February 10 at the Halloran: An Evening with Don Bryant and The Bo-Keys

The 2022-2023 On Stage at the Halloran Centre season continues with a rare on stage appearance by a Memphis music legend. Tickets are on sale now for An Evening with Don Bryant and The Bo-Keys on Friday, February 10 at 7:30pm.

“When Don hits the stage, audiences all over the world, no matter what language they speak, have this look on their faces like I’ve never seen before,” said producer Scott Bomar. “He lights up an audience like nobody else. He just has an energy that he’s able to convey to a crowd.”

Singer/songwriter and Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductee Don Bryant began singing in church at age 5, and soon joined his father’s family vocal group. He eventually formed a gospel quartet for a high school radio show. The quartet performed as The Four Kings before becoming the front band for Willie Mitchell, with Bryant as the lead singer. Even as a teenager, Bryant was offered a shot at songwriting, and he began writing material for artists at Hi Records while continuing to record with The Four Kings and as a solo artist. However, with the success of Al Green, Otis Clay, and other vocalists at Hi, Bryant’s singing career took a backseat to writing. Bryant is credited on as many as 154 titles.

Don Bryant. Photo by Jacob Blickinstaff

By 1970, Willie Mitchell had begun to pair Bryant with his newest act, a young Ann Peebles, for whom he wrote “99 Pounds” and “Do I Need You.” The pair co-wrote the Top 40 hit “I Can’t Stand The Rain” in 1973, and were married the following year. Bryant spent much of the subsequent decade writing and opening for Peebles, with his final Hi single coming in 1981, a duet with his wife called “Mon Belle-Amour.” Bryant focused mainly on gospel albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and ultimately stopped performing altogether outside of church services. 

Following a conversation between producer Scott Bomar and former Hi Records drummer Howard Grimes, Bryant was invited to perform as a vocalist with Memphis-based soul homage outfit The Bo-Keys. Bryant accepted and, within a few months, found the inspiration to return to the studio where he and The Bo-Keys recorded Don’t Give Up on Love in the fall of 2016, which was released on the Fat Possum label in 2017. The album features an array of Bryant’s past triumphs as well as new material.

Bryant and The Bo-Keys returned to the studio for the follow up release, You Make Me Feel, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2020.

Tickets are $37.50 and on sale now through the Orpheum box office (901.525.3000), orpheum-memphis.com, and Ticketmaster. Special group rates are also available by emailing groups@orpheum-memphis.com. The 2022-2023 On Stage at the Halloran Centre Music + Theatre Series is sponsored by Evolve Bank & Trust.

About the Orpheum Theatre Group:

The mission of the Orpheum Theatre Group is to enhance the communities we serve by utilizing the performing arts to entertain, educate, and enlighten while preserving the historic Orpheum Theatre and the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. For more information, visit orpheum-memphis.com.

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