April-23rd-2003, 01:31 AM
Felice Bryant: 1925-2003
All of my fellow Everly Brothers fans grieve at the news of her death.
Undercover Music News:
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Felice Bryant Dead at 77
Songwriter Felice Bryant has died of cancer in Nashville at the age of 77.
Felice, together with her husband Bourleaux Bryant wrote more than 800 songs which have sold more than half a billion records.
Their songs included 'Wake Up Little Susie' and 'Bye Bye Love', for the Everly Brothers. 'Raining In My Heart' by Buddy Holly and the State Song of Tennessee ' Rocky Top'.
The Bryants wrote many of the Everly Brothers early hits. Boudleaux/Felice co-writes included "Problems," "Poor Jenny" and "Take A Message To Mary." "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Devoted To You" and "Love Hurts" are credited solely to Boudleaux.
The one song the Everly Brothers passed on was 'Raining In My Heart'. When Buddy Holly recorded it in 1958 it became one of his biggest hits.
She died in her home in Gatinburg, Tennessee.
Among the Bryants' many industry honors are membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame (1991), the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame (1986) and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1972). Affiliated with performing rights organization BMI throughout their careers, Felice & Boudleaux Bryant earned a total of 59 BMI Pop, Country and R&B Awards.
Survivors include two sons, BMI Executive Vice President Del Bryant and real estate executive Dane Bryant; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister.
With her husband Boudleaux, Felice Bryant formed one of the most potent songwriting teams in country history, writing many songs that became hits. She had been performing and writing songs since she was a child, but her fame came after she met and married Boudleaux in 1945. They began writing together and sent "Country Boy" to Fred Rose, who bought the song and began Acuff-Rose Publishing's long association with the Bryants. Little Jimmy Dickens hit the Country Top Ten with the song in June 1949. Carl Smith recorded the Bryants' "Hey Joe" in 1953 and it also became a hit; Frankie Laine's pop version the same year sold over a million copies. Later in the '50s, Felice and Boudleaux began to move into rock & roll as well, writing a song for Buddy Holly plus most of the Everly Brothers' big hits: "Bye Bye Love," "Problems," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Bird Dog."
Though they had never deserted country, the Bryants in the '60s resumed their focus, writing hits for Jim Reeves and Sonny James, among others. In 1967, they left Acuff-Rose and formed their own House of Bryant publishing company. The classics continued to come during the '70s, and in 1979, Boudleaux produced the Bryants' first album as performers, All I Have to Do Is Dream — known in the U.S. as A Touch of Bryant.
By the late '80s, it was estimated that Boudleaux and Felice's warehouse of 3000 songs had sold over 300 million copies worldwide; the fact made them a shoo-in for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and even the Country Music Hall of Fame — a rare honor for strict songwriters. Though Boudleaux died in June 1987, Felice Bryant continues to write occasionally. — John Bush