Tuesday, January 07, 2014

R.I.P. Phil Everly

As a coda to yesterday's post . . . yet another cover of "Last Thing On My Mind," this one sung by the late, great Phil Everly.

Again, the Everly Brothers were just before my time -- that's me, always playing catch-up. I do own a copy of Dave Edmunds' and Nick Lowe's EP of Everlys covers, but even that I only bought in 2008 when I discovered Rockpile years too late.  So I won't claim to have been an Everly Brothers fan. That doesn't stop me from being genuinely sad at the news that Phil Everly, the younger of the duo, has just passed away at age 74.  (Only 74? So they were really still kids when they starting making hit records in 1957...)  

I'm sure I saw them perform on TV variety shows -- from the old school programs like Ed Sullivan and Perry Como's and Andy Williams', down to network attempts at hipness like Shindig! and Hullabaloo.  (Or was it Shindig and Hullabaloo!?). I certainly knew who they were, even if I vaguely confused them with the Righteous Brothers. I know, I know, totally different sound and those guys weren't even brothers, but all that flew right over my grade-school head.

I had no idea which one sang the high part and which one the low part, or rather the not-as-high part, in their close brotherly harmonies. (For the record, research tells me Phil was the higher voice). But I definitely recognized their songs when I heard them on the radio. "Wake Up Little Susie" was probably my favorite -- what was yours?

1 comment:

wwolfe said...

Mine were "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "The Price of Love." The latter, written by the brothers, features some sharp lyrics: "You talk too much/You laugh too loud/You see her face in every crowd" and "Wine is sweet/Gin is bitter/Drink all you can, but you won't forget her." Released in 1965, and not quite reaching the Top 40, it highlights a too-little known fact about the boys, which is that they stayed a vital creative team right through their "Roots" album in 1968. (A nice little footnote: your mention of the Righteous Brothers reminds me of Bill Medley's story from the Wrecking Crew documentary about how when he first heard Barry Mann sing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," medley told him, "That sounds like a great Everly Brothers song." Which, in a very different version, it would have been.)