Remembering ‘A-Team’ Guitarist And Music Row Pioneer Harold Bradley | Nashville Public Radio

Remembering ‘A-Team’ Guitarist And Music Row Pioneer Harold Bradley

Jan 31, 2019

A pioneering guitarist who played on hundreds of hits and helped lay the foundation for Nashville’s music business has died.

Harold Bradley passed away in his sleep Thursday morning in Nashville at the age of 93.

Bradley made three records of his own, including “Bossa Nova Goes To Nashville” in 1963, but he was best known for being in the background.

Bradley was a founding member of Nashville’s “A-Team,” the group of session players behind hundreds of artists. In a 2013 NPR interview, Bradley compared their peak period in the 1950s and '60s to a string of parties.

“A Brenda Lee party in the morning, then a Ray Stevens party in the afternoon. A Bill Monroe party and then end up with Henry Mancini and Patsy Cline,” he said. “I realized, after a while, that it wasn't my talent: It was the talent of the stars.”

In addition to all his session work, Harold Bradley and his late brother Owen opened the very first recording studio on Music Row. Later in life, he led the Nashville chapter of the Musicians Union for more than two decades.