Wednesday, July 28, 1999
brings brotherly love to PTC
By MICHAEL BOYLAN
Who is the most influential duo in the history of popular music?
No, it's not Lennon-McCartney and it's not Jagger-Richards. It's not even Simon and Garfunkel. It is the Everly Brothers, the duo that influenced all of those outstanding acts, and they will be playing the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater this Friday and Saturday evening.
Don and Phil Everly were born two years apart in the coal mining regions of Kentucky. Their parents, Ike and Margaret, were folk and country singers who passed on their love of music to their sons. In 1951, when Don was 14 years old and Phil was 12, the boys started playing music with their parents on KMA radio.
By 1953, the family had moved to Knoxville, Tenn. and performed on WROL. Don had written a song called Thou Shalt Not Steal, which Chet Atkins gave to country singer Kitty Wells. The song was a hit and the Everly parents decided it was time to send their boys on to Nashville. Things were not always easy and their parents had to work many jobs to continue to support the boys, but in February 1957, things changed forever.
The Everly Brothers signed with Cadence Records and released a little song called Bye, Bye, Love. That little song went on to sell over two million copies. By June of that year, the Everly Brothers were regulars at The Grand Ole Opry. They were very popular in country music circles, but they also found that their appeal was far reaching. Rock and Roll fans, R&B fans, and folk music fans all enjoyed the sounds of the Everly Brothers, and so did people all around the world.
In the next few years, the Everlys recorded dozens of songs, many of which became gold records. Songs like Wake Up, Little Susie, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Cathy's Clown and When Will I Be Loved not only gave the Everly Brothers fame and fortune, they gained the respect of fellow musicians. Their melodies and combinations of multiple genres of music paved the way for acts like The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead.
In 1961, the boys were called upon to fulfill their military service obligations and they enlisted in the Marine Reserves. In 1970, Johnny Cash presented a television show called Johnny Cash presents The Everly Brothers. Three years later, after an argument while onstage, the Everly Brothers went their separate ways. Phil and Don recorded some solo albums and did a little songwriting on the side, but it wasn't until the early 1980s that the brothers decided to work together again.
In 1983, the Everly Brothers played two sold-out performances at Royal Albert Hall in London. That performance was made into a double album. In 1986, they recorded a new album called Born Yesterday. Time Magazine voted that album one of the Top 10 Pop Albums of that year. Impressive when you consider that other albums from that year include U2's The Joshua Tree and INXS Kick.
Nineteen eighty-six also was the year that The Everly Brothers became two of the first inductees into The Rock N' Roll Hall of fame. They were recognized for their music, their influence and their staying power. Over their careers, The Everly Brothers have played in more than 700 cities in North America, traveled to nearly every country in the world, and sold more than 40 million records.
The Everly Brothers will take the stage 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the amphitheater box office or by calling 770-631-0630.