Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Bryant, Boudleaux (Diadorius) and Felice (Matilda Geneviève Scaduto)

top country pop hit

Bryant, Boudleaux (Diadorius) and Felice (Matilda Geneviève Scaduto), American songwriters. Together and separately, the husband-andwife team of Boudleaux (b. Shellman, Ga., Feb. 13, 1920; d. Gatlinburg, Term., June 30, 1987) and Felice Bryant (b. Milwaukee, Aug. 7, 1925) wrote music and lyrics for numerous pop and country hits of the 1950s and 1960s. They were most closely associated with the Everly Brothers and wrote such hits as “Bye Bye Love” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream” for the duo. They also wrote hits for a variety of country artists, including “Hey, Joe!” for Carl Smith, “Midnight” for Red Foley, and “Come Live with Me” for Roy Clark.

Boudleaux’s father, Daniel Green Bryant, was a lawyer; his mother, Louise Farham Bryant, played guitar and mandolin. He studied the violin from the ages of 5 to 18 with the intention of becoming a concert artist. In 1938 he played with the Atlanta Philharmonic Symphony and other orchestras. From 1939 he also played with country and jazz bands. He began to write during this period, composing the instrumental “Mississippi Muddle” while working with Hank Penny and His Radio Cowboys. In 1945, while playing in a jazz band at the Schroeder Hotel in Milwaukee, he met Matilda Scaduto, an elevator operator.

Matilda was the daughter of Salvatore and Katherine Loverdi Scaduto. An aspiring singer, she had sung on local radio when she was six, and she received voice training as a child. She had worked in musicals at a local theater and performed with the USO. She also wrote poetry and lyrics. She and Bryant married on Sept. 5, 1945, and eventually had two sons. They began writing songs together, but did not achieve significant success until they submitted “Country Boy” to publisher Wesley Rose, who arranged to have it recorded by “Little” Jimmy Dickens. Dickens’s recording reached the country charts in June 1949 and hit the Top Ten. He returned to the country Top Ten with the Bryants’ “A-Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed,” which reached the charts in January 1950.

The Bryants moved to Nashville in 1950 and took up songwriting full-time. In 1952 they scored three Top Ten country hits: “Somebody’s Stolen My Honey,” recorded by Ernest Tubb, “It’s a Lovely, Lovely World,” recorded by Carl Smith (both of which were written by Boudleaux alone), and “Our Honeymoon,” also recorded by Carl Smith. Tony Bennett recorded their “Have a Good Time” for a pop hit in August 1952. Boudleaux cowrote “Midnight” with Chet Atkins, and Red Foley recorded it for a #1 country hit in January 1953. Boudleaux and Atkins also wrote “How’s the World Treating You?” Eddy Arnold recorded it for a Top Ten country hit in 1953. The Bryants wrote “Just Wait Til I Get You Alone,” and Boudleaux collaborated with Carl Smith on “Orchids Mean Goodbye” these songs were released on either side of a single in the spring of 1953, and both made the country Top Ten. But the most successful Bryant composition of 1953 was Boudleaux’s “Hey, Joe!,” which hit #1 for Carl Smith in August and was covered by Frankie Laine for a Top Ten pop hit.

Boudleaux’s “Back Up, Buddy” was recorded by Carl Smith for a country Top Ten hit in 1954, and the Bryants’ “Out behind the Barn” also hit the country Top Ten for Jimmy Dickens that year. Boudleaux wrote two Top Ten country hits in 1955 for Eddy Arnold—”I’ve Been Thinking” and “The Richest Man (in the World)”—as well as a pop- chart entry for Frankie Laine, “Hawk-Eye.” The Bryants had a British success in March 1956, when Alma Cogan reached the U.K. charts with “Willie Can.”

The Bryants were signed to a ten-year songwriting contract at Acuff-Rose by Wesley Rose, the son of Fred Rose, who had died in 1954. The Bryants were assigned to write for the Everly Brothers. “Bye Bye Love,” their first song to be recorded by the brothers, hit #1 on the pop and country charts in July 1957, also reaching the Top Ten of the R&B charts and selling a million copies. Even more successful was the follow-up, “Wake Up Little Susie,” another million-seller that topped the pop, country, and R&B charts in October 1957. The Everlys’ third single,a revival of the 1955 R&B hit ‘This Little Girl of Mine” (music and lyrics by Ray Charles), was less successful, but their fourth, Boudleaux’s ballad “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” topped the pop, country, and R&B charts in the spring of 1958 and sold a million copies.

