Buddy Harman, whose percussion work on more than 18,000 recordings established him as country music's best-known and most-recorded drummer, died Thursday of congestive heart failure. He was 79.

The native Nashvillian, born Murrey Mizell Harman Jr., is memorialized by his distinctive percussion work on such classics as Roy Orbison's 'Pretty Woman,' Patsy Cline's 'Crazy,' Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire,' Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man,' Loretta Lynn's 'Coal Miner's Daughter' and Elvis Presley's 'Little Sister.' Harman was also the first staff drummer on the Grand Ole Opry.