The year was 2011. The song was “Mr. Bartender”. The artist was Bradley Gaskin. It was a great song. He was a great artist. Unfortunately for all of Bradley’s fans, that awesome song turned into a ‘one and done’, less-than-chart topper, for the Duck Springs, Ala. native. “Mr. Bartender” only made it to the No. 32 spot on the nation’s Top 40 Country Music Chart. It is one of those songs that still has me shaking my head to thoughts of “I just don’t get it”. To me, that had all the makings of a No. 1 single. It was real country music. And, I had hoped this was an indication that the sound that has been missing from our radio these days was making a comeback. For Bradley, it wasn’t to be.
When John Rich heard the song, he invited Bradley to participate in a talent competition. Bradley went on the show, competed, and ended up winning. After that, Jon took him to Columbia Nashville. they singed him to a record deal. Bradley was on his way. Bradley didn’t just wake up one day and decide he was going to love traditional country music. It was what he grew up on. His family owned a drywall company, and while Bradley worked with them he would spend his lunch breaks writing song lyrics. He had made several trips to Nashville, hoping to open some doors with his music, but until Mr. Bartender, that didn’t happen.
We were fortunate to have Bradley at our Appalachian Fair in Gray., Tenn., back in Aug. 2011. He was still relatively new to country music. His audience wasn’t as large as anyone would have liked it to be. But, Bradley didn’t seem to mind that. He put on a wonderful show for those fans. He was the kind of artist who would look out on an audience of l,500, and give them just as great a show as he would give to an audience of 15,000.
Bradley came out before the show to do an on-air interview with our local radio station, WXBQ. Marc Tragler is always on hand that week in August to do his entire radio show from the fair grounds. When Bradley came out for his interview, he didn’t shy away from fans. Those of us who were near the broadcast area at the Main Stage were encouraged to take photos, and watch the interview take place. When he was done, he stayed out at the WXBQ tent with the fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs. He was really appreciative of the fact that the fans were there to see him. He even made a comment to one fan that we were the reason he was there. I’m sorry this one got lost somewhere in the shuffle of record deals and industry business in the big city.
If you don’t remember Bradley, I think you’ll remember that great song. From 2011, It’s Mr. Bartender.
We couldn’t find much information about what Bradley is doing these days. His official web site says it is ‘Currently Under Maintenance”, and instructs us to go o the official Facebook page for more info. When we went there, we were greeted with a message that said, “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now”. Bradley does still have his Twitter account, so a good place to start might be to head over to Twitter and follow him @BradleyGaskin.
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Back with more soon!