Boudleaux Bryant

Induction Year: 1972

Birth Name: Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant

Birth Date: 02-13-1920

Place of Birth: Shellman, Georgia

Death Date: 06-25-1987

Place of Death: Knoxville, Tennessee

With his wife Felice, Boudleaux Bryant wrote some of the most memorable songs of the 1950s and 1960s, including many of the Everly Brothers' best-known hits.

Boudleaux (pronounced Bood-low) grew up in small-town Georgia as the son of an attorney. Both parents were highly musical. He studied classical violin from age 5 to age 18, then became a pop, country and swing fiddler in traveling dance bands.

During a 1945 engagement at the Schroeder Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he met Genevieve Scaduto. They fell in love and eloped within days. They married six months later in Covington, Kentucky. Boudleaux renamed his wife "Felice."

When the roadwork dried up, Boudleaux returned to Moultrie, Georgia, where he had a standing offer to perform with a local band. Felice grew bored there, wrote poems to keep herself occupied and showed them to Boudleaux when he returned home from work. He began putting them to music, inaugurating a songwriting team.

The Bryants wrote 80 songs before "Country Boy" was recorded by Little Jimmy Dickens and became a big hit in 1949. With the aid of publisher Fred Rose, the couple moved to Nashville in 1950, becoming the city's first full-time professional country songwriters.

When sons Dane and Del were young, Felice stayed home with them while Boudleaux made contacts with stars and music publishers. Many of the early Bryant hits were written by Boudleaux by himself or with other partners. But the husband-wife team hit its stride in the mid-1950s with a string of pop smashes for the Everly Brothers.

More than 600 Bryant songs have been recorded. The Bryants' "Rocky Top" is a state song of Tennessee. They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.

Dane Bryant went on to operate the House of Bryant family publishing business in Nashville. Del Bryant became the president and CEO of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) in New York.

"All I Have to Do Is Dream"

The Everly Brothers1958 #1 country, #1 pop, #1 R&B
Richard Chamberlain1963 #6 adult contemporary, #14 pop
Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell1970 #4 adult contemporary, #6 country, #27 pop
The Wilburn Brothers1970 
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band1975 #30 adult contemporary, #66 pop, #79 country
Nancy Montgomery1981 #85 country
Andy Gibb & Victoria Principal1981 #25 adult contemporary, #51 pop
Juice Newton1981 
The Bacon Brothers2003 
Cat Power2004 
 

"Back Up Buddy"

Carl Smith1954 #2 country
 

"Bird Dog"

The Everly Brothers1958 #1 country, #1 pop, #2 R&B
Joan Jett1998 
 

"Blue Boy"

Jim Reeves1958 #2 country, #45 pop

"Bye, Bye Love"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1957 #1 country, #2 pop, #5 R&B
Webb Pierce1957 #7 country, #73 pop
Roy Orbison1961 
Ray Charles1962 
Simon & Garfunkel1970 
Billy Walker & Barbara Fairchild1981 #70 country
Anne Murray2002 
 

"Come Live with Me"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Roy Clark1973 #1 country, #23 adult contemporary, #89 pop
Ray Charles1973 #20 adult contemporary, #30 R&B, #82 pop
 

"Country Boy"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Little Jimmy Dickens1949 #7 country
 

"Country Gentleman"

(written with Chet Atkins)

Chet Atkins1953 
 

"Devoted to You"

The Everly Brothers1958 #2 R&B, #7 country, #10 pop
The Beach Boys1965 
Carly Simon & James Taylor1978 #2 adult contemporary, #33 country, #36 pop
Linda Ronstadt1996 
 

"Hey Joe"

Carl Smith1953 #1 country
Kitty Wells1953 #8 country
Frankie Laine1953 #6 pop
Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley1981  #10 country
 

"Hole in My Pocket"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Jimmy Dickens1959 
Ricky Van Shelton1989 #4 country
 

"How's the World Treating You"

Eddy Arnold1953 #4 country
The Louvin Brothers1961 #26 country
 

"I'd Rather Say Home"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Kitty Wells1956 #13 country
 

"I'm Little but I'm Loud"

(written with Jimmy Dickens)

Little Jimmy Dickens1951 
Connie Smith1967 
Martina McBride1997 
 

"It's a Lovely, Lovely World"

Carl Smith1952 #5 country
Gail Davies1981 #5 country
 

"Let's Think About Living"

Bob Luman1960 #7 pop, #9 country, #14 R&B
 

"Like Strangers"

The Everly Brothers1960 #22 pop
Gail Davies1980 #21 country
Emmylou Harris1992  

"Love Hurts"

The Everly Brothers1960 
Roy Orbison1961 
Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris1974 
Jim Capaldi1975 #97 pop
Nazareth1975 #8 pop
Don McLean1981 
Joan Jett1990 
Heart1995 
Rod Stewart2006 
 

"Love of My Life"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1958 #40 pop
 

"Midnight"

(written with Chet Atkins)

Red Foley1952 #1 country
Ray Charles1962 
 

"Poor Jenny"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1959 #22 pop
 

"Problems"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1958 #2 pop, #17 country
 

"Raining in My Heart"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Buddy Holly1959 #88 pop
Ray Price1969 #14 country
Leo Sayer1978 #9 adult contemporary, #47 pop, #63 country

"Rocky Top"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Osborne Brothers1968 #33 country
Lynn Anderson1969 #17 country
Conway Twitty1970 
Dolly Parton2004 
 

"She Wears My Ring"

(written with Felice Bryant)

Ray Price1968 #6 country
Elvis Presley1974 

"Sleepless Nights"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1960 
Emmylou Harris1975 
The Judds1989 
Elvis Costello & the Attractions1995 
Elvis Costello1999 
Patty Loveless2008 
Eddie Vedder2011 
 

"Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go)"

Jimmy Dickens1954 
Willie Nelson1963 
George Jones1964 
Ray Price1968 #8 country
Bob Dylan1970 
Carly Simon1980 
Bobby Bare1981 
Gene Watson2001 
 

"Take a Message to Mary"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1959 #16 pop
Don Cherry1968 #71 country
 

"Time's A-Wastin'"

Carl Smith & June Carter1953 
Reese Witherspoon & Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack Walk the Line
 

"Wake Up Little Susie"

(written with Felice Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1957 #1 country, #1 pop, #1 R&B

Boudleaux Bryant

Induction Year: 1972