Popular Nashville session drummer

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Buddy Harman, 79, one of Nashville's most-recorded drummers, died Thursday at his home there. He suffered from congestive heart failure.

Harman played on more than 18,000 recordings, including Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" and Elvis Presley's "Little Sister."

"He's Nashville's all-around drummer, and he's the best drummer I ever worked with," Harold Bradley, who played on many records with Harman, said Saturday in the Nashville Tennessean.

When Harman started drumming in Nashville in the early 1950s, the instrument was not commonly used in country music. Later that decade, he became an early staff drummer for the Grand Ole Opry.

He was born Murrey Mizell Harman Jr. on Dec. 23, 1928, in Nashville to two musicians; his mother was a drummer.

He adopted "Buddy" as his nickname to honor jazz drummer Buddy Rich.

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