Their fifth single combined two Boudleaux songs, the uptempo “Bird Dog” and the ballad “Devoted to You.” The former hit #1 on the pop and country charts and the Top Ten of the R&B charts in the summer of 1958; the latter reached the Top Ten of all three charts; and the single was a million-seller. The Everlys’ sixth single featured the Bryants’ “Problems,” which reached the Top Ten of the pop charts in December 1958 and also made the country charts, and “Love of My Life,” a Top 40 pop hit. In addition to their Everly Brothers successes, the Bryants were represented in the country Top Ten in 1958 by Jim Reeves’s recording of their “Blue Boy.” The Everlys’ seventh single again consisted of two Bryant songs, “Take a Message to Mary” and “Poor Jenny,” both of which reached the pop Top 40 in April 1959. At the same time Buddy Holly reached the charts for the last time with the Bryants’ “Raining in My Heart,” one of the last songs he recorded before his death.

The Everly Brothers emphasized their own songwriting after 1959, though they scored two more pop hits with Bryant compositions: “Always It’s You,” a chart entry in May 1960, and “Like Strangers,” which reached the Top 40 in November, and their 1958 recording of “All I Have to Do Is Dream” briefly returned to the pop charts in July 1961. Without the Everlys, the Bryants continued to score crossover hits in the early 1960s, reaching the pop and country Top Ten with Boudleaux’s “Let’s Think about Living,” recorded by Bob Luman, in the fall of 1960; the pop Top 40 and the country Top Ten with “My Last Date (With You)” (music by Floyd Cramer, lyrics by Boudleaux Bryant and Skeeter Davis), recorded by Skeeter Davis, in January 1961; and the pop Top Ten and the top of the easy-listening charts with Boudleaux’s instrumental “Mexico,” recorded by Bob Moore and His Orch., in October 1961. They also enjoyed several revivals of their work: the Louvin Brothers reached the country charts with “How’s the World Treating You?” in September 1961; Sue Thompson reached the pop Top 40 in July 1962 with “Have a Good Time” and had a pop-chart entry with “Willie Can” in January 1963; and Richard Chamberlain hit the pop Top 40 with “All I Have to Do Is Dream” in March 1963.

While the Bryants never again scored hits with the frequency they had from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, for the next 20 years they continued to reach the pop and country charts with a combination of newly written songs and newly covered old songs that had not been hits the first time around. The new songs included: “Baltimore,” a Top Ten country hit for Sonny James in 1964; “I Love to Dance,” a Top Ten country hit for Ernest Ashworth in 1964; “Break Away (From That Boy),” a Top 40 pop hit for the Newbeats in 1965; Boudleaux’s “Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go),” a Top Ten country hit for Ray Price in 1968; “Rocky Top,” a Top 40 country

hit for the Osborne Brothers in 1968; “Come Live with Me,” a #1 country hit for Roy Clark that also made the pop charts for him and for Ray Charles in 1973; “Sweet Deceiver” and Boudleaux’s “Tryin’ to Forget about You,” both country chart entries for Cristy Lane in 1977; “(I Need You) All the Time,” a Top 40 country hit for Eddy Arnold in 1977; and “I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me,” a country chart entry for the Osborne Brothers and for Chet Atkins in 1980.

Songs enjoying a delayed success were Felice’s 1955 composition “We Could,” a pop-chart entry in 1964; the 1960 song “She Wears My Ring,” a Top Ten country hit for Ray Price in 1968; Boudleaux’s 1960 composition “Love Hurts,” which reached the U.S. pop charts and the Top Ten of the U.K. charts for Jim Capaldi in 1975; and the 1969 song “Penny Arcade,” a Top Ten country hit for Cristy Lane in 1978.

The Bryants were also represented in the charts in the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s by numerous revivals of their previous hits. These included “Raining in My Heart,” a Top 40 country hit for Ray Price in 1969 and a country- and pop-chart entry for Leo Sayer in 1978; “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” a Top Ten country and Top 40 pop hit for Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry in 1970, a pop- and country-chart entry for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1975, and a country-chart entry for Nancy Montgomery and pop-chart entry for Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal, both in 1981; “Rocky Top,” a Top 40 country hit for Lynn Anderson in 1970; “We Could,” a Top Ten country hit for Charley Pride in 1974; “Love Hurts,” a million- selling Top Ten pop hit for Nazareth in 1976; “Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go),” a Top 40 country hit for Mack White in 1976 and for Bobby Bare in 1981; “Devoted to You,” a Top 40 pop and country hit for Carly Simon and James Taylor in 1978; “Bye Bye Love,” a country-chart entry for Billy Walker and Barbara Fairchild in 1980; “Hey, Joe!” (as “Hey Joe [Hey Moe]”), a Top Ten country hit for Joe Stampley and Moe Bandy in 1981; and “Wake Up Little Susie,” a Top 40 pop hit for Simon and Garfunkel in 1982.

The Bryants, who had moved from Nashville to Gatlinburg in 1978, opened a motel there called the Rocky Top Village Inn in 1982; that same year “Rocky Top” was named the official state song of Term. Boudleaux Bryant died of cancer at age 67 in 1987.

Bryant, Clora [next] [back] Brusilow, Anshel

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 1 year ago

Parham. His mother's name was Louise Parham. The Parhams were a very talented family musically and many members were professional musicians, both performers and teachers.