Felice Bryant

Induction Year: 1972

Birth Name: Matilda Genevieve Scaduto

Birth Date: 08-07-1925

Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Death Date: 04-22-2003

Place of Death: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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

Matilda Genevieve Scaduto was raised in a musical Italian family in Milwaukee. As a youngster, she sang on local radio, in theaters and at USO shows. She was also fascinated with language and wrote poetry from an early age.

She was an elevator attendant at Milwaukee's Schroeder Hotel in 1945 when she met Boudleaux Bryant, a traveling musician performing in the hotel's nightclub. She and Boudleaux fell in love and eloped within days. They married six months later in Covington, Kentucky. Boudleaux renamed his wife "Felice."

When his roadwork as a musician dried up, Boudleaux and Felice moved 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. He began putting them to music, inaugurating a songwriting team.

The Bryants wrote 80 songs before "Country Boy" was recorded by 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.

The team hit its stride in the late 1950s with a string of successes written for the Everly Brothers. Prior to that, many of the early Bryant hits in Nashville were written by Boudleaux. Felice also sometimes wrote on her own, notably Ricky Nelson's 1960 pop hit "I'm Not Afraid" and the much-recorded romantic standard "We Could."

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.

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


(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Sonny James1964 #6 country

"Before the Ring on Your Finger Turns Green"

Dottie West1966 #22 country

"Bye, Bye Love"

(written with Boudleaux 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 Boudleaux Bryant)

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

"Country Boy"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Little Jimmy Dickens1949 #7 country

"Have a Good Time"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Tony Bennett1952 #16 pop
Sue Thompson1962 #31 pop

"Hole in My Pocket"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Jimmy Dickens1959 
Ricky Van Shelton1989 #4 country

"I'd Rather Stay Home"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Kitty Wells1956 #13 country

"I'm Not Afraid"

Ricky Nelson1960 #27 pop

"Just Wait Til I Get You Alone"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Carl Smith1953 #7 country

"Love of My Life"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1958 #40 pop

"Poor Jenny"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1959 #22 pop


(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1958 #2 pop, #17 country

"Raining in My Heart"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

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

"Rocky Top"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

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

"She Wears My Ring"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

Ray Price1968 #6 country
Elvis Presley1974 

"Sleepless Nights"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

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

"Take a Message to Mary"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

The Everly Brothers1959 #16 pop
Don Cherry1968 #71 country

"Wake Up Little Susie"

(written with Boudleaux Bryant)

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

"We Could"

Little Jimmy Dickens1957 
Don Gibson1958 
The Louvin Brothers1958 
Jim Reeves1960 
Wanda Jackson1962 
Al Martino1964 #6 adult contemporary, #41 pop
George Morgan1964 
George Jones1964 
Kitty Wells1966 
Charley Pride1974 #3 country
The Osborne Brothers1977 
John Prine & Iris DeMent1999 

Felice Bryant

Induction Year: 1972