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So long, Phil, and thanks for the music
January 3, 2014 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Phil Everly, one half of the iconic and deeply influential vocal duo the Everly Brothers, has died at age 74. Marked by their sweet, tight harmonies and chopping acoustic guitars, tunes like All I Have To Do Is Dream, Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy's Clown and When Will I Be Loved made an indelible mark on the musical consciousness of America.
posted by flapjax at midnite (79 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by trip and a half at 9:20 PM on January 3


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posted by Going To Maine at 9:21 PM on January 3


The Everly Brothers also added their voices to Graceland.

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posted by Songdog at 9:24 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


RIP Phil. (“An indelible mark” is a good way to put it. I’ve been a fan since “Wake Up Little Susie” came out when I was 8.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:30 PM on January 3


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posted by parki at 9:36 PM on January 3


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My piano teacher used All I Have To Do Is Dream to explain chord progressions - the first time I remember understanding exactly why something would sound 'right' and the score would look 'tidy'. Can't help but sing or hum along to any of the songs listed above any time I hear them.
posted by variella at 9:36 PM on January 3


RIP Phil Everly. Aww, very sad news! How hard it must be for the brother who didn't die after spending his entire life in such intense contact with his brother, business partner and fellow musician. The other half of the harmony.

That All I Have To Do Is Dream song of theirs was one of my very favorites when I first got a transistor radio way back in the early 60's. What a heavenly song. I used to put the radio under my pillow and there it was, Dream, dream, dream. Deliciously swoony.

Also liked this one, Bird Dog.

As it happens, I had a huge crush from age 8 or so on a boy who was 16, John, who was a neighbor in Kingston, Jamaica. He asked my father to help him run away, which my father did. My father also taught John to play the guitar and sail. John went on to spend the rest of his life, mostly playing guitar and sailing. But he also worked for many years the road manager for the Everly Brothers, which I found out in the early 1990's after not seeing John for decades.

So I called up the Everly Brothers' office in Nashville, left a voicemail and sure enough, several days later, I heard from John, who invited me to Atlantic City, to hear the Everly Brothers play and meet him. John also opened for the Everly Brothers at times or played with the band.

Off I went, to awful Atlantic City, to the casino-hotel they were playing to a sad, scant audience of blue rinse ladies and really elderly folk, met the Everly Brothers, heard them sing and saw John again after decades. I know John will really grieve the loss of his old friend, former boss and fellow musician.

Here is another of their beautiful harmonies. Love this one, Why Worry.
posted by nickyskye at 9:38 PM on January 3 [18 favorites]


Just saw this on Twitter and came here hoping someone posted this. Glad it was you flapjax.
Huge, huge loss. Harmonies and acoustic guitars are like the bedrock on which everything I love about music is built. Sorry if that sounds hokey.
RIP.
posted by chococat at 9:42 PM on January 3


Don't wantcher loooooove
anymore
don't wantcher kiiiiiiisses,
that's for shore

I die each time
I hear this sound
Here 'ee cooooooomes
that's Cathy's Clown.

duh duh duh duh duh

Rest in peace friend.

I loved your music.

(SLYT "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers)
posted by Lynsey at 9:42 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


Can't help but sing or hum along to any of the songs listed above any time I hear them.

Indeed! I would like to do one thing here, though, (which I thought about working into the FPP, but decided against because it could get too sprawling), that is to give props to the composers of the brilliant ear worms All I Have to Do is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie and Bye Bye Love, namely Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. Phil Everly did write When Will I Be Loved and the Everly brothers wrote Cathy's Clown.

Actually, one of the reasons I took the trouble to link to the Wiki pages (as well as YT clips) for each of the songs in the FPP was to point to its history, especially authorship, which is often underacknowledged when we talk about pop music.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:47 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


(SLYT "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers)

The very same one linked to in the FPP, Lynsey! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:48 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


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a latter day b-side -- Lord of the Manor. Why did David Lynch never pick this up?
posted by philip-random at 9:48 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


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posted by Flashman at 9:49 PM on January 3


a latter day b-side -- Lord of the Manor. Why did David Lynch never pick this up?

I hear you, philip-random. That's a killer track with *mysterious* written all over it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:49 PM on January 3


This mellow country-croon tune (with a hint of high-lonesome falsetto) is gorgeous, too... Long Time Gone.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:51 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine what music would have been like without them. Try to think of the Beatles or the Beach Boys without the harmonies they learned from the Everlys!

