Phil Everly RIP
The Vinyl Word says a sad farewell to Phil Everly at the age of 74. It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of the Everly Brothers, whose sweet harmonies were a huge feature of pop music of the
late fifties and sixties. They recorded a string of massively successful records for Cadence, beginning with Bye Bye Love in 1957 and following up with Wake Up Little Susie, Should We Tell Him, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Bird Dog, Problems, Poor Jenny, (Til) I Kissed You, Let It Be Me, When Will I Be Loved and Like Strangers. All of them gems.
When they moved to Warner Brothers in 1960 their fans feared that the quality might deteriorate. But it didn't, and Cathy's Clown, the first UK release on the Warner Brothers label, was the biggest hit of 1960, staying at number one for nine weeks.Other great records followed, including So Sad, Walk Right Back, Temptation, Muskrat, Crying In The Rain, How Can I Meet Her, No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile, So It Always Will Be, It's Been Nice, The Girl Sang The Blues, Ain't That Loving You Baby and The Price Of Love, among many others. Eventually the onslaught of the Mersey sound dented the Everlies' ability to have major chart hits, even in the UK where they were more successful than in the States in the mid sixties, and animosity between the two brothers did not help, resulting in the duo splitting up in 1973. Both brothers recorded as solo artists and Phil's albums, including Phil's Diner, Star Spangled Springer and Mystic Line, had their moments, but they were always better together than alone and they reunited at a reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983. They toured again and recorded
sporadically and Phil's duet with Cliff Richard on She Means Nothing To Me was a highlight (for Cliff). Their influence, on everyone from the Beatles to the Beach Boys and just about every other harmony group since, was immense.
When I kept my personal top ten from 1960 to 1965 the Everly Brothers had more chart entries (23) than any other artist (even Sam Cooke) and this was largely because they recorded so many wonderful double sided records. Who can forget I Wonder If I Care As Much, Maybe Tomorrow, Claudette, Devoted To You, Love Of My Life, Take A Message To Mary, Lucille, Ebony Eyes, Stick With Me Baby, Don't Blame Me and That's Old Fashioned - all of them B sides.
The Everlies toured the UK a number of times in the sixties and I was lucky enough to catch them a few times, including their 1963 tour with Bo Diddley and the Rolling Stones low down on the bill.
The LPs pictured below are: Top row - A Date With The Everly Brothers (London), Instant Party (Warner), It's Everly Time (Warner), Beat and Soul (Warner); Middle row - The Hit Sound (Warner), Phil Everly -Phil's Diner (Pye), Phil Everly - Star Spangled Springer (RCA), The Fabulous Style (London): Bottom row - In Our Image (Warner), Everly Brothers Sing (Warner), Both Sides Of An Evening (Warner), The Everly Brothers (London).