Tennessean: 5 highlights from the Boudleaux and Felice Bryant celebration in Nashville

, The TennesseanPublished 11:37 p.m. CT Feb. 13, 2020 | Updated 7:08 a.m. CT Feb. 14, 2020

The season of love needs a soundtrack. And Nashville doesn’t need to listen any further than historic songwriting couple Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.

Thursday at the Schermerhorn Center, acclaimed performers in soul, country and Americana teamed with the Nashville Symphony for a one-night celebration of Music City’s first songwriting duo.

A 21st century tribute to the Bryant legacy — including Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love,” rock giant “Love Hurts” and Tennessee state song “Rocky Top” — comes on the 100th anniversary of Boudleaux Bryant’s birth and a day before the 75th anniversary of the couple’s meeting.

“There’s something for everyone in tonight’s program” said Del Bryant, show emcee and son of Felice and Boudleaux. “We have rare photos and family footage, award-winning musicians, award-winning recording artists … and we have great, great, great songs.”

CLICK for a few highlights from the celebration. 

The Tennessean: First listen: Two unreleased holiday demos from historic songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant

, Nashville Tennessean 

It’s been quite a year for the legacy of Nashville songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.

Ken Burns introduced PBS viewers this fall to the the couple — known best as Nashville’s first full-time songwriting team — during his 16-hour documentary epic “Country Music.”

As Burns spread their story to nearly 35 million “Country Music” viewers, the Country Hall of Fame and Museum readied to open an exhibit illustrating the rich Bryant songwriting history — from penning Everly Brothers standards “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Bye Bye Love” to state song “Rocky Top” and hundreds more.

And now, country music faithful get a stocking full of unreleased holiday music from Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.

Listen below to “No Place Like Home On Christmas” and “Holiday March,” previously unreleased demos performed by the Bryants.

Watch the Video:


Boudleaux & Felice Bryant Centennial Celebration: A Diamond Anniversary Love Story in Song



07:30 PM | Schermerhorn Symphony Center   GET TICKETS

Using a Promo Code? Click the presale button, then immediately enter your promo code to reveal all pricing options. For Boudleaux’s VIP Birthday Bash, choose the $500 box ticket option labeled “VIP – Bryant” (includes: box seat, reception and commemorative item).

  • Tickets on sale to the public December 13 at 10 am.
  • Want tickets now? Become a season ticket holder and add this concert to your ticket package.
  • Season ticket holders, donors of $500 or more and groups of 12 or more can buy now:
    Call 615.687.6400, visit us at One Symphony Place in downtown Nashville or buy online.

Del & Carolyn Smith Bryant, emcees | Nashville Symphony | Enrico Lopez-Yañez, conductor | Jamey Johnson | Steve Tyrell | Chris Scruggs, steel guitar | The War and Treaty | Members of the UT-Knoxville Pride of the Southland Marching Band

It’s a one-of-a-kind celebration honoring the lifelong love and legacy of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, featuring your Nashville Symphony and a star-studded lineup of guest artists at the Schermerhorn. Emceed by their youngest son Del and his wife Carolyn Smith Bryant, this evening will honor the legendary couple’s most memorable songs, including “Rocky Top,” “Love Hurts,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and many more, along with the world premiere of Boudleaux’s steel guitar showcase Polynesian Suite.

More special guests may be announced

Boudleaux’s VIP Birthday Bash packages – including a box seat, post-concert reception and commemorative item – are available starting at $500 per person.. $275 of each VIP ticket is tax deductible. To access this package now, click the pre-sale button above and choose the $500 box seating. Availability is limited; first come, first served. Pricing is subject to change, additional fees apply. Questions? Email us.

Proceeds from this event will benefit The Heads Up Penny Foundation and the Nashville Symphony’s education programs. Additional fees apply and pricing subject to change.

Reporter Herald: Trivially Speaking: ‘Country Boy’ started Bryants’ songwriting career

Operating under the guise of our motto here at “Trivially Speaking” — Educate, Inform, Entertain (or best two out of three) — here is a cultural awareness quiz.