Safe passage, Phil.
posted by scody at 9:53 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


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Green River
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:56 PM on January 3


So Sad
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posted by jabo at 9:59 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Gone, gone, gone
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:59 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


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posted by Sys Rq at 10:05 PM on January 3


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:17 PM on January 3


I grew up listening to these guys because my Mom loved them. I have to say this song always got me:

The Lightning Express
posted by aclevername at 10:27 PM on January 3


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posted by arcticseal at 10:30 PM on January 3


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posted by Mezentian at 10:35 PM on January 3


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posted by From Bklyn at 10:37 PM on January 3


The Beatles readily acknowledged their Everly-emulation; Paul quite directly, in this charming but feedback-addled alternate take of Two of Us, saying "take it, Phil" after the bridge.
posted by chococat at 10:51 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


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Safe passage, Phil.
posted by Fibognocchi at 10:52 PM on January 3


Sadly, there will be one more of these.

Upstairs.
posted by timsteil at 10:59 PM on January 3


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posted by quazichimp at 11:07 PM on January 3


Bummer.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:11 PM on January 3


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posted by buzzman at 11:14 PM on January 3


I'm Tired of Singing My Songs in Las Vegas
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 11:16 PM on January 3


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posted by Anitanola at 11:24 PM on January 3


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posted by dougzilla at 11:38 PM on January 3


Roots is one of my favorite albums and these particular versions of I Wonder If I Care As Much and You Done Me Wrong are two of my favorite songs.
posted by StopMakingSense at 11:38 PM on January 3


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posted by Golden Eternity at 11:45 PM on January 3


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posted by Feisty at 12:11 AM on January 4


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I was born in '77 but I listened to oldies almost exclusively in my adolescence. I always thought Wake Up Little Susie and their other big hits were so corny. It wasn't until my mid 20s that I really learned to appreciate them (same with The Beach Boys, ashamedly). I still listen to primarily old music and The Everly Brothers are by far one of my favorite 60s pop groups.

One of my favorites by them--just an absolutely killer, gorgeous song: It's My Time
posted by bienbiensuper at 1:11 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]



posted by Cranberry at 1:29 AM on January 4


The world's not the same without the Everly harmonies

Even if they have mistakenly gotten lumped in with oldies by the ignorant , Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, and loads of other talents know the score.

The haunting Sleepless Nights.

Sleepless Nights

The rocking Just In Case…..check out James Burton's riff and the drum lick/tone, this record holds up so well sonically.

Just In Case

Then there is Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, no production, no James Burton, just two brothers with acoustics and harmonies..

Long Time Gone
posted by C.A.S. at 2:32 AM on January 4


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posted by Joey Michaels at 2:38 AM on January 4



posted by Smart Dalek at 4:10 AM on January 4


Little Susie never woke up!!

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posted by Melismata at 5:14 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


The Beatles readily acknowledged their Everly-emulation; Paul quite directly, in this charming but feedback-addled alternate take of Two of Us yt , saying "take it, Phil" after the bridge.

Paul also paid Phil and Don back a little by writing them a tremendous song, which they proceeded to knock right the fuck out of the park on their Dave Edmunds-produced "comeback" album.

On roadtrips, my old bf and I used to pass the time by singing semi-passable duets, including Everlys, of course, and having the marginally higher voice, I took Phil's parts, which are deceptively easy for anyone to sing, only nobody ever, ever sounds like Phil doing it. So long, man.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:16 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


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posted by Renoroc at 5:22 AM on January 4


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posted by colie at 5:36 AM on January 4


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posted by drezdn at 5:53 AM on January 4


My step-father was a tremendous fan of the Everly Brothers. Since his death, so much of the music he listened to, and performed has wrapped itself around my heart. And each time one of his idols dies, I spend hours listening to their music, and feeling like I'm flipping through his record collection again.

Say hi to Everett for me, Phil. He'll be the guy begging to harmonize Bird Dog with you.

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posted by DigDoug at 6:11 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Love Hurts
posted by evilcolonel at 6:54 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


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posted by bunderful at 7:19 AM on January 4


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posted by the_royal_we at 7:26 AM on January 4


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posted by lester at 7:29 AM on January 4


The Beatles readily acknowledged their Everly-emulation

So did the Hollies. Currently reading Graham Nash's Wild Tales and his appreciation of the brothers is heartfelt and strong.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:29 AM on January 4


Loved him on Fresh Prince.
posted by crank at 7:34 AM on January 4


Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet - Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones recently released "foreverly," a cover of Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. "Long Time Gone" on yt. The crossover may not appeal to some, but it keeps the music alive across generations. My boys came of age to American Idiot and are very much not country fans. foreverly was under the tree 12/25.
posted by headnsouth at 7:34 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


More on the Bryants:
"The Honeymooners" by Franklin Bruno
posted by rhymes with carrots at 7:45 AM on January 4


The Beatles readily acknowledged their Everly-emulation.

