19 Mar 2020
In August of 1967 Boudleaux and Felice Bryant checked into Rm 388 at the Gatlinburg Inn. This pair of award winning songwriters were taking a break from writing an album and in one of those life changing moments penned the famous song “Rocky Top” in about 15 minutes and the rest is history! It was recorded by the Osborne Brothers and released in December of that same year and was an instant success. The song became the unofficial Fight Song for the University of Tennessee “Pride of the Southland Band” in 1972 and became the state song of Tennessee in 1982.
Boudleaux was born in Shellman, GA in 1920 and trained as a Classical Violinist who performed one season with the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra before deciding that he preferred “Fiddling” instead. In 1945 while performing at the Sherwood Hotel in Milwaukee, WI he met Matilda Genevieve Scaduto and eloped with her two days later. He called his wife “Felice” and she said that their song “All I have to do is Dream” was autobiographical since she had seen his face in a dream as a child and looked for him for years.
The struggling songwriters had a slow start until Little Jimmy Dickens gave them a break by recording their song “Country Boy” in 1948 and it rose to #7 on the charts! They moved to Nashville in 1950 to become full time songwriters. Prolific writers of at least 6,000 songs with over 1,500 having been recorded. Many of their songs have been recorded by well-known artists such as Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, The Grateful Dead, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and the Everly Brothers. Some of their greatest hits include: Bye, Bye Love, Wake-Up Little Susie, All I have to do is Dream, Love Hurts, You’re the reason God made Oklahoma and of course Rocky Top. They received numerous awards including induction in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 1978 the couple moved to Gatlinburg, TN and purchased the “Rocky Top Village Inn”. He passed away in 1987 and she in 2003.
Rocky Top you'll always be Home Sweet Home to Me!