Wayland Holyfield moved from Arkansas to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a songwriting career in 1972. His first song was recorded in 1973 and his first number one hit was Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer. He achieved his first solo number one hit You’re My Best Friend recorded by Don Williams.
In addition, Holyfield’s songs have been recorded by numerous Nashville artists. During his career, Holyfield written over 40 Top Ten hits and 14 #1 hits. Holyfield is most famous for his song Arkansas, You Run Deep In Me which was written for the 1986 Arkansas Sesquicentennial celebration. It was named one of Arkansas’ official state songs in 1987. Holyfield played the song at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1992.
Holyfield is the current chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Foundation. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, (NSAI) for almost 25 years. Since 1990 he has been serving on the ASCAP board of directors.
Holyfield received a Grammy Award nomination in 1972 for Could I Have This Dance and in 1979, he received the NSAI Presidential Award. Holyfield has won 14 BMI Performance Awards and 16 ASCAP Performance Awards.
Holyfield was the 1983 ASCAP Country Writer of the Year co-winner and in 1992 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and to the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.