Do you recognize the name, Felice Scaduto? No, what about Boudleaux Bryant? She became Felice Bryant at age 19.

Boudleaux and Felice Bryant collaborated to become one of the most prolific and successful songwriting teams of the 1950s (and all-time). But that’s getting ahead of the story — I am listening to several of their hits they wrote for the Everly Brothers as I type.

Boudleaux was born into a musical family and learned classical violin and piano from age 5.

He played with the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra when he was 19 but he had more interest in country fiddling so joined Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys.

His group performed at a hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1945 where he met Matilda Genevieve Scaduto (he called her Felice).


The Boot: Master Songwriters Boudleaux + Felice Bryant Celebrated With New Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin, Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrated its newest exhibit, We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, on Sept. 26. The event, held ahead of the exhibit’s official opening on Sept. 27, was filled with speakers and tribute performances from Nashville stars.

The husband-and-wife Hall of Famers (inducted in 1991) were Music City’s first career songwriters, penning more than 1,500 songs for artists such as the Everly Brothers, Little Jimmy Dickens and Roy Orbison. “It’s fair to say that, in the Nashville music industry, the Bryants invented the occupation of full-time professional songwriter, making a living crafting songs for others,” Vice President of Museum Services Brenda Colladay said.

After a performance of “Country Boy” — the Bryants’ first hit thanks to Fred Rose of Acuff-Rose Publishing — from Old Crow Medicine Show‘s Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua, Colladay highlighted the couple’s beginnings in music. Boudleaux Bryant was a violin prodigy who later became a fiddle player, while Felice Bryant held a love for poetry and grew up singing and acting on the radio. When the two combined their talents and moved to Nashville, they created a unique recipe for songwriting that carried on for decades.

Speaking of their early days working from their trailer on Dickerson Road in Music City, Colladay quoted something Boudleaux once told a newspaper reporter: “Inspiration is a misused word. Writing a song is something like writing a letter. You sit down, you compose your thoughts and you write.”


The Tennessean: Legendary songwriting couple’s work will live forever at Country Music Hall of Fame

Artifacts seen during the grand opening of We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on September 26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum) (Photo: Jason Kempin, Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)

Of the dozens of tales told in Ken Burns’ epic “Country Music” documentary, its sweetest love story is about a couple you may have never heard of.

But you’ve definitely heard their songs.

The husband-and-wife duo of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant met by chance in 1945. He was a touring jazz musician, and came to perform at a Milwaukee hotel where she worked as an elevator operator. Within days, they ran away together, and married that same year.

Soon, Boudleaux and Felice found out they were an incredible songwriting team.

They’d move to Nashville, and go on to write “Bye Bye Love,” “Love Hurts” and other classics for the Everly Brothers, as well as one of Tennessee’s state songs, “Rocky Top,” among thousands of other compositions.

Now, their songs and story are on display in a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: “We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.”



Georgia Songwriting Legend Recognized in Hometown and Featured in Ken Burns’ Documentary Country Music Boudleaux Bryant Festival to be held Oct. 11 & 12 in Shellman

ATLANTA, Sept. 20, 2019—Explore Georgia, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), join forces to celebrate the Boudleaux Bryant Festival in Shellman, Georgia on Oct. 11 and 12, 2019. Bryant, a native of Shellman, and his wife, Felice, are songwriting hall of famers. They’ve composed more than 6,000 songs, 900 of which have been recorded by a variety of artists from different genres, and sold over half a billion records. The couple, known as the first professional songwriters of Nashville, are featured prominently in Ken Burns’ latest epic documentary, Country Music, which will continue Sept. 22 through Sept. 25 on GPB and can be streamed on gpb.org.

Commemorating the documentary and what would have been Bryant’s 100th birthday in February, the City of Shellman and Shellman Beautification Association hosts two days of free events including live music, a fiddling contest, a BBQ competition, cornhole tournament, food vendors, arts and crafts, kids’ activities and more. GPB will be on site showing excerpts of Country Music throughout the day.

