Everly Brothers

Gary: January 4, 2014, we lost 1/2 of the Everly Brothers, Phil Everly.  Phil died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at a
Burbank Hospital, reported by his son Jason. 

I was fortunate enough to see the Everly Brothers Live in Toronto, great concert and the Brothers will be no more.  Truly a Rock Pioneer, but unfortunately, forgotten in today’s society. 

They had  fantastic harmonies with out the use of “Autotune”;  there is no substitute for talent.


Phil and Patti Everly



A video with the late Phil Everly / Long Time Gone /
1960 Live / All I have to do is Dream and Cathy’s Clown /
1960 / Dick Clark Beech Nut Show/ Til I kissed you /
1964 / I think Shindig / poor video, but the band and audio is great (remember shindig had the best band on TV /
1964 / Shindig excellent quality live / Let it Be Me /
1969 / TV Show with David Steinberg /
1969 / ABC TV Show (very different) /
1983 / Bird Dog / This concert I was at in Toronto with Albert Lea /
1983 Reunion Concert (I was there) / Until I Kissed You /
1986 / Mark Knofler & Chet Atkins / Why Worry /
1989 / Live in Melbourne with Albert Lee /
1989 Live in Melbourne Australia / Wake Up Little Susie and All I have to do is Dream /
2003 / With Simon & Garfunkel Tour /



There have been many family groups over the years, brothers and sisters, families that are not related (Doobie Brothers) but to me none had the impact of these two boys from Kentucky.

Their Weapon of Choice!

Gibson J-200

These instruments where played by

The Everly Brothers


1960 in the UK / All I Have To Do Is Dream and Cathy’s Clown /
1964 Shindig / Let It Be Me /
2004 / Introduced by Simon and Garfunkel / Wake up Little Susie /

In England, later in life with Albert Lee:


1996 biography

They started as Country Rockers and compiled a list of Top 40 hits that would be the envy of any performer.  Now in 1964/65, they went into the Nashville studios, with a group of studio musicians, all 25 or under, no formal arrangements, no conductors.  What came out of those sessions, where two albums that are my favourites, Rock N’ Soul and Beat Soul.  These albums where not country, these cats could rock and I will include some of those Album cuts.

Billboard Top 40:
Look at their start, you will see why they had such a huge impact on the market:

1.   Bye Bye Love/ Cadence 1315/ 5/27/57/ # 2 (4 weeks)

2.   Wake up Little Susie/ Cadence 1337/ 9/30/57/ # 1 (4 weeks)
3.   This little girl of Mine/ (written by Ray Charles) / Cadence/1342/ 2/17/58/ # 26
4A.   All I Have To Do Is Dream/ Cadence 1348/ 4/28/58/ # 1 (5 weeks) my favourite!
4B.   Claudette (Roy Orbison song)/ B side/ 5/12/58/ # 30
5A.   Bird Dog/ Cadence 1350/ 8/11/58/ # 1 (1 week)
5B.   Devoted to You/ B side/ 8/18/58/ # 10
6.   Problems/ Cadence 1355/11/24/58/ # 2
7A.   Take a Message to Mary/ Cadence 1364/ 4/20/59/ # 16
7B.   Poor Jenny/ B side/ 4/20/59/ # 22
8.   (‘Til) I Kissed You/ Cadence 1369/ 8/24/59/ # 4 (The Crickets where the backing band)
9.   Let It Be Me/ Cadence 1376/ 1/25/60/ # 7
10. Cathy’s Clown/ Warner 5151/ 5/2/60/ # 1 (5 weeks)
11. When Will I Be Loved/ Cadence 1380/ 6/27/60/ # 8
12A. So Sad/ Warner 5163/ 9/12/60/ # 7
12B. Lucille/ B side/ 9/12/60/ # 21
13. Walk Right Back/ Warner 5199/ 2/13/61/ # 7
14. Ebony Eyes/ Warner 5220/ 2/13/61/ # 8
15. Don’t Blame Me/ Warner 5501/10/9/61/ # 20
16. Crying in the Rain/ Warner 5250/ 2/3/62/ # 6
17. That’s Old Fashioned/ Warner 5273/ 6/2/62/ # 9
18. Gone Gone Gone/ Warner 5478/ 12/5/64/ # 31
19. Bowling Green/ Warner 7020/ 7/8/67/ # 40

