Studio,, late 1950s or early 1960s. Seated man in jacket and tie may be Shelby Singleton, but no confirmed. Man standing behind Harold Bradley wearing sport coat may be Hank Garland, but not confirmed. (Photo by Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Getty Images)
FILE - In this May 6, 2007 file photo, Guitar player Harold Bradley performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. Bradley, who played on hundreds of hit country records and along with his brother, famed producer Owen Bradley, helped craft "The Nashville Sound," has died. He was 93. His daughter Beverly Bradley said he died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Sonny James, left, George Strait, center, and Harold Bradley, right, display their Country Music Hall of Fame medallions following the presentation ceremony on Sunday, May 6, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn. The ceremony honors the most recent inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Eleanor and Harold Bradley during The 40th Annual CMA Awards - Arrivals at Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Peggy Lynn, musician Harold Bradley, and Patsy Lynn arrive at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre on January 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.. (Photo by Charley Gallay/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: Musician Harold Bradley receives the Trustees Award at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre on January 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/WireImage)
Brenda Lee presents the Medallion to Session Guitarist legend Harold Bradley during the 2007 Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony. (Photo by Ed Rode/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 25: Harold Bradley attends The Country Music Hall of Fame 2015 Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMHOF)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 22: HOF members Harold Bradley and Fred Foster attend the Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum Hosts Medallion Ceremony To Celebrate 2017 Hall Of Fame Inductees Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed And Don Schlitz at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 22, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)
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Bradley also played on Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," and "I'm Sorry," and Lee's first records were with Owen Bradley on Decca Records.

"When I was 10 years old, the Bradleys welcomed me into their family," Lee said in a statement. "Harold Bradley is a big part of all of my memories. Harold is a big part of who I am today. He molded me from a little girl into one of his girls, along with Tammy, Patsy and Loretta. I'll miss him dearly."

In the 1950s, the Bradley brothers started a recording studio on what is now Music Row, just the second studio to locate there. There was a surplus Army Quonset hut that they turned into the now-historic studio where they also filmed TV performances.

Harold Bradley was also the longtime president of the Nashville's Local 257 of the American Federation of Musicians. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also the first president of the Nashville chapter for the Recording Academy.

His daughter said those wishing to pay tribute can donate to the Harold Bradley scholarship fund at Belmont University.

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