Families That Sing Together Part 2 – The Everly Brothers

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The Everlys’ superb 1968 album, Roots, begins with the voice of their dad, Ike Everly, introducing the boys (Don was 15, Phil 13) at the start of the family’s radio show. Don first had his own spot on the show at age 8, and they started singing together not long after that. By 1952, when the show we hear on Roots was broadcast, they were old pros, and by 1957 they were teen idols. Their run at the top of the pop charts lasted until about 1962, when the brothers joined the Marines, and never really resumed, although they made some good music even into the ’80s.

The Everlys were the culmination of a long tradition of close harmony country acts, many of them brothers: the Delmores, Monroes, Louvins, Bolicks. The Everlys’ translation of that tradition into rock and roll terms made their influence on the new music immensely important. The Beatles owed them a lot, the Hollies owed them everything but their name.

I saw the Everly Brothers perform only once, in 1970, at the Wollman Skating Rink in New York’s Central Park (the opening act was John Denver!). It wasn’t one of their better nights, as onstage bickering cut their set short. But as beautifully as their voices meshed, I’m sure that even their arguments would have eventually fallen into that unique harmony of theirs; no sounds they made together could have stayed harsh very long.

The video is a truly lovely performance of two of their greatest hits, Cathy’s Clown and All I Have to Do Is Dream, from a 1961 episode of British singer Alma Cogan’s TV show. Please enjoy!

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One Response to “Families That Sing Together Part 2 – The Everly Brothers”

  1. jeff s. Says:

    don and others … pardon my butting in on the families post because this really applies to the npr info just below

    this npr site lists and links to all the npr live concert and music playbacks , including everything (so far as i can tell) from this year’s newport folk fest including sets from neko case, gillian welch, joan baez, and seeger in and out of the rain:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1109

    cheers,

    jeff

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