LifeNotes: Studio Musician Hayward Bishop Jr. Dies

Hayward Bishop Jr.

Studio musician Hayward Sherman Bishop Jr., age 71, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 at the Veterans Hospital in Nashville following a year-long illness.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, he graduated Norview High School in 1964, served in the United States Air Force 1965-68, and married Donna Milloway in 1969 (divorced in 1979). After his honorable discharge in 1968, he began working at American Music Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

After moving to Nashville in 1972, he spent the 1970’s and 1980’s building a studio recording resume as a drummer recording with artists including Perry Como, Carl Perkins, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Julie Andrews, Slim Pickens, Jerry Reed, Wilson Pickett, Dianne Warwick, Chet Atkins, Bobby Blue Bland, Earl Scruggs Review, Ronnie Milsap, Charley Pride, and Bill Medley, with songwriting legends such as Mickey Newberry and Roger Miller, and with groups such as Alabama, The Grass Roots, Nashville Brass, The Box Tops, and members of The Kingston Trio.

He also played drums for TV and movie soundtracks, and commercials. He earned a Grammy in 1983 for the best instrumentation on a record for Alabama’s The Closer You Get album. In the years following, he continued his passion for music by digitally restoring and remastering sound recordings in his studio.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hayward Sherman Bishop Sr. and Evelyn Watson Bishop of Norfolk, Virginia. Hayward leaves his daughter, Amy Bishop Kyker; two grandchildren, Julia Kyker and Lauren Kyker; and sister, Arden Gentle.

A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at Tulip Grove Baptist Church, located at 563 Shute Lane, Old Hickory, Tennessee, with Pastor Gerald Bontrager officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. until the time of service at the church.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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