If you were a teenager growing up in the late 50’s there was no way you could escape the sound of the Everly Brothers music. Rock and roll was in its infancy and both Don and Phil just happened to be there at the right time.
Phil was the younger of the two. Together they recorded many memorable songs starting in 1957 with “Bye Bye Love,” followed by “Wake Up Little Susie.”
If you ever went out on a date during those days and went parking in some secluded spot with your girlfriend you could relate to “Wake Up Little Susie.” I’d be willing to bet ya that quite a few guys could relate to that song. Me included.
My favorite spot was along the beach on a hot summer night. Unfortunately I did not have enough brains to figure out that automobile tires do not necessarily have much traction when it comes to parking in beach sand. So ya might say I had a few of those “Wake Up Little Susie” moments.
Then there were the tear jerkers. We, and I’m speaking to you older geezers, can also relate to the heartbreak of those teenage years when some girl dumped us. And the Everly Brothers were there to remind us about that heartbreak with “Bye Bye Love,” and, if you managed to latch on to a girl who just used you, there was, “Cathy’s Clown, and “So Sad To Watch Good Love Go Bad.”
From one of their reunion concerts in London in 1983…..http://youtu.be/ajiivasUhdk
I personally think the “Kleenex” facial tissue company made a fortune during the 50’s just by encouraging radio stations to play sad Everly Brothers songs.
And of course our teenage years always had some guy, usually tall, blond wavy hair, who resembled “Fabio” attempting to score with the girl you were dating. Oh yeah, and they always drove a Corvette. Chick magnet.
So, realizing this problem, the Everly Brothers recorded, “Bird Dog,” which was NOT about birds, for those of you who think it had something to do with the “Audubon Society,” but with that other guy hitting on your girl.
There were a lot of sad “OMG my life is over as I know it” songs as well. J. Frank Wilson’s “Last Kiss,” Ray Peterson’s “Tell Laura I Love Her,” Dicky Lee with “Patches,” all about dying and loves lost. So throw in yet another one by the Everly Brothers, “Ebony Eyes,” about a guy waiting for his love at an airport and then finding out the plane with her on it had crashed.
Still think “Kleenex” didn’t make a fortune off of the Everly Brothers and those other tear-jerker songs.
Those types of songs continued on through the 60’s as well. Most notable, “Leader of The Pack” by the Shangri-las. My favorite being the parody of that song by Jimmy Cross, “I Want My Baby Back.”
The Everly’s also did a lot of really great uptempo songs which were big hits at record hops.
Record hops, again, for those of you who have no clue, was not a record season for harvesting hops for beer. It was when a disc jockey played records, (those round 7″ plastic things with holes in the center) at some local VFW hall and kids came to dance. Then went parking after and got stuck in beach sand.
Some of their uptempo rocking songs included, “Gone Gone Gone, ” “Problems” “Lucille,” (a remake of the Little Richard song) and “Claudette.”
If you were not like that Fabio guy and drove a 1949 De Soto such as I did, scoring with a girl was not an easy task. Not to mention that I was only 5′ 4″ tall and the only girls that were attracted to me were the ones wearing braces, had severe cases of acne, and buck teeth.
This is where the song, “When Will I Be Loved” really touched home. But, as was the case back in the late 50’s, there was always “Playboy Magazine,” which we kids used to rip off from the local convenience store, took it home, ogled the pages of naked women, and listened to , “All I Have To Do Is Dream.”
Remember your first kiss? The Everly’s were on top of that too with “Til I Kissed You.”
By 1967 the brothers had just about run their course. Their last record was something called “Bowling Green” which only made it to number 40 on the top forty charts. Their last song to reach the top ten was, “That’s Old Fashioned” (That’s The Way Love Should Be)
The Everly Brothers were inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 1986. And one of the Everly brothers sons currently is a back up guitarist who tours with “The Golden Boys”, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell.
Thank you for the music.
And a reminder that I should always buy tires with very good traction when attempting to take my other half to the beach as well as having a membership in AAA.
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