Noted record producer and music entrepreneur Scott Rouse has announced a new licensing agreement between his company, IdeaBang, and House of Bryant Publications. The multi-year license covers branding and marketing for a variety of products that will be sold under The Official Rocky Top brand.
House of Bryant is run by Dane and Del Bryant, sons of the late Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who made music history as the writers of Rocky Top. It was a big hit for The Osborne Brothers in 1967, and has reached legendary status as a fight song for the University of Tennessee. Though the Bryants have more than 2000 songs under copyright, Rocky Top remains their biggest hit, one that has been covered by artists as diverse as Lynn Anderson, who made it a hit again in 1970, and jam band heroes Phish.
Rouse had a run at the song himself, producing several dance remixes on Rocky Top ’96 for Decca under his GrooveGrass brand in 1996. It featured the iconic bluegrass version with a funk beat that went on to become a dance club favorite, selling over 100,000 copies. The album also featured the original Osborne recording, which Rouse says was meant to help introduce bluegrass to a younger audience with no knowledge of its existence.
He parlayed that into a full-length, self-produced recording in 1997 and another for Reprise in ’98, GrooveGrass 101. The first record simultaneously fascinated the music industry by combining Nashville grassers with Bootsy Collins, the Father of Funk, and annoyed bluegrass purists for tearing at the fabric of Bill Monroe’s legacy.
Rouse tells us that it was his sincere passion for the song and the music that convinced the Bryants to work with IdeaBang. Oh… and the string of product development successes for television and movies Rouse has under his belt. He says that this agreement has been in the works for nearly three years, and he can’t wait to get started.
Look for a launch of The Official Rocky Top brand in late July.
Rouse also has a new set of Rocky Top GrooveGrass remixes set for release September 2. He says that they are somewhat similar to the 1996 project, but reflecting 2012 musical sensibilities, and adding some sports-related themes. Charlie Daniels is on board giving voice to 2 of the tracks.
Should be fun. Scott Rouse is one of those guys you never, ever bet against.