JEFFERSON - Bradley “Slim” Williamson, 86, of the Arcade Community, entered into rest Wednesday, December 25, 2013.
He was born in Jefferson, the son of the late George Owen and Ruby Mae Anglin Williamson. Slim started his career in radio and the country music industry as a popular Georgia radio disk jockey in the 1950s and 1960s at WIMO in Winder, where he was known as “Slim from Horse Creek” and as a part time performer in “Slim and the Georgia Peach Boys.” Mr. Williamson built and owned radio stations in Cleveland, Louisville, Washington and Jackson, Georgia, as well as in South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. He later developed one of Country music’s first and most successful major independent record labels, CHART RECORDS. The label eventually obtained an international distribution deal with RCA Records. Slim discovered numerous talented young recording artists, including Lynn Anderson, Junior Samples, and Ronnie McDowell. He produced many top ten records in the 1960s and 1970s, according to Billboard and Cashbox Magazine’s country music charts. Slim went on to develop music-publishing companies, including Yonah Music (named after Yonah Mountain in North Georgia) which was sold to Acuff-Rose Publishing Company. Slim’s music publishing companies earned numerous BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC publishing awards. He published such songs as “Strangers” written by Liz Anderson and recorded by Merle Haggard, who later named his band “The Strangers”.
After retirement, Slim and Merle, his loving wife of 65 years, returned to the Arcade Community in Jackson County, where he was born and raised. He became a successful real estate developer in the Jefferson area and was an avid gardener who enjoyed operating a nursery for many years. Slim and Merle were known for their lavish Christmas light display that covered five acres of land at their home in Arcade. The display brought viewers from miles away and was a constant reminder of the true reason for the holiday. Slim found joy in the happiness of others and in spending time with his family and friends. He and Merle enjoyed a long and happy life together. Indeed a life well lived.
Survivors include his wife, Merlene Edins Williamson, Jefferson; son and daughter-in-law, Cliff and Cindy Williamson, Nashville, Tenn.; daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Bob Rice, Madison; son and daughter-in-law, Marty and Cathie Williamson, Athens; grandchildren, Cortney Tidwell, Jennifer Randolph, Steven Sanders, Samantha Nelms, Velvet Gregory, and Amber Kopp; and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 28, at 2 p.m., at the chapel of Evans Funeral Home with the Rev. Charles Dennis officiating. The burial will follow in the Williamson Family Cemetery with Steven Sanders, Ricky Conner, Randy Moore, Bob Rice, Drew Bray, and Colby Kopp honored as pallbearers. The visitation will be held on Friday, December 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com
To learn more about Mr. Williamson’s career in the music industry, please visit www.chartrecords.net.
Evans Funeral Homer, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.