Country Music Hall of Famer Jerry Bradley Dead at 83
Music executive Jerry Bradley has died. The 2019 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee played an integral role in the success of legends like Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney and more.
Music Row was first to report the news of Bradley's death at the age of 83.
A note from the Country Music Hall of Fame recalls his career journey and how the Wanted! The Outlaws album (featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser) became country music's first Platinum-certifed album.
- Bradley is the son of Hall of Fame producer Owen Bradley, and nephew of Hall of Fame guitarist Harold Bradley.
- He became the head of RCA Records in Nashville in 1973 and remained there until 1982.
- A cause of death was not revealed, but Bradley died at his home in Mount Juliet, Tenn., on Monday (July 17).
Bradley — a Nashville native and U.S. Army veteran — first worked for his family's music publishing company, but in 1970 he joined Chet Atkins at RCA Records. He'd quickly work his way up and was in position to take over the lead when Atkins was forced to cut back for health reasons.
The Wanted! The Outlaws album came in 1976, and soon after, RCA became the dominant record label, as Bradley had signed and creatively guided the music of Alabama, Milsap, Charley Pride and many more. Later, while with Opryland Music Group, Bradley would sign Chesney to a publishing deal — something the singer would later say was essential to his career.
Bradley retired in from the music industry in 2003.
Personally, Jerry and Connie Bradley were married for 43 years, until her 2021 death. He is survived by two children from a previous marriage (Leigh Jankiv and Clay Bradley), five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Music Health Alliance.