Rock N’ Soul (1964 Album)

1. That’ll Be The Day

2.  Dancing in the Street

3.  Susie Q

Beat Soul (1965 Album)

1. Love is Strange

2. See See Rider

3. My Babe

4. I Almost Lost My Mind

5. The Girl Can’t Help It

6. Hi Heel Sneekers

The Everly Brothers, (Don Everly, born Isaac Donald Everly February 1, 1937, Brownie, Kentucky, Phil Everly, born Phillip Everly, January 19, 1939, Chicago, Illinois) are male siblings who were top-selling country-influenced rock and roll performers, best known for their steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. Their greatest period of chart success came between 1957 and 1961.

Don, the older brother was born in Brownie, a now-defunct coal mining town located outside of Central City, Kentucky. Phil Everly was born in Chicago. The sons of country musicians, Margaret Embry and Isaac Milford (“Ike”) Everly, Jr., the Everly Brothers grew up in Iowa. They performed with their parents on live radio and in small-market live shows in the Midwest.

In addition to both being competent guitarists, the brothers used a style of close harmony singing in which each brother sang a tune that could often stand on its own as a plausible melody line. This is in contrast to classic harmony lines which, while working well alongside the melody, would sound strange if heard by themselves. One of the best examples of their close-harmony work is their recording of “Devoted to You”.
Devoted To You

The duo’s approach to harmony singing had a strong influence on the rock and roll groups of the 1960s. For example, both The Beatles and The Beach Boys developed their early singing style by performing Everlys covers. The Beatles based the vocal arrangement of their song “Please Please Me” directly upon that of “Cathy’s Clown.”The Everly Brothers recorded their own first single, “Keep A’ Lovin’ Me,” in 1956, under the aegis of Chet Atkins, but it flopped. However their next single, “Bye Bye Love,” (which had been rejected by 30 other acts, including Elvis Presley), became an across-the-board smash, reaching #2 on the pop charts, and #1 on both the Country, and the R & B charts.
Bye Bye Love

This song, written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, became the Everly Brothers’ first million-seller.They soon became known as the stalwarts of Archie Bleyer’s Cadence Records label. Working with the Bryants, the harmonic duo had a number of hits in the U.S. and the UK, the biggest of which were “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and “Bird Dog.”
Wake Up Little Susie

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Bird Dog

In 1960, when they signed with Warner Bros. Records, they continued to have hits. Their first with WB, 1960’s “Cathy’s Clown,” launched the brothers back to the top of the charts. It was released as number WB1, the first release in the United Kingdom by Warner Brothers Records.
Cathy’s Clown

Other singles followed, such as “Crying In The Rain” (1963) and “The Ferris Wheel” (from 1964), but the years after 1962 saw the Everly Brothers selling many fewer records than before.
Crying In The Rain

Their enlistment in the United States Marine Corps in 1963, to meet military obligations, took them out of the spotlight immediately before The Beatles broke loose in the United States and changed the pop-music landscape.Warner Brothers released a “Golden Hits” album in 1962, which included their Warner Brothers hits, from “Cathy’s Clown” to “That’s Old-Fashioned” (their last Top 10 hit) in 1962. The 1964 album “The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers” included new versions of six of their Cadence hits (re-recorded in Nashville), along with six of the original Warner Brothers hits. Some of these re-recordings are sometimes played and mistaken for the originals, such as “Devoted to You” and “Til I Kissed You.” In 1963, Cadence released a more complete album of those original hits, titled “15 Everly Hits.”After military experience in the Marines, the brothers regained a moderate level of success for a few more years. Singles and albums continued to be released. They had somewhat more success in Britain and Canada in that period. Some fans find their mid-60s music most impressive, the songs “The Price of Love” and “Love Is Strange” being good examples. The album title “In Our Image” referred to their influence on a new era of singers like the Beatles, who were inspired by their harmony. The album “Two Yanks In England” was recorded there with backup by the Hollies and is a reflection of their success there, and a gesture of camaraderie with the new wave. The album “Roots” is touted by some formal critics as superior, but from a music fan’s standpoint it was not special. Their contract with Warner Bros lapsed after its ten years.

