A native Nashvillian born as Murrey Mizell Harman Jr., Buddy Harman played drums on more than 18,000 recordings, including Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman, Patsy Cline's Crazy, Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man, Ray Price's Crazy Arms and Elvis Presley's Little Sister. Buddy was the first staff drummer on the Grand Ole Opry and the first prominent drummer in country music history, and his work helped secure country's place as a viable, popular and modern art form.
Buddy Harman, one of Nashville's outstanding session drummers, has played his solid, driving beat on over 18,000 recording sessions in the last 40 years.
Harman, along with only a handful of top musicians, is recognized by the Hall of Fame for creating the "Nashville Sound." This unique musical sound helped Nashville to become known as one of the top music meccas in the world.
Besides being acknowledged by the country music community, Buddy Harman is recognized for contributing to the rock-and-roll era with his performance on many recordings including the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown" and being a mainstay on Elvis Presley's soundtrack recordings both in Nashville and Los Angeles. He also played on many recordings by Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Buddy Harman has played drums on countless records with a variety of recording artists that reads like a page out of "Who's Who." These artists include: Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Roy Orbison, Connie Francis, Chet Atkins, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Lynn Anderson, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Perry Como, Merle Haggard, Charlie Rich, Roger Miller, Jimmy Dean, Simon & Garfunkel, Ann Margret, Nancy Sinatra, O.C. Smith, George Burns, Reba McEntire and many others.
Besides being the first staff drummer on the Grand Old Opry, some of Harman's accolades include: "Drummer of the Year" in 1981 from the Academy of Country Music, "Super Picker" award for drums on the most #1 recordings from the Nashville NARAS chapter in 1975 and 1976, and the Nashville Super Picker nomination for "Best Country Instrumental Performance" in 1979 for the Live From Austin City Limits album.
"One of the highlights of my career was having the privilege of performing for four of our nation's presidents," Harman says. These presidents were John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Buddy Harman, an accomplished musician, exemplifies the qualities of a true professional in the recording business.
Harman has played on some of the biggest hits of Opry stars: Charlie Walker, Billy Walker, Jeannie Seeley, Hank Snow, Jim & Jesse, Roy Acuff, Roy Clark, Justin Tubb, Roy Drusky, The Carlisles, Mac Wiseman, Skeeter Davis, Vic Willis Trio, Wilburn Brothers, Jimmy Dickens, Osborne Brothers, Louvin Brothers, Jim Ed Brown, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Ray Pillow, Jimmy C. Newman, Jack Greene, Del Reeves, Johnny Russell, Stonewall Jackson, Porter Wagoner and Bill Anderson. He has played on numerous jingles, TV and radio shows and movie soundtracks.
Harman has played on several European Tours with various artists including The Nashville Superpicker Band and Jerry Lee Lewis.
As of May 1991, Harman was again the staff drummer at the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee.
He died August 21, 2008 at age 79 after suffering from congestive heart failure.