MADISON, Tenn. – You may have once known him as Arthur Guilbault, but to his friends and fans out in Nashville, he’s Keith Bradford, a longtime name in the country music scene, with a 60 year career as a singer, songwriter, producer, radio host and more.
The Tennessee state legislature recently recognized that career, honoring Bradford with a proclamation documenting decades of influence in the genre, beginning several years after his graduation from Burrillville High School with the Class of 1966.
“It is fitting that we should recognize those gifted artists who have experienced great success in the world of country music,” notes the Senate proclamation presented to Bradford on Wednesday, June 29.
Bradford got his start in Nashville as a cast member of the Country USA show at Opryland theme park, where he performed from 1977 through 1980.
When the show paid tribute to legends in country music, “Mr. Bradford delivered stunning portrayals of such luminaries as A.P. Carter, Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Red Foley and Merle Haggard,” the citation, signed by three senators including Randy McNally, speaker of the Tennessee state Senate, notes.
Bradford was next selected to become leader of the Tennessee Mountain Boys , where he traveled and backed up country music legend Kitty Wells, played bass, and served as MC of the Kitty Wells Family Show for more than 16 years.
He is also the owner and operator of KMA Records in Nashville, and has written more than 500 songs, producing many for other country artists. Two of Bradford’s EPs, Lonely People and Lonely Comin’ Down, placed on the Billboard Charts, and his company was twice nominated for two Grammy Awards.
An honorary inductee to the Rhode Island Country Music Hall of Fame and an inductee into the Independent Superstars “Songwriters” Hall of Fame in South Africa, Bradford’s other awards and honors have included the titles Independent Record Producer of the Year; T.V. Producer of the Year on an independent scale; Record Label of the Year; and Independent Internet Radio Station of the Year.
A Vietnam veteran, Bradford has also been known for his work supporting others who have served, whether through fundraisers and emceeing events, or shining light on the plights of fellow veterans in need.
Currently, Bradford hosts Ya Gotta Love It a country music show on NERN based in Nashville.
Bradford grew up on Grove Street in Pascoag, and notes he was honored by the recognition, documenting a six-decade career.
“I just thought that for a kid from Pascoag, RI with only a high school education, that this was quite an accomplishment,” he told NRI NOW.
Members of the Tennessee state Senate seem to agree, pointing in the proclamation to a long and impressive career.
“Throughout his estimable career, Keith Bradford has demonstrated the utmost professionalism, ability and integrity, winning the respect of his peers in the country music industry and thrilling countless fans around the world.”