Rusty Bryant

Columbus,  1950s-1991

Royal "Rusty" Bryant was a legendary figure in the Columbus area for being the originator and leader of the postwar R&B scene. Although he is 'filed' as a jazz musician, it was often hard to see the difference between R&B and jazz in the early 1950s, especially as a 'honker' styled  sax player (he played both alto and tenor, but most of his familiar recordings are on tenor sax).

During the 1950s Rusty fronted his band. the Carolyn Club Orchestra, with which he recorded for Dot records. The group had a national hit with "All Night Long". Rusty recorded three LPs for Dot before his contract expired. Meanwhile he had been mentoring and playing with several Columbus musicians including Stomp Gordon, Hank Marr, Nancy Wilson, and Jeanette Williams. He played on a few LPs that were released with Marr as the bandleader for King records. 

During the 1960s Rusty recorded a few 45s that were locally distributed. In 1969 he was back on the national scene recording for Prestige records. Rusty kept up with the times and his Prestige records were influenced by soul and especially funk. He also played on recordings by other Prestige artists Richard "Groove" Holmes,Boogaloo Joe Jones, and Johnny "Hammond" Smith.

Rusty passed away in 1991