ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Jerry Bradley, Country Music Executive From ‘First Family Of Music Row,’ Dies At 83

Bradley was part of a famous country dynasty, the son of producer and studio owner Owen and nephew of in-demand musician Harold.

Published on

Jerry Bradley - Photo: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Jerry Bradley - Photo: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Jerry Bradley, a linchpin of the country music scene in Nashville who had key roles at RCA Records and the CMA, then as head of Opryland Music Group until his 2003 retirement, has died at the age of 83.

Bradley was part of a famous country dynasty, as son of Owen Bradley, Decca Records boss, producer and owner of Bradley’s Barn studio, where so many famous records were made by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Webb Pierce, and artists from beyond country such as Joan Baez and Dinah Shore. After the induction of Owen into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974 and Owen’s musician brother Harold in 2006, Jerry became the third member of the family to be inducted in 2019.

“Jerry Bradley grew up in Nashville’s music business, and then he helped shape it,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “He learned from the best: his father, Owen Bradley, and his first RCA Records boss, Chet Atkins. Once Jerry took the reins at RCA, he innovated – wresting marketing budgets and album cover control from New York; expanding country’s reach to entice pop and rock fans; and nurturing dynamic artists like Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Milsap, Dolly Parton and Charley Pride, enabling their Hall of Fame careers.

“The album compilation Wanted! The Outlaws epitomizes his genius: entirely conceived by Bradley, it supercharged Waylon, Willie [Nelson], and the Outlaw movement and earned country’s first platinum sales certification. Thanks to Jerry, country music gained newfound respect and commercial clout.”

Bradley was also influential in Elvis Presley’s return to the country audience with such 1970s hits as “Moody Blue,” “Way Down,” and his posthumous remix of “Guitar Man.” He was part of the management of Nashville’s famous RCA Studio B among many other distinctions in his long career.

Artist and comedian Ray Stevens posted: “Jerry Bradley was a good friend for many years and a great behind-the-scenes-force in the Nashville Music Industry. We’ll miss you Jerry!” The ACM Awards social media feed observed: “We are mourning the loss of music industry icon and @countrymusichof member Jerry Bradley. Part of ‘the first family of Music Row,’ Bradley helped merge Nashville’s commercial goals with the audience’s evolving taste as a label president & publishing exec.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter (Limited-Edition Smoke Color LP)
ORDER NOW
Johnny Cash - Songwriter CD
Johnny Cash
Songwriter CD
ORDER NOW
Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter LP
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP+7
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping (Limited 2LP + 7″)
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2CD
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2LP
ORDER NOW
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top