Daily photos by Jonathan Palmer|
Country singer Chad Bradford (pointing) makes a music video of his song “He Still Draws Them Together” at Hatton Elementary School, where he attended school. At left, 10-year-old Bailey Reeves of Decatur played the role of a child whose parents are getting divorced, based on the song’s lyrics. Hatton Elementary will receive $2 from the sale of each video.
Filming Old School
Country singer returns to Hatton Elementary to shoot music video, using students, local people as stars
By Danielle Komis Palmer
Hatton country music singer Chad Bradford is poised to make it big.
The Hatton rising artist recorded his first music video last week at Hatton Elementary School for his latest single, “He Still Draws Them Together.” The song is on his recently released self-titled debut album. Promoters expect the single to break the Top 20 on the country music charts.
Bradford chose to shoot the video at Hatton Elementary because he went to school there as a boy and liked the idea of setting the video there. The song is about a young boy whose parents are getting divorced.
“It’s a small school and it’s a great atmosphere there,” he said. “The kids were so excited. They were just full of curiosity, making faces here and there.”
Many of the children, including Bradford’s 8-year-old daughter, were extras in the scenes. Bailey Reeves, 10, of Decatur played the main role of the child whose parents are getting divorced.
Reeves — who once was almost the lead part in a Welch’s grape juice commercial — learned about the role through a family friend and was happy to do it.
“(Bailey) enjoyed it,” said Reeves’ mother, Tina Reeves. “He felt like a star. He likes to do stuff like that. We’re hoping it’s going to be a big hit.”
Joe Danna, owner of JD Jam Records in Florida that produced the video, said he thinks the video will be popular.
“(The video) shows how kids are more affected (by divorce) than people think,” he said. “The little boy just did a tremendous job. I think it’ll get people to thinking.”
Joe Danna, owner of JD Jam Records in Florida, left, films a scene from country singer Chad Bradford’s music video.
In the video, Dominique
Gillespie of Moulton played Reeves’ mother. She was an extra in the 2003 film “Big Fish” and is a regular model for Decatur’s Styles & Statements benefit fashion show each year. Jeremy Kirby of Moulton, Bradford’s best friend since kindergarten, played the father.
Hatton Elementary will receive $2 from the sale of each video and Bradford will return Dec. 18 for a free concert at the school.
Bradford, who is divorced, immediately liked “He Still Draws them Together” when he first heard it.
“I think a lot of people, especially in this day and age, can relate to it,” he said. “I’ve had a really good response from people who’ve listened to it off of MySpace. They say it hit home.”
The song just might have what it takes to shoot up the charts — more so than the first single he released a few months ago called “Cornbread Fed.”
“I think this one is a Top 10 hit,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see and get our fingers crossed.”
The song will likely play on radio stations soon, because his record label released the single last week, he said.
The music video for “He Still Draws Them Together” will appear on Country Music Television and Great American Country sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Right now, the video footage is being edited from 10 hours of tape to four minutes.
Bradford will also appear on WE TV’s “Girl Meets Cowboy” on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. The episode features Bradford singing “Cornbread Fed.”
‘Giving it one shot’
The 34-year-old musician has pursued his music dreams full time for more than five years. Last year, Bradford regularly played at Frontier Entertainment in Decatur and at PJ’s nightclub in Muscle Shoals.
The musician knew he wanted to be a singer at a young age and began performing in church when he was 10. He only strayed from music when he went to college in Birmingham for a degree in medical technology. He planned to go to medical school, but was not accepted to the schools where he applied. Around that time, his music career started to take off.
“Things started happening for me in the music thing,” he said. “So I said ‘Shoot, I’m going to give this one shot.’ ”
Bradford’s debut CD features all country songs, half of which he wrote. He signed with JD Jam Records in 2006 and began touring and playing midsize and large clubs across the country this year.
On tour, Bradford got the chance to see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and roosters wandering the streets in Key West. Next year, he plans to tour again and hopes to open for bigger acts and play at music festivals — and purchase a tour bus to replace his van.
“I’m looking hopefully to bigger and better things in the future,” he said. “But that’s the thing about the music business, you just never know.”
But JD Jam Records owner Joe Danna said he is optimistic about Bradford’s future. Bradford is one of the hardest-working musicians in the business, and one of the most talented, he said.
What makes Bradford stand out from today’s crowded field of country music singers is the emotion he puts into his songs, Danna said.
“A lot of singers, you’re not sure if they’re feeling the song but he feels everything he sings,” he said. “His stage performance is just perfect ... as Simon Cowell would say, he has the ‘it’ factor.”
On the Net
Visit www.chadbradford.com for more information on the rising country music artist and his debut CD “Chad Bradford.”
Watch for Chad Bradford on WE TV’s “Girl Meets Cowboy” on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m.
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