b. 2 June 1929, Tarrant, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Bryant began singing at the age of five and six years later was touring Florida with the Dixie Boys Choir. He was educated at Birmingham-Southern College and the Birmingham Conservatory of Music before receiving a scholarship in composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1953 he began working in New York City as an arranger, orchestrator, singer and after three years moved to California where he worked as a string bass player in various hotels and clubs, including Puccini’s, which was then owned by Frank Sinatra. During this period, he also worked as a group singer, making records, movies, and appearing on television. In this capacity he performed with many leading entertainers of the period, including Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Dean Martin, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney. In 1959 he ghosted the singing voice of actor Richard Beymer, who played the role of Tony in the film version of West Side Story, famously singing ‘Maria’. Another ‘unknown’ credit, also heard by millions, is Bryant’s singing in the group that performed the theme for the 60s television series Batman - ‘that’s actually me singing the G above high C at the end!’
During the following decades Bryant worked as an orchestrator, arranger, composer, most notably for John Williams and James Horner, and orchestrated hundreds of television shows and television movies, and in 1990 won an EMMY Achievement Award for orchestrating Stephen King’s ‘It’. He composed and orchestrated many projects for various Disney theme parks and also orchestrated and arranged for numerous production shows in Las Vegas, as well as the Lido de Paris, in Paris. For several years he had a company, Jimmy Bryant Creative Music Service, and composed music for radio and television commercials; he wrote jingles for clients including motor companies, wine and beer makers. The most prominent of these was the theme for a Toyota advertisement written in 1973. Entitled ‘Come Run With Me’, it was developed into a full song and recorded by Al Martino and the Brady Bunch, among others. In the late 90s, when many of his age might have decided to drift into leisurely retirement, Bryant was hard at work on a new major project, this time for Tokyo Disneyland.