Hearing those bitter sweet harmonies and big acoustic guitars was new and exciting for teenagers growing up in post-war austerity in the late 1950s. I still remember hearing “Cathy’s Clown” on TV (probably on Juke Box Jury) and the impact it had.
it wasn’t just the music either it was the look. My first styled haircut was a “Westerner” as the local barber called it when I showed him the picture of the brothers.
And for aspiring guitar bands – of which there were so many – those three chord songs like “When will I be loved” were played with gusto alongside songs by Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran.
Those of us who played guitar just wished we had decent ones and could only dream about black Gibson acoustics, Fender Stratocasters or a Gretsch as played by these American acts.
There have been pages and pages of obituaries in the British press, testimony to the impact they had over here and how loved they were.
People who say they were influenced by the Everly Brothers are legends themselves such as Bob Dylan, Duane Eddy, Brian May, and Paul Simon (who used them on his Graceland album).
Much copied by inferior duos they influenced great acts like the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Hollies, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, and the Byrds.
I saw them on their 1987 UK tour (see photo of programme). Their band had Albert Lee and Hank de Vito on guitars, Philip Cranham on bass guitar, Peter Wingfield on keyboards and Larry London on drums. You can see this lineup on YouTube singing “Crying in the Rain’, one of my favourite tracks.
The Guardian newspaper put together a compilation of their landmark songs on its web-site and cellist and fan Julian Lloyd Webber published what he thought were the Everlys’ 10 best songs and it’s are to disagree with him http://tinyurl.com/pzm6hsx
It’s the end of the Everlys but their music lives on; Madeleine Peyroux covered “Bye Bye Love” on her last album “The Blue Room” and Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong have recorded all the songs from an early album “Songs our Daddy taught us” on their new album “Billie Joe + Norah foreverly“.