Ya Gotta Luv It

The Nicest Man in Country Music


When I travelled the world over as a member of the Kitty Wells / Johnnie Wright / Bobby Wright family road show, I met many celebrities.  A lot of times we worked what they called back then, “Package Shows,” and we travelled in a caravan of busses, vans, trucks, and automobiles from one gig to another. 


On one occasion I awoke to the smell of bacon cooking and fresh coffee.  Although it was only 6:00 AM and almost everyone else was sound asleep, I had to walk down to the coffee shop and get some breakfast.  There were very few people in the restaurant and I had my choice of where to sit.  Not long after sitting down, Grand Ole Opry member George Hamilton IV walked in and asked me if it was alright that he join me.  Of course I said it was my pleasure. 


He immediately asked me how long I had been with Kitty and Johnnie and where I was from and if I was married and how many kids I had and a whole lot more questions.  At first I thought he was just being friendly and after all his conversation was a lot better than talking about the weather.  When he found out I was married to a Filipino that I met during the Viet Nam war, his eyes lit up with wonder.  He said he had not been to the Philippines yet and was looking forward to a booking over there some day. 


Now bear in mind, I was only a musician traveling with the show and he was a Grammy Winning Country Music star.  He didn’t have to even sit with me let alone talk to me like he had known me for 20 years.  I went on to tell him all he wanted to know about the Philippines and soon all the other singers, and musicians on the show started coming into the café.  I told him I guess I better head back to the room and get cleaned up for sound check and he agreed that he should do the same and that he should give up his seat so someone else could have breakfast. 


George is no longer with us but I still say to everyone he was the nicest man I ever met in Country Music.


The Music Business – Ya Gotta Luv It

Keith Bradford

Nashville Country Music Magazine ©