“The songs of Georgia native Boudleaux Bryant and his wife Felice have been part of popular culture for decades, but to share the story of the couple behind the music with millions through Ken Burns’ documentary is extraordinary,” said Lisa Love, Interim Deputy Commissioner of Explore Georgia at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Just as wonderful, however, is the opportunity to have locals and visitors come together to celebrate a musician in his rural hometown 100 years after his birth.”

“GPB is proud to join with Explore Georgia to celebrate the phenomenal talents of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant,” said Emmalee Hackshaw, Director of Community Engagement for GPB. “As Country Music has shown us, they’ve played a central role in the genre’s success, and we’re honored to pay tribute to their legacy.”

“I too am from South Georgia,” said Del Bryant, Boudleaux and Felice’s youngest. “My father was always excited when he was coming home. I’m also thrilled to be South Georgia bound once again. Thank you Shellman for honoring one of your favorite sons who loved you so.”
“Thank you Shellman for keeping the Boudleaux Bryant story alive,” said eldest son Dane. “Boudleaux wanted to be remembered as a songwriter and musician. You have helped make that happen. Thank you.”
The free Boudleaux Bryant Festival kicks off Friday night, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. with a performance by the Bo Henry Band and on Sat. Oct. 12, the festivities run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with Virginia Prescott, host of GPB’s On Second Thought, hosting a discussion with Del Bryant at 11 a.m. followed by the fiddling contest at noon. Artists performing throughout the day include Matt Rogers Band, Few Miles South, Back in the Saddle and Lee Pilcher.

About Boudleaux Bryant: Born in Shellman and raised in Moultrie, Georgia, Boudleaux Bryant is recognized, along with his wife Felice, as one of America’s most prolific songwriters with a catalog of hits including “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Love Hurts,” “Come Live With Me” and the bluegrass standard “Rocky Top.” From a musical family, Boudleaux studied classical violin from ages five through 18, when he joined the Atlanta Philharmonic for a season. For two years after that, he played hillbilly fiddle and performed regularly on WSB in Atlanta as a member of Hank Penny’s Radio Cowboys. Then, while touring the country with a jazz group, he met his future wife, Felice, in Milwaukee, Wis., married her and brought her home to Moultrie, where they began to pair her poems and lyrics with his melodies and send them to publishers. The Bryants’ first break came when Little Jimmy Dickens recorded their song “Country Boy” and it became a Top Ten folk/country hit in 1949. A year later, the couple moved permanently to Nashville and embarked on a songwriting career that led to work with artists including Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Eddy Arnold, Kitty Wells, Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison and other Nashville legends. Their songs were cut by a diverse number of artists including Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and many, many, many more. The Bryants are members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The pair will also be honored with a 10-month exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Music City, which opens Sept.27. Listen to their music here.

About the Artists: For more than 20 years, the Albany-based Bo Henry Band has been a staple in the Southeast, playing soul, blues and Southern Rock through the lens of a laid-back, South Georgia jam band. Steeped in the tradition of Georgia’s successful country singer/songwriters, Matt Rogers has spent the last few years touring constantly, building a devout fan base while earning accolades including Music City SongStar winner, NSAI Top-40 Songwriter and Georgia Country Awards Overall Artist of the Year. His 2018 single, “Peaches and Pecans,” pays homage to his home state and was played at all of the University of Georgia home games at Sanford Stadium during their 2018 season. United by their love of the songs of the Great American West, Atlanta’s Back in the Saddle plays classic cowboy and western swing music. Led by veteran Atlanta singers “Frenchy” Berne Poliakoff and “Gallopin’” Gwen Hughes, the band features vocal harmonies, stellar musicianship and rollicking humor and fun. Singer/songwriter Lee Pilcher grew up in Ellaville and brings all the influences of his South Georgia upbringing, from country and blues to funk and soul, to his songs.

About the Boudleaux Bryant Fiddling Contest: All styles of fiddling are welcome; the categories are Youth (up to 12 years old); Junior (13-17); Adult (18 and up) with cash prizes ranging from $25 to $500. The contest, which is free to enter, will be held at 12 noon on Sat. Oct. 12. Fiddlers can register online at georgiamusicfoundation.org or register on site between 10-11:30 a.m.

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. www.georgia.org
About Georgia Public Broadcasting
As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media) has been creating content worth sharing for over 50 years. With nine television stations, 18 radio stations and a multi-faceted digital and education division, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs about our state like Georgia Outdoors, A Seat at the Table, On Second Thought, Political Rewind and more. For more information, visit www.gpb.org.


Explore Georgia:
Emily Murray
emurray@georgia.org, 404-962-4078

Georgia Public Broadcasting:
Mandy Wilson
mwilson@gpb.org, 404-685-2427

House of Bryant Publications PR:
Amber Williams, Beaucoup Media
amber@beaucoupmedia.co, 615-513-3222


Exhibit shares the story of Nashville’s first full-time professional songwriters and their profound influence on music today.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 23, 2019 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will tell the story of Nashville’s first full-time professional songwriters, Country Music Hall of Fame members Boudleaux and Felice Bryant in the exhibition We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. The exhibit opens Sept. 27 and runs through Aug. 2, 2020.

During their distinguished careers, the Bryants sold over half a billion records by one estimate, received 59 BMI awards and composed more than 6,000 songs, of which over 900 were recorded, by artists working in many different musical  genres, including country, rock & roll, pop and R&B. Among the Bryants’ hits were the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” Additionally, their works include Little Jimmy Dickens’ “Country Boy,” Jim Reeves’ “Blue Boy” and Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts,” which later became an international hit for the rock group Nazareth. The Bryants also wrote “Rocky Top,” a bluegrass standard named one of Tennessee’s state songs and a favorite at University of Tennessee sporting events.

“Songwriting involves the creation and refinement of a unique and personal narrative. It is an art form, and Boudleaux and Felice Bryant mastered it,” said Kyle Young, museum CEO. “Not only did the Bryants write some of the most memorable songs of our time, they also set an example for future generations of tunesmiths by establishing their own publishing companies. We look forward to sharing with our visitors the Bryants’ story, which includes creativity, innovation, ambition and romance.”

A love of music and a chance meeting at a Milwaukee hotel brought the Bryants together. They were married in September 1945 and began singing together throughout the Midwest and Georgia. During this time, they began writing songs. One of those songs was “Country Boy,” which they shared with singer Rome Johnson, who sent it to music publisher Fred Rose. Rose placed the song with Grand Ole Opry star Jimmy Dickens, who made it a #7 hit in 1949. Rose became the Bryants’ mentor, encouraged them to move to Nashville, and helped the couple assemble an impressive catalog of hits in the coming years.

The Bryants were more than successful songwriters. They also established an influential benchmark for songwriters when, in 1957, they negotiated a 10-year deal with music publisher Acuff-Rose that returned to the Bryants all publishing rights for their songs at the end of the agreement— the first of its kind in Nashville. During this time, the Bryants began writing for Acuff-Rose client the Everly Brothers. The Everly Brothers recorded 29 Bryant songs, including “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Bird Dog” and “Devoted to You.”

In 1967, in accordance with their contract, the Bryants began reclaiming domestic copyrights for the songs they wrote for Acuff-Rose and moved the titles to their House of Bryant publishing company. Today, House of Bryant, owned by the Bryants’ sons, Dane and Del, continues to thrive.

Boudleaux and Felice Bryant were elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972; the National Academy of Popular Music’s Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986; and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.

“Dad used to say that he thought their songs were like wine that aged well in their ledgers. Like wine, songwriters’ lives and bodies of work are the unpredictable product of earthly and heavenly elements,” said Del Bryant. “Our parents would be thrilled the museum is decanting their songs and their love story for all the world to taste and enjoy.”

Items featured in We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant include handwritten lyrics, music and personal artifacts. Some highlights:

  • Complete collection of bound ledgers containing the Bryants’ original, handwritten lyrics and music for most of their songs, including “Bye Bye Love,” “Out Behind The Barn,” “Love Hurts,” “Come Live With Me,” “Rocky Top” and other classics
  • Violin used by Boudleaux Bryant when he was a young professional musician
  • Felice Bryant’s childhood prayer book, with a handwritten inscription noting her First Holy Communion at Wisconsin’s St. Casimir Church in 1937
  • Felice Bryant’s handwritten recipe for her renowned pasta sauce
  • The 1961 Martin 0-16NY guitar used by Boudleaux Bryant to write “Rocky Top”
  • Wollensak 3M T-1500 reel-to-reel tape recorder, built in the 1950s and used by the Bryants to record song ideas and home demos


In support of the exhibition’s opening, The Bryants’ youngest son, Del, musicians and historians Bill C. Malone and Bobbie Malone and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Dennis Morgan will take part in a panel discussion focused on the legacy and influence of the Bryants in the museum’s Ford Theater on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at 2 p.m. Morgan was the only songwriter with whom Felice worked following Boudleaux’s death.


We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant is presented by the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Inc.


More information about this exhibit can be found at www.CountryMusicHallofFame.org



Suggested Tweet: @CountryMusicHOF announces details of We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. The exhibit will run from Sept. 27 through Aug. 2, 2020.

For additional media resources on the exhibit We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, including artifact photos and video discussing this exhibit, access the following:
Username: comguest
Password: 4Mediaonly



Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum contact: 
Kelly McGlumphy                                  615.416.2024                 kmcglumphy@countrymusichalloffame.org

House of Bryant PR contact: 

Amber Williams, Beaucoup Media          615.513.3222                amber@beaucoupmedia.co            

Media website: 



The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications, and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and welcomes over one million patrons each year, placing it among the most visited museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive, and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001. 

Happy International Women’s Day!

What better way is there to celebrate #internationalwomensday than to talk about these two awe-inspiring women?

Felice Bryant and Frances Preston were revolutionaries in the world of songwriting. Felice Bryant and her writing partner and husband, Boudleaux, are widely known as Nashville’s first professional songwriters, penning hit after hit throughout their career. Frances Preston began her career as a receptionist for WSM and eventually fought her way to the position of President & CEO of BMI, where she advocated tirelessly for the rights of songwriters.

Who knows where women in the music industry would be without these two powerful ladies having paved the way?


Museum will tell the stories of Brooks & Dunn, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, Kacey Musgraves and Keith Whitley.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., – March 1, 2019 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has unveiled the balance of its stellar exhibition schedule for 2019. Exhibits on Keith Whitley, Kacey Musgraves, Brooks & Dunn and Country Music Hall of Fame members Boudleaux and Felice Bryant will join previously announced exhibitAmerican Currents: The Music of 2018.

On Oct. 4, the museum will open a special exhibit on songwriting husband and wife Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. The couple, who were the first full-time songwriters in Nashville, were elected together to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991. They found initial success in the 1940s when Little Jimmy Dickens recorded their song “Country Boy.” During the 1950s and 1960s, they had hit after hit with the Everly Brothers, including the siblings’ first big song, “Bye, Bye Love” and chart-toppers such as “Wake Up Little Susie.” Among the Bryants’ hits for others are Red Foley’s “Midnight” (co-written with Chet Atkins), Eddy Arnold’s “How’s the World Treating You” (also with Atkins), Jim Reeves’ “Blue Boy,” Bob Luman’s “Let’s Think About Living,” and Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts,” later an international hit for the rock group Nazareth. One of the Bryants’ best known songs is “Rocky Top.” Popularized by the Osborne Brothers in 1968, “Rocky Top” is now an official Tennessee state song and the beloved anthem for the University of Tennessee’s athletic teams. During their distinguished career, the Bryants had some 800 songs recorded by more than 500 artists, amounting to sales of hundreds of millions of records. This exhibition is presented by the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation.


“Dad used to say that he thought their songs were like wine that aged well in their ledgers. Like wine, songwriters’ lives and bodies of work are the unpredictable product of earthly and heavenly elements,” said Del Bryant, son of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. “Our parents would be thrilled that the museum is decanting their songs and their love story for all the world to taste and enjoy. They would have many people to toast. So on behalf of our folks, my brother Dane and I, and our entire family, thank God for all those who poured their hearts and talents into the full-bodied blend that is Boudleaux and Felice.”