“Rocky Top” First Played
Since the Pride of the Southland Band first played “Rocky Top” during halftime of the Tennessee-Alabama football game on October 21, 1972, it has become one of UT’s most popular songs. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote “Rocky Top” in 10 minutes in 1967. The Bryants, who also penned “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “Bye Bye Love,” were holed away at the Gatlinburg Inn working on a collection of slow songs for Archie Campbell and Chet Atkins when they wrote “Rocky Top” as a diversion. The Osborne Brothers recorded the song that same year, hitting number 33 on the US country charts. In 1970, Lynn Anderson’s version landed at number 17 on the Billboard Country Top 100. “Rocky Top” became one of Tennessee’s state songs in 1982.