In the early '60s, folk music was flowing into the mainstream, albeit as a counterculture movement. Like many others of his generation, Bradford became interested in the revival by tuning in to the sounds and songs of the times. His passion for folk music was piqued in junior high schoolwhen he and a group of like-minded friends, including Hal Cannon (profiled below), came upon an anthology of southern hill music produced by the Smithsonian Institution Music Bluegrass Style. "I fell in love with that sound;' says Bradford.
"In the summer, Hal and I [and other friends] spent a lot of time under the apricot tree in our backyard playing music;' explains Bradford. "We'd get together almost daily.” They also periodically ventured into Woolworth's to take advantage of 99-cent sales of "cutout records" (marked with a cut in the sleeve indicating the record was sold at a discount). "The treasure in rifling through those early LPs,” he says, "was to find a Bill Monroe or a Stanley Brothers album. We'd take them home, listen to them, and then try to figure out the chords to the songs and work on vocal harmonies ... That's how we learned.”
By high school, Bradford and Cannon had inaugurated their musical careers as The Stormy Mountain Boys. Bradford also played with The Utah Valley Boys and (briefly) the Salt City Bluegrass Boys in college, until he graduated from the U (in biological science, with a minor in chemistry).
Afterward, Bradford spent a couple of years in the Army, and later received a master's degree in public administration. He eventually worked for the State of Utah's Air Quality Program, where he spent 32 years focusing on environmental programs. He retired as deputy director of the Department of Environmental Quality and now resides in Plain City, Utah, west of Ogden.(From article The Revivalists by Linda Marion)