Don Bryant Talks Love, New Music and His First Grammy Nomination at 78 years old

At almost 80 years old, the legendary singer/songwriter, Don Bryant continues to live every day to the fullest, even during a pandemic. Not only did he release his latest album, “You Make Me Feel,” this year, but he also got the chance to have a safe performance and was nominated for his first Grammy Award.

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Age is just a number for Don Bryant. This kind man finds great joy in continuing to do what he loves with the support of his wife, Ann Peebles.

“At this point, it’s giving me an opportunity to go back myself and record some of those songs that I wrote for her and that makes me feel good.”

When asked how long him and his wife have been together, Bryant responded, “It’s been a long time, it’s been years. To tell you the truth, I really haven’t been counting because we’ve just been enjoying each other … I might forget how long or how far back it was, but I’m not gonna forget her, because she’s right there where I can put my arms around her at any time. That makes it all great for me.”

His latest album, “You Make Me Feel,” was written for his beloved other half. It portrays a true love story between two people who are just happy to be able to be together.

“Those were some of my favorite songs,” says Bryant. “I had the opportunity to do it myself and to me, that’s a big deal. I loved being able to sing it to her and she enjoyed it.”

This album contains tracks that are both old and new. Bryant gave American Songwriter an insight into his writing process, since he is constantly writing new songs. He generally finds inspiration in the little things in life and in the conversations he has, because that is where the best stories come from.

“Once I have the title, I like to sit down and write the story from that. To me, it’s like a challenge. I’m thankful I didn’t ever stop writing because I’m enjoying it now as much as I enjoyed it then.”

Even though he hasn’t been able to sing in front of any large audiences this year, he did get the chance to do an NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. In an empty room with only him, a keyboard and guitar player, he said it felt great to sing “Your Love is to Blame,” “Is It Over,” and “Your Love is Too Late” from his latest album.

All of the hard work and dedication he has put into his career has led him to some well-deserved recognition. Bryant expressed his excitement for receiving his first ever Grammy nomination this year.

“It’s still hard for me to tell you how I feel because it’s something great and I’ve never really thought about reaching that point. I’m thankful to still have the mind to write songs and pick songs for these last couple albums,” says Bryant. “I never gave up on writing or singing because that’s what I love. So to have that opportunity to go back into the studio and to do the very thing I’ve been loving for years, it was something great.”

Check out Bryant’s live performance of “Is It Over” off of his latest record:

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