The Everly Brothers in concert

The Everly Brothers in concert
You can hear the Everly Brothers everywhere; through their own music and through the way they have influenced the music of others. There are, without question, one of the most important acts in rock music. Without the Everlys, Simon and Garfunkel wouldn’t have sounded the same, The Beatles harmonies may not have developed in the way they did, and The Hollies, and CSNY would not have existed in the way they did. Their influence was that substantial. I was lucky enough to see The Everly Brothers in concert on four occasions. The first was low down on the bill at the Grangemouth festival in 1972. At that point, they certainly weren’t cool, and their importance was largely unrecognised or worse, forgotten, by most. They were just another band low down on the bill, singing some great pop songs. I remember wondering why they were on a bill alongside Jeff Beck and Status Quo, but being pleasantly surprised by their performance. I think at that point they were playing few of their hits and were playing their latest (country I think) album. The brothers then drifted apart, and didn’t perform together again for some years. I saw them twice on reunion tours, once at Newcastle City Hall, and again at Sunderland Empire. Those concerts were very much about the hits. By then we all knew just how important they were; its funny how it often takes some time to realise how good some acts were. The last time I saw them was as special guests to Simon and Garfunkel on their reunion tour some years ago, Paul Simon introducing them as the reason he started singing. The Everlys in concert were just superb. How could they not be with all those great songs to choose from? Don would lift up that big black acoustic guitar and strum the chords to Wake Up Little Suzie or another of those classics, and then Phil would come in and those perfect harmonies would just flow. There was simply nothing better. And as well as the songs, the show was a story of two brothers, who have had their differences and personal difficulties, and yet came together and made such beautiful music that everyone could enjoy. It just doesn’t get any better. A typical set would include all of these great songs and more: Cryin’ in the Rain; When Will I Be Loved; All I have to do is Dream; Bye Bye Love; Till I kissed you; Cathys Clown; Wake Up Little Susie; Let It Be Me; Walk Right Back; Bird Dog; the list just goes on and on. I have some of their old records on 78 upstairs; its time to dig them out and play them again on my trusty old Dansette.

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