Remembering the Everly Brothers

Helen Harper

Throughout the month of June, CJNU Nostalgia Radio 93.7 FM celebrates the life and music of Phil and Don Everly.

After landing their first record deal in 1957, the Everly Brothers created a series of hit songs, including “Bye Bye Love”, ”Wake Up, Little Susie”, ”Bird Dog”, and my personal favourite, “All I have To Do Is Dream”. Their expressive harmonies will sound familiar to fans of British Invasion bands such as the Beatles and the Hollies, and of folk-oriented acts such as Simon and Garfunkel, not to mention Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. The Everly Brothers had great success in Canada, the U.S., and Britain.

Their two most successful records—”Till I Kissed You” and “When Will I Be Loved”—were both written by Don and Phil. Over the course of their career, they had the usual ups and downs with record labels and contract disputes, and although their popularity began to wane around 1962, they still performed. By this time their personal lives went through serious upheavals, including amphetamine addiction. By 1973 they split up, citing differences in views about life and politics. Although they did reunite a decade later, they never again regained the popularity or artistic success of their early days.

The Everly Brothers are members of the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for a couple of kids from Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. With Phil’s passing in 2014, we can now only “Dream” of this musical gifted pair.

I grew up listening to their brilliant harmonies, so I think it’s wonderful to have these two boys as our Featured Artists of the Month for June. Be sure to tune in and hum along with us to some of your favourite Everly Brothers tunes, or visit McNally Robinson Booksellers for their selection of Everly Brothers albums.

Helen Harper is a volunteer at CJNU 93.7 Nostalgia Radio.