Felice Bryant, who co-wrote the Everly Brothers’ “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love” and Buddy Holly’s “Raining in My Heart,” died Tuesday at her home in Gatlinburg, Tenn. She was 77 and had been diagnosed with cancer.
Bryant collaborated with her husband, Boudleaux Bryant, on some of the most popular songs in rock ‘n’ roll and country music. Boudleaux Bryant died in 1987 at 67.
It has been estimated the 800 recorded titles written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant sold more than half a billion copies worldwide, Davis said. They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.
In 1945, while working as an elevator attendant in at a Milwaukee hotel, she struck up a conversation with visiting musician Bryant. They eloped two days later.
Their first hit was “Country Boy” by Grand Ole Opry newcomer Little Jimmy Dickens, who took it to the Country Top 10 in 1949.
The Bryants moved to Nashville in 1950.
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Felice (born Matilda Genevieve Scaduto) usually collaborated with her husband, but earned a huge hit on her own with “We Could,” recorded by Dickens, Jim Reeves, George Jones, Tammy Wynette and John Prine, among others.
Survivors include two sons, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a sister.