As the Season 4 premiere of “Yellowstone” wrapped up, Paramount aired a tribute to two men who were involved in the making of “Yellowstone” but have since passed away.
One was Allan Robert Murray. As a sound editor on “Yellowstone,” he contributed his extensive Hollywood experience to making the show as effective and hard-hitting as possible. Murray died this past February. He was 66.
The other was Milt Bradford. The Texas horse auctioneer crossed paths with series co-creator Taylor Sheridan. And he wound up helping to make the Dutton Ranch as authentic as it is today. He died on May 1 at age 71, per Matt Carter.
Hit Series Remembers Accomplished Sound Man
Murray got his start in Hollywood at Paramount Studios. He apprenticed under Howard Beals, Cecil B. DeMille’s personal sound editor, according to IMDb. From the mid-1970s until this year, he blazed a trail that, aside from “Yellowstone,” was littered with hit feature films. Among them were “Grease,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Million Dollar Baby” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.”
Murray earned six Academy Award nominations, three Bafta nominations and a 2007 Oscar for his sound editing on “Letters from Iwo Jima.” By the time of his death, he had been the supervising sound editor for Clint Eastwood for over 30 years.
In a 2009 interview, Murray told Variety about the delicate balance he had to strike as sound editor. He favored a bold approach. That meant pushing the envelope a little to drive home dramatic themes.
“You don’t want to overpower the film, but you want to draw the audience in,” he said. “There are certain moments where you feel like you want to make a point and you’ve definitely got lines to work in, but I think you can cross them a little.”
Horse Auctioneer Helped Make ‘Yellowstone’ the Show It Is Today
Meanwhile, Milt Bradford made a name for himself in the world of horse auctions and rodeos. He led the cutting horse industry through a period in which cutting became the world’s most lucrative Western performance horse sport, according to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).
Raised on his grandpa’s East Texas dairy farm, Bradford spent his life surrounded by livestock and once said he “never wanted to do anything unless it had something to do with horses or cows.” He founded Milt Bradford Productions, which spearheaded sales for the NCHA, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the American Paint Horse Association, around 1990.
In 2000, Bradford co-founded Western Bloodstock, which produced major sales, including the National Cutting Horse Association Sales in Forth Worth, Texas. He and his partner sold the company in 2013, when he was ready to retire.
“Milt always sent me encouraging texts before and after each sale and supported me the entire time,” current Western Bloodstock owner Jeremy Barwick told the NCHA. “He will be terribly missed by so many.”
Among those many is “Yellowstone” co-creator Sheridan, whose portrait of the cowboy life surely owes something to Bradford. As the show made clear with the Season 4 premiere, he will not be forgotten.
Listen to the official Outsider “Yellowstone” podcast here: