For over thirty-five years, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant have been one of the great songwriting teams. In Nashville, they are considered an institution.
The Bryants have probably contributed more successful songs to the mainstream of music out of Nashville than any other songwriting team. Their amazing output includes more than 6,000 songs, with over 1,000 recordings, which have sold over 200 million copies. Their songs have been sung by every country artist who has ever cut a tune. In the pop world, Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, Johnnie Ray, Frankie Laine, Tony Bennett, Al Martino, The Grateful Dead, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Della Reese, Simon and Garfunkel, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Percy Faith, Al Hirt, Rosemary Clooney, Roy Orbison and Herb Alpert-all these and more are indebted to the Bryants for successful records.
Felice Bryant was born Matilda Genevieve Scaduto on August 7, 1925 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although she had no musical training, she and her entire family sang and played instruments by ear. In her quiet hours, unknown to anyone else, she wrote song lyrics to traditional Italian tunes and in World War II sang and directed shows at the local USO. She met Boudleaux Bryant, a traveling musician from Georgia, in 1945. The pair eloped two days later. It was only after their marriage in 1945 that they combined their magic talents and began writing songs that took the musical world by storm.
Perhaps the Bryants' most famous musical affiliation has been with two brothers from Kentucky whose talents assimilated the best of southern music: The Everly Brothers. Their first great hit was "Bye, Bye Love" followed by "Wake Up Little Susie." The Bryants have co-written most of the Everly Brothers' big hits: "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Take A Message to Mary," and "Devoted to You."
The Bryants have been honored with many industry awards including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and 59 BMI Pop, Country and R&B Awards.
Felice Bryant died in her home in Gatlinburg, Tennesee on April 22, 2003.