Formerly Phil and Don

There was a stretch of about ten years — roughly, 1973 to 1983 — when the Everly Brothers were acting like perfect strangers to one another; legend has it that they exchanged not one word in that decade. (Possible exception: in 1975, at father Ike Everly’s funeral.)

Now Phil’s gone at 74; Don, two years older, is hanging on. While they’ll always be remembered as a duo, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a unit, of the three biggest hits they had as songwriters — they couldn’t tap Felice and Boudleaux Bryant forever — Don wrote one (“Till I Kissed You”), Phil wrote one (“When Will I Be Loved”), and they wrote one together (“Cathy’s Clown”).

“When Will I Be Loved” has a weird history of its own. Left in the vault at Cadence Records after the Everlys moved to Warner Bros. in 1960, the success of “Cathy’s Clown” for WB (Number One!) led Cadence to dust off the year-old track and send it out. It made the Top Ten, and the B-side, a cover of Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” picked up enough airplay to chart on its own. Now, of course, “When Will I Be Loved” is remembered as a Linda Ronstadt single, faster than the Everly original and with the verses shuffled. (The things you learn from karaoke.)

Anyway, given my penchant for live shows, or the appearance of live shows, beneath the jump you’ll find Don and Phil on Dick Clark’s Saturday-night show in 1960, singing over the backing track. (The audio goes wonky near the end.)


  1. backwoods conservative »

    4 January 2014 · 8:51 pm

    I recall hearing an audio clip of Paul Simon’s comments when he and Art Garfunkel were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. “Maybe they’ll build a separate wing for us and the other unhappy couples of Rock and Roll. Ike and Tina Turner. The Everly Brothers. Paul and the rest of the Beatles. Maybe they’ll have it completed in time for the Eagles to join us.”

  2. CGHill »

    4 January 2014 · 10:12 pm

    That’s a good call, Paul.

    S&G, of course, played “Bye Bye Love” on what for a while looked like their farewell tour; a live recording from Ames, Iowa made it to the Bridge Over Troubled Water album.

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