The first known recording of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison includes an unabashed Everly Brothers homage (The Quarrymen, In Spite of All the Danger). Interestingly, In Spite of All the Danger was a McCartney-Harrison collaboration, a combination that never occurred again after they became the Beatles.
posted by jonp72 at 7:56 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


“We are absolutely heartbroken,” [his wife, Patti Everly] said, noting that the disease was the result of a lifetime of cigarette smoking.

Damn.
posted by Danf at 7:59 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Agree with scody - can't imagine what music today would be like if not for them. And many of today's younger fans also can't imagine that so much of what they love came from these guys. And the influence is as powerful as ever. Check out Foreverly by Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones.
posted by Why We Are ... at 8:10 AM on January 4


Love of the Common People
posted by box at 8:23 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


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posted by El Brendano at 8:23 AM on January 4


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posted by Cash4Lead at 8:33 AM on January 4


Great BBC documentary, very well done.
posted by wheelieman at 8:36 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


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posted by droplet at 8:39 AM on January 4


Their harmonies were undeniable and their hooks unforgettable. Phil will be missed.

How hard it must be for the brother who didn't die after spending his entire life in such intense contact with his brother, business partner and fellow musician. The other half of the harmony.

They were influenced by the Louvin Brothers, and Charlie Louvin wrote a heartbreaking song about what it's like to lose your brother in blood and song. I dare you to listen to this and not get a little choked up.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:51 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


The Everly Brothers molded my taste in music probably more than I'll ever know. When I was a kid, my mom would put on the oldies station and my favorite things were always Motown stuff, the Beach Boys, and the Everly Brothers. Something about the vocal harmonies and the simple progressions of the songs really stood out to me, and undoubtedly influenced the artists that I like today.
posted by antonymous at 10:09 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]



posted by Gelatin at 10:14 AM on January 4


I went to see them in the late 90's - they looked terrible but damn they still sounded so unbelievably great. That was an era when I learned being single & going to concerts solo was actually fun. I could leave when I wanted, I could sing to whatever I wanted & it was plain ok to just freaking be ME.

The chick in the row in front of me turned around during that show & said, "You sing really well!"

Peace, Phil.
posted by yoga at 10:34 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


This thread has focused, rightly, on the Everly Brothers, but Phil also did remarkable things outside the EB context. I love harmony groups in general and the Beach boys in particular, in addition to the EBs, so here's a thing that floored me when I stumbled across it not long ago. One Righteous Brother (Bill Medley) singing lead, one Everly Brother (Phil) and one Beach Boy (Brian) singing--stellar--harmony on the Brian-written Beach Boys song "In My Room." IMHO Bill Medley's been listening to a lot of Ray Charles; he's a growler now. YMMV, but I was surprised (read enormous-shit-eating-grin surprised) at how well this combination worked out.

The "." by convention represents a moment of silence for the one we lost, and it seems a proper enough expression of respect for most. But for a much loved musician it's a different and more poignant thing entirely; it's like underlining exactly what you don't want to hear from that one but are going to anyway, namely nothing but silence going forward.

That said, here's one for you, Phil, and thank you very, very much for all you gave us while you could.

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posted by jfuller at 11:06 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


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posted by maryr at 11:52 AM on January 4


That's a great find, jfuller. WRT what someone said above about the Hollies, one of the first things that I thought about was "The Air That I Breathe", which I thought was a Hollies original, but on checking it wasn't... and Phil covered it before they did.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:53 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


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posted by Spatch at 5:28 PM on January 4


My dad had a couple Everly Brothers records and my brother and I would listen to them when we were kids. They were probably the first musicians I knew by name and the first music I ever discovered on my own.

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posted by bondcliff at 5:31 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


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posted by Asparagus at 9:28 PM on January 4


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posted by aryma at 11:45 PM on January 4


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posted by tommasz at 5:24 AM on January 5


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posted by Faint of Butt at 8:29 PM on January 5


Phil Everly's Family Recall His Humble Life and Final Days
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 AM on January 8


Nitro*Retro has posted a tribute mix of 5 lesser-known Everly cuts, plus many photos.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:16 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


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