The duo split in 1973, but reformed in 1983 with a new album produced by Dave Edmunds. “On the Wings of a Nightingale”, written by Paul McCartney for the brothers, became a hit single in both the US and UK, and their 1983 Reunion Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was instigated by English virtuoso guitarist Albert Lee (who was also the musical director), resulted in both a well-received CD and video. They then earned a final charting country-music hit with “Born Yesterday.”

At around the same time, Phil enjoyed some success as a soloist, with an album Phil Everly, recorded mainly in London, and including musicians such as Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, Rockpile drummer Terry Williams, and evergreen session keyboard player Pete Wingfield. “She Means Nothing To Me”, featuring Cliff Richard as co-lead vocalist, was a Top 10 hit in the UK, and “Louise” reached the Top 50 in 1983.

In 1994, a new recording of “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” featuring Cliff Richard and Phil sharing vocals, was a UK Top 20 hit.

Even though the brothers have not produced any new studio albums since 1989’s “Some Hearts,” they continue to tour and perform. Throughout their careers they have collaborated extensively with other performers, usually singing either backup vocals or duets. For example, Don Everly recorded a duet with Emmylou Harris in 1979, “Everytime You Leave”, on her album “Blue Kentucky Girl”.

In 2006, Phil Everly sang a duet, “Sweet Little Corrina”, with country singer Vince Gill on his much acclaimed album These Days. He previously supplied harmony vocals on J.D. Souther’s “White Rhythm and Blues” on his 1979 album “You’re Only Lonely”.

The Everly Brothers have had a total of 26 Billboard Top 40 singles. In 1986, they were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1997, they were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Their pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked The Everly Brothers #33 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. They are also #43 on the list of UK Best selling singles artists of all time.

They were also accomplished songwriters, penning a number of their own hits, including “Till I Kissed You” (Don), “Cathy’s Clown” (Don and Phil), and “When Will I Be Loved” (Phil). “Cathy’s Clown” and “When Will I Be Loved” later became hits for Reba McEntire and Linda Ronstadt, respectively; (for the latter, the Everly Brothers even sang the back up chorus). Also, the Norwegian band “A-Ha” covered “Crying In The Rain” in 1990 for their fourth album, East of The Sun, West of The Moon.

They still perform occasionally, despite having declared their retirement from both touring and the studio more than once. Most notably, they joined Simon and Garfunkel as the featured act in the Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour of 2003 and 2004. As a special tribute to the Everly Brothers, they were not the opening act, rather Simon and Garfunkel opened their own show and had the Everlys come out in the middle for three or four songs. For Paul Simon, it was not the first time he had performed prominently with his heroes. In 1986, The Everlys sang background vocals on the hit title track of Simon’s landmark album Graceland.(lastfm)


9 responses to “Everly Brothers

  1. Hello Russ,
    Thanks again for covering essential Rock & Roll performers. I recently saw the Everlys on a PBS broadcast of a special tribute to Chet Atkins (’85?) They performed and sang back up along with Emmy Lou Harris. Mark Knopfler was featured. It was a treat.

  2. hey this is a great piece off work well done regards steve//foreverly duo

  3. This music is so wonderful of the Everly’s!!!! Thank you for sending this to all of us who loves the Everly Brothers.. Please enjoy the Everley Brothers FANCLUB site in the Netherlands and visit http://www.everly.net
    Have fun!
    Keep it EVERLY…..
    Alie Bleeker, Hoogezand, The Netherlands.

  4. This was a well written essay of the Everly Brothers. Only 1 minor mistake about the Marines part of their lifes. You mentioned “After their Army..” It should have been “Marines”.

  5. Great web site, I as wondering where I might get an address on the brothers so I can get an autograoh thanks Fred

  6. Pingback: Sharon Sheeley | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

  7. Thanks Russ, Whilst at a Queens Univ. conference in 1968, happened to visit a local large hall and I found myself listening to a whole evening of the brothers I was a big fan at the time. Wonderful memory.

  8. What a great tribute….remember when “bird dog” came out, and you Russ sitting at the piano and looking out and saying “you’re a bird dog” it was 1958…….still love the everly’s always and all ways…..
    Thank you Phil for your music and love.

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