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'Neverlys' headline Bryant festival

The Neverly Brothers

The Neverly Brothers

SHELLMAN, Ga. -- Most of the 1,100 residents of this tiny community 35 miles west of Albany are expected to turn out Saturday to honor native son Boudleaux Bryant at the second festival held in his honor.

One of popular music's most prolific writers, Boudleaux Bryant and his wife, Felice, wrote an estimated 1,500 songs. Recordings of those songs by some of the most celebrated country and popular artists over a 40-year span resulted in sales of more than 300 million records.

Best known among the Bryants' biggest hits is a string of classics recorded by rock's Everly Brothers, including "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Bye Bye Love." The couple's signature song is "Rocky Top," one of the state of Tennessee's official songs and the fight song for the University of Tennessee.

Headlining Saturday's festival in Bryant's honor will be the Neverly Brothers, a tribute act that performs the classic hits of Phil and Don Everly. On Saturday, the Neverlys will sing the hits written by the Bryants.

Saturdays festival, which kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Shellman, will also feature an antique car show, face painting for kids, a model train show, and a number of food and craft vendors.

Cordell Racing of Houston will present a NASCAR Sprint Cup show car/simulator that features Boudleaux Bryant's likeness on the hood. Festival attendees will be allowed to race the simulator free of charge and test their skills against NASCAR's top drivers at the famed Daytona 500.

Admission to the festival, which is sponsored by the Randolph County Veterans Memorial Committee, is free.

In addition to the hits of the everly Brothers, songs written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant have been recorded by Tony Bennett, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, Charlie Pride, Buddy Holly, Jim Reeves, Leo Sayer, Joe Stampley and Moe Bandy.