KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It's a fight song like no other. Just the sound of "Rocky Top" brings out the UT spirit. And now, that spirit has been translated into a brand.
"I can't tell you, it's thrilling. It's thrilling," said Dane Bryant, whose parents Boudleaux and Felice Bryant composed the song "Rocky Top" more than 40 years ago. He's been on top of the world since UT announced a Rocky Top logo is here.
"It's a marvelous wonderful experience working with UT, just wonderful," he said.
Bryant was on hand for the half-time show announcement during the UT-Georgia game on Saturday. He says the venture will let students and fans buy hats, T-shirts and more featuring the new logo. And some students are eager to see what it looks like.
"I don't really know a design that would make it look good right now, but I'm sure they've come up with something good," says John-Wesley Patterson, a junior at UT.
"Rocky Top" is UT's fight song and dear to the hearts of Vols fans everywhere. The Pride of the Southland first began playing it under the direction of Dr. W.J. Julian in 1962. Since then, it's synonymous with UT.
"I've been singing it at football games and hearing about it or just hearing it on TV when I was a kiid watching UT games," said Robert Rich, a sophomore.
"Dr. Julian might have thought it would get this big," explains Bryant. "Dr. Julian first played it on the field and discovered it was gonna be a fight song and continued to play it, and it's developed and grown since then."
The Rocky Top logo was created by UT students who also will develop products through the Rocky Top Institute - housed in UT's Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism management.
Royalties from the sale of products will be split between the Bryant family and UT, but Bryant says he's already had a royal experience.
"I feel big and wonderful and I feel insignificant, too. I just feel overwhelmed by it. Such a wonderful thing."
To buy the first products of T-shirts and ball caps featuring the Rocky Top logo, head to the UT bookstore or buy them at Neyland Stadium. Or click on the link to the right.