Country Music Hall Of Famer & Former RCA Records Executive, Jerry Bradley, Dead At 83

Jerry bradley
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Jerry Bradley, the 2019 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, passed at 83.

As a pioneer in the Nashville music business scene and former Head of RCA Records, Jerry Bradley has left his lasting mark on Music City.

Born in 1940, Bradley was a family member of the musical dynasty known as “The First Family of Music Row.” The Bradleys are Music City royalty with multiple family members also found in the Hall of Fame, along with his sister, who served as a longstanding BMI executive.

After serving in the army, Jerry Bradley got his foot in the family business; he quickly made a name for himself in the music industry. By 1973, he was Head of RCA Nashville.

Throughout his time in this role, Bradley brought RCA success when they represented stars like Alabama, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, and many others.

Due to the success of these artists, the label received “Label of the Year” from Billboard for ten consecutive years.

“Jerry Bradley grew up in Nashville’s music business, and then he helped shape it. 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, and the Outlaw movement and earned country’s first platinum sales certification.

Thanks to Jerry, country music gained a newfound respect and commercial clout.”

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame, said regarding the limelight Bradley brought onto the industry.

There are many faces behind those who take the stage that make country music what it is today, and Jerry Bradley was a fundamental person in the behind-the-scenes work.

Bradley had the fire in his soul to walk into companies and elevate them to the next level.

There is no doubt the history of Jerry Bradley will always be remembered. Our thoughts go out to his family during this time.

Bradley’s induction ceremony to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Jerry Bradley sharing his gratitude for being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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A beer bottle on a dock