OBITUARY: Michael Ray Radford


Michael Ray Radford, 80 of Hendersonville, passed Sunday, December 10th, 2023 at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage.

Mr. Radford was born May 9, 1943 to the late Sylvester Radford and the late Ruby Price Radford in St. Louis, Missouri.

Along with his parents, Mr. Radford was preceded in death by his brother, Marion Radford; sister, Faye Radford and partner, Theresa Street.

Mr. Radford is survived by his daughter, Erin Radford of Bowling Green, KY.; son, Matt Radford (Kim) of Hendersonville; grandchildren, Autumn Radford, Brock Radford; step-daughter, Cherela Day (Brian) of Murfreesboro; step-grandchildren, Jonathan Day (Chelsea) of Murfreesboro & Justin Day (Brittany) of Murfreesboro; step-great-grandchildren, Kinley and Evelyn Day of Murfreesboro; daughter, Valerie Radford Voney of Imperial, Missouri.

Michael was a man beloved by many and lived a full and joyful life. He was a caring father, grandfather, son, and life partner. He enjoyed time with his family and helping others, loved to be on the lake either fishing or relaxing, liked classic old cars and working with his hands, and was always tinkering with the challenges of entrepreneurship.

But Michael was perhaps best remembered as a music man. He grew up in and around St. Louis, Missouri, and at the early age of five, he took up playing rhythm on the mandolin in church. He got his first guitar for his tenth birthday, and as they say, the rest is history. From there his music journey took him from playing on Sundays at church, to big venues around the city, and finally Nashville, where he learned his art of producing music.

He eventually was able to start his own record label, American Music Incorporated (A.M.I.), which went on to have over 150 National chart records, enjoying a great deal of success with hits by several popular country artists of the early 1980s. He was most proud of the label for winning “Best New Country Label” by Billboard Magazine in 1982.

After retiring from the record industry in 2005, he continued to play and record music with Theresa Street, his life partner for more than thirty years. They played venues and festivals all over the southeast, and were a house band on the weekends for The Long Hollow Jamboree in Goodlettsville, Tennessee for several years.

Michael was always there for folks when they needed him with a helping hand, caring smile, and quick wit. He will be greatly missed.

Funeral service for Mr. Radford will be on Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 1 p.m. at Wilkinson Wiseman Funeral Home with Doug Tolley officiating, with visitation on Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. funeral time at Wilkinson & Wiseman Funeral Home.

Following the service, interment will be in Fairfield Cemetery.


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