A quick update to announce that the new Beatles CD Box Set of all the American albums will be released tomorrow, the 16th of January in the UK, and will be available in Canada next week. Will you be picking up a copy?
The Everly Brothers are a hugely essential part of the pack of pioneering Rock And Roll artists to emerge in the 1955-1956 period. They hit gold in 1957 with Bye Bye Love. Their vocal harmonies have often been imitated but never equalled. The sad news of the passing of Phil Everly yesterday brings an end to the joys of listening to their harmonies live in concert. It was always pure magic - nothing else could match their brotherly harmonies.
I saw the Everly Brothers sing in concert in Canada a few times over the years and their live vocals surpassed anything I had ever heard by them on record. They always brought along a good band of the very best musicians to perform behind them.
They headlined a tour of Canada in 1958 with Buddy Holly and the Crickets among others. Their music was issued in Canada on 78, 45, EP and LP, starting in 1957. They were one of the first Rock And Roll acts in Canada to issue an LP in stereo. The Fabulous Style Of The Everly Brothers (Compo/Cadence 1960) is a terrific album in stereo. The Everly Brothers invented "Country Rock" long before The Byrds took off with that in the late 1960s.
In the 1950s their initial discs on Cadence were issued in Canada by Apex (Compo). They would switch to Warner Brothers (also Compo) in the early 1960s and the two periods - Cadence and Warners - are classics. So many hits on both labels.
Their songs about dates, problems, and the insecurities of relationships took them to the top of the Canadian charts in the 1950s. But they evolved the Pop / Rock idiom after that. Check out their classic mid 1960s LP with the Hollies called "Two Yanks In England" for example. They took excellent Hollies material and made it even better, which would have been an impossible task to pull off. The Hollies had mined the Everly Brothers sound when they started out in Manchester.
Then the Everlys "walked right back" in 1967 with Bowling Green. A great song which they performed on Ed Sullivan.
In 1983 they performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London and that concert thankfully was filmed and can still be savoured. Watch that film if you have never seen it.
You can hear the influence of the Everly Brothers in just about any great vocal group from the 1960s, including the Beatles and Crosby Stills And Nash.
Paul McCartney was always a big fan and he wrote the great track On The Wings Of A Nightingale for them in the early 1980s. Listen to the lyrics "Phil And Don" in Sir Paul's song "Let Em In" from the 1976 LP Wings At The Speed of Sound ... "Phil and Don" follow Martin Luther.
Phil and Don were brothers and they had their own brotherly angst to deal with. This is no different from Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks, the Gallagher brothers (Noel and Liam) of Oasis, the Wilson brothers (Beach Boys) and perhaps The Smothers Brothers. Legal entanglements and periods of estrangement were part of the history of Don and Phil Everly. Nuff said.
But at the end if it all, the Everly Brothers are true giants / pioneers of Rock And Roll - on a par with Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Elvis. Great singles and great albums they have left us.
Now they can perform no longer. Their perfectly matched vocal harmonies on a brand new album called "Foreverly" were recreated recently by Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones and this new album has introduced the harmonic brilliance of Phil and Don Everly to a whole new generation. So, a Long Time Gone ... here are ten songs to appreciate the sheer brilliance of The Everly Brothers:
1. Bye Bye Love (1957 single, Cadence)
2. Bowling Green / Love Of The Common People (1967 singles, Warner Brothers)
3. When Will I Be Loved (1960 single, Cadence)
4. On The Wings Of A Nightingale (1984 single, Mercury)
5. Brand New Heartache (1960 single, Cadence)
6. Let It Be Me (1960 single, Cadence)
7. Wake Up Little Susie (1957 single Cadence)
8. All I Have To Do Is Dream (1958 single, Cadence)
9. Somebody Help Me (1966 - Two Yanks In England LP )
10. Man With Money (1965 single, Warner Brothers, B-side of Love Is Strange)
And there are so many others (Cathy's Clown, Till I Kissed You, Walk Right Back etc. etc. etc.).