Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Together in perfect harmony

Their great voices and tight harmonies influenced scores of performers who came behind them. The Beatles, the Hollies, Peter and Gordon, Simon and Garfunkel -- all owe a debt to Don and Phil Everly.

Or is it Phil and Don Everly?  Don't want to get this wrong, because their famous 1973 dust-up in Buena Park, California at the John Wayne Theater -- now there's a classic venue for a showdown -- split up the Everly Brothers for 10 years.  Before then, they were the bomb.  The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll calls them "the most important vocal duo in rock" and we're not here to argue.

The Everlys' biggest hit, "Cathy's Clown," was riding the top of the charts on this day in 1960. (Fifty years ago? Yes, we're feeling a little older this morning.)  "Cathy's Clown" sold more than 2 million copies and was the first hit released by Warner Brothers Records.  Prior to that they tore up the airwaves with a handful of Top 10 songs for Cadence, including "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Suzie" and "All I Have to Do is Dream" -- all No. 1s on the country chart.

Here was the Billboard Top 5 on June 1, 1960:

1. Cathy's Clown, Everly Brothers
2. Stuck on You, Elvis Presley
3. Good Timin', Jimmy Jones
4. Greenfields, Brothers Four
5. Night, Jackie Wilson


  1. Yeah feeling older is right.

    That lost 10 years is probably the reason they aren't more widely acclaimed. As you said, most of the great rock bands followed their path with use of harmonies.

    In the early 70s, Warren Zevon was in their touring band on keyboards.

  2. Loved Cathy's Clown.

  3. Loved "On the Wings of a Nightingale," penned by Paul McCartney in 1984. The Beatles always said the EB were a big influence.