August 7, 1925 – April 22, 2003 Remembering Felice Bryant

Remembering Felice Bryant (born Matilda Genevieve Scaduto, (August 7, 1925 – April 22, 2003) bluegrass song writer, died in Gatlinburg, Tenn. In the spring of 1945, 19-year-old Matilda Genevieve Scaduto was working as an elevator operator at the Schroeder Hotel in Milwaukee. One afternoon, she struck up a conversation with one of the guests, a musician from Georgia with the poetic name of Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant. Five days later, Matilda and Boudleaux ran off together and one of the great songwriting partnerships was born. Over the next 30 years, the couple would write nearly 6,000 songs together, selling over 200 million records with artists such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Buddy Holly, Eddy Arnold, Bobbie Gentry, Gram Parsons, Simon & Garfunkel and most memorably, the Everly Brothers. The Bryants’ list of classics includes “Bye Bye Love,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Love Hurts” and “Rocky Top.”
Notes: “Rocky Top” is an American country and bluegrass song written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1967 and first recorded by the Osborne Brothers later that same year. The song, which is a city-dweller’s lamentation over the loss of a simpler and freer existence in the hills of Tennessee, is one of Tennessee’s eight official state songs and has been recorded by dozens of artists from multiple musical genres worldwide since its publication. In U.S. college athletics, “Rocky Top” is associated with the Tennessee Volunteers of the University of Tennessee, whose Pride of the Southland Band has played a marching band version of the song at the school’s sporting events since the early 1970s.

About the author

I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie

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