Bryan was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. However, he grew up in Tennessee in the Nashville area. Early on Bryan found his gift in the form of athletics. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi where he became the starting defensive end for three years. Bryan’s senior year he was awarded the John Howard Vaught award of excellence. He left the University of Mississippi in 1983 six hours short of his degree, something that would haunt Bryan endlessly. So, twenty years later Bryan would enroll in college once again to obtain his degree in Broadcast Journalism. Bryan, went back to Ole Miss to walk the line, and graduated in the spring of 2003. Bryan enjoys traveling to Oxford, Ms. to perform and watch the Rebels play ball.
Bryan began his musical quest as a song plugger for his father, and later for Ricky Skaggs, and The Statler Brothers. He attributes his writing know how to hearing all the great songs he got to hear daily while being a son to a legendary record producer Jerry Kennedy, and to growing up in the same house with a mom (Linda Kennedy) who was singing and recording records as a teenager, and two brothers who would become most influential in Bryan’s life and in his career. (Gordon and Shelby Kennedy)
Bryan’s first writing contract was with a major music publishing company where he would produce the first sides on Country Music Star Terri Clark while he signed his brother Gordon to a publishing deal, and the two began their journey on their own in Nashville. This relationship was short lived, and the publishing company saw no promise in either of the Kennedy boys. He was shocked to learn that they were fired. This was what Bryan would later describe ‘the bottom’ of his hopes and dreams. Dejected he went to work on a farm thinking his days in the Nashville music business were done. Bryan would go on to describe the ‘bottom’ in life is often a blessing’. The things Bryan learned about life, friends, and work, he began to write in his music, and it was during this period of time that EMI music publishing heard Bryan’s material and offered him a writing deal. With just enough time for the ink to dry on Bryan’s contract he was credited with penning his first number one record, “The American Honky Tonk Bar Associaiton”. He continued to write for EMI for eight years.
After those eight years he ventured out into different areas of writing. It was then he put on the hat of a playwright, and his first play became the highly acclaimed musical comedy, Toe Roaster. Bryan scooped up two of Nashville’s number one songwriters to tour with him performing Toe Roaster. His cast members consisted of, Wynn Varble (writer of two number one records; “Have You Forgotten” by Daryl Worely, and “Waiting on a Woman” by Brad Paisley, and Troy Jones who wrote, “Shift Work” by Kenny Chesney and George Straight, and the number one hit, “People are Crazy” by Billy Currington. Bryan spun Toe Roaster into a second play, this time the Christmas version, MistleToe Roaster (the three wise men). Bryan seemed to enjoy the freedom he had discovered in writing plays so much that he began to stretch his writing talents in other directions as well. Since Toe Roaster, and MistleToe Roaster Bryan has written two animated/cartoon scripts, two children’s books, a mystery/suspense novel, and most recently an inspirational book he co-authored with good friend, and fellow cast member in MistleToe Roaster, Langdon Reid.
Bryan is always working on something new. These days he has a blog he writes regularly on his web site, www.bryan-kennedy.com, where he keeps his fans up to date with his latest ventures and enjoys their feedback. He makes his home on the gulf coast of Florida, and spends most of his time traveling and performing all over. His show is totally “HIM”. He is hard to describe but with influences ranging from Merle Haggard to Bill Cosby, you will no doubt understand where he gets his sense of humor as well as his ability to tug on your heartstrings. You will leave most entertained and refreshed with a smile in your heart.
Bryan has written several songs that appear on other artists CD’s like; Rick Trevino, The Derailers, Deryl Dodd, Chuck Wagon and the Wheels, Jerry Reed, and others. He also has written other songs that appear on numerous Garth Brooks records, including three #1 radio hits; “Good Ride Cowboy”, “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” and “American Honky Tonk Bar Association.” In addition, Bryan opened up for Garth Brooks with good friend, Dan Roberts performing in front of millions of people. Bryan says that all they really did was “provide back ground music for those buying T-shirts”, and is forever grateful to Garth for the ride.
Some of Bryan’s other Garth Brooks cuts include:
“The Fever” – Fresh Horses
“The Old Stuff” – Fresh Horses
“Cowboy Cadillac” – Sevens
“Rodeo or Mexico” – Scarecrow
“Meet Me in Love” – The Lost Sessions
“Cowgirl’s Saddle” – The Lost Sessions