I literally grew up on the Everly Brothers, as I am sure many of you did. They were amazingly consistent and had a unique blend and sound that will remain untouchable forever. Our paths crossed starting about 1958 when, as a non-shaving member of the group The Royal Teens, I played shows alongside many of the big acts of those times, including the Everlys, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Larry Williams, etc. In later years, when I worked in-house for various record companies, we would meet again. When I moved to Nashville in 1989, I would often see this headband-wearing guy who looked like a Hell's Angel at the Kroger grocery store in Green Hills until one day I realized it was Don Everly (!) in biker guise.
Their music influenced me all along and I think I have more Everly Brothers LPs in the house than any other artist (except maybe The Kinks). So I pulled out a mere 16 of my favorite tracks and spent some time trying to make as chronological and yet seamless a playing order as I could. In the end the chronology is a wee bit off because I’m obsessive, as a DJ and a live performer, about making sure two songs in a row are NEVER in the same key, etc. etc. So today we start off on their dad’s local radio show circa 1951 (?) with 13-year-old Phil introducing the first song, their monumental start-off hit “Bye Bye Love,” through the miracle of editing. I know some great ones were left off — “Let It Be Me," "Til I Kissed You," etc. — but one has to stop SOMEWHERE with a discography like theirs and a weekly column like mine.
I closed with some obscure tracks that I REALLY love — Howling Wolf’s "Meet Me in the Bottom" and probably my favorite Everly track of all time, “Lord of the Manor.” There were two versions of that song released by them — one is a live slow version, and the other is a much faster studio recording. I spliced them together starting with the slow one. I hope you enjoy this and that you shed a tear for the loss of baby brother Phil — and therefore the end of future performances by the one-of-a-kind greatest duo in pop/country music; perhaps of all time.
I have included a Nashville-made documentary of their careers although it is entirely Don’s narration and it made me miss Phil even more. It’s totally worth watching, however, if you’re a fan.
1. Intro: Ike & Phil Everly/"Bye Bye Love"
2. "Maybe Tomorrow"
3. "Wake Up, Little Susie"
4. I Wonder If I Care as Much
5. "I’m Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail"
Phil Everly and Al, 2002
7. "Brand New Heartache"
8. "Cathy’s Clown"
9. "All I Have to Do Is Dream"
Al and the Everlys, in the '80s; just to be complete, that is Polygram record exec Bas Hartung between me and the Bros.
10. "Walk Right Back"
11. "So Sad to Watch Good Love Go Bad"
12. "Gone, Gone, Gone"
13. "When Will I Be Loved"
14. "Like Strangers"
15. "Meet Me in the Bottom"
16. "The Lord of the Manor"