Buddy Harman

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One of the most-recorded Nashville session drummers of all time.
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Nashville-born session drummer Buddy Harman has been around country music so long that he actually pre-dates the time when drums were even used on country records. In fact, it was Harman who formed the foundation from which subsequent Nashville drummers built upon. The longtime studio ace is recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame as being among the small handful of musicians who pioneered the "Nashville Sound."

Following in his mother's footsteps, Harman took up the drums before he was in his teens and, after a stint in the military, studied percussion in Chicago under Roy Knapp. Upon his return to Nashville, he learned that, contrary to protocol before his departure, artists were now asking for drums on their records. Splitting his time between session work and drumming in a strip joint, Harman played on early recordings by Patsy Cline (including "Crazy" and "Walking After Midnight") and Marty Robbins. Whereas Harman had first taken to using only a snare drum and brushes, by the early '60s he was utilizing a full kit for artists such as the Everly Brothers and Elvis.

Because he was there from the beginning, and in many aspects actually pioneered country drumming within a studio context, Harman has played on several legendary sessions: Roger Miller's "King of the Road," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man," and Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" being just a small list. In 1991, Harman returned to the stool of house drummer at the Grand Ole Opry, a position he originated in 1959. A walking history book of the evolution of Nashville and country music, Harman has played on over 18,000 sessions, making him arguably the most recorded drummer ever.