Pineville’s Bradley now international bluegrass star

Published 1:49 am Monday, October 15, 2018

Dale Ann Bradley has traveled from her hometown of Pineville to the pinnacle of success. She is today recognized as an international star in the world of bluegrass music.

Tours have taken her to Japan, Ireland, and Canada, and all over the United States. From early days at Renfro Valley in her beloved Kentucky to frequent guest appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, “Dale Ann has garnered international success doing the kind of music she loves” says Melanie Wilson of Wilson Pickens Promotions, the agency that currently supports her recordings and public appearances.

Her remarkable journey included receiving her first guitar when she was fourteen, singing in church where her father was pastor, being encouraged by her Bell County High School band director, appearing at Pine Mountain State Park with the group, Backporch Grass, and a lengthy Renfro Valley experience that provided the foundation she needed for today’s stardom.

Recognized five times as Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Dale Ann was nominated for the tenth time this year for that honor. She also was nominated for the Recorded Event of the Year for her duet with Grand Ole Opry star Vince Gill. And she and her all-girl group “Sister Sadie” received a nomination in the

“Emerging Artists of the Year” category.

She and Vince Gill are not only friends but are also longtime admirers of Carter and Ralph Stanley. The Stanley Brothers were pioneers in country and bluegrass music. So, it was not a surprise that a Carter Stanley song was chosen for their duet. Recorded by the Stanley Brothers in mid-20 th century, the song “I Think I’ll Go Away” became a major hit for Dale Ann and Vince, soaring to the top of the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Charts.

Beyond her continuing success as a phenomenal bluegrass artist, a major event this year for Dale Ann was being inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. As one of the 2018 class of inductees, Dale Ann said, “This was an honor that brought me smiles and tears of gratitude. I love my home state and all of her God-gifted artists. I feel blessed to have been raised in these mountains, hollers.”

The Hall of Fame induction certified Dale Ann’s link not only to bluegrass music but also her devotion to the Blue Grass State which she loves and where she lives. The songs she writes and those she records contain her conviction that “Bluegrass can go anywhere, do anything, rip your heart out, and make you laugh!” And on that note, she’s taken bluegrass across the United States and to audiences around the world.

In a second column in the Daily News, Dale Ann Bradley comments on her early days on Williams Branch in Bell County and how those experiences helped shape her life and solidify her love of the “mountains and hollers” that she so often recalls in her songs.

William H. Baker, native of Claiborne County and former resident of Middlesboro may be contacted at wbaker@limestone.edu