Phil Everly’s Death Likely to Spread His Music to a New Generation

Nora Jones and Billy Joe Armstrong recreate Everly Brothers' sound impeccably.

Nora Jones and Billy Joe Armstrong recreate Everly Brothers’ sound impeccably.

In mid-December, a song on the radio took my breath away, causing me to pull out Shazam to find out what it is and who is singing it.  It sounded remarkably like the Everly Brothers’ style, but was a male/female duet – fresh, clean, spectacular.  Turns out it was Billy Joe Armstrong and Nora Jones performing “Long Time Gone”, an Everly Brothers tune from an obscure 1958 Everly album called “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us”.

There are few songs these days that entice me to share them with friends and family; but Long Time Gone (here’s the Everly Brother’s version) was that good.

A few weeks later, with the sad news of Phil Everly’s death, I found out that the song was part of an entire album of Everly Brothers tunes that Armstrong and Jones did – The “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us” album in its entirety, now named “Foreverly”.

The Everly Brothers influenced musicians from the Beatles to the Stones to Linda Ronstadt, Simon & Garfunkel and the Hollies – not to mention my daughters.  When they were young, I sang them rock & pop tunes at bed time – and Everly tunes were often among them.  “All I Have to Do is Dream” is perhaps one of the top three daddy requests I got for many years.

With the Armstrong/Jones collaboration and Phil’s recent death and the news trail of both, I expect there to be renewed interest in the great catalog of songs by the Everly Brothers.  Just as they influenced the greats of the sixties and seventies, I expect their songs will again pop up on albums and playlists by singers of all genres throughout the rest of the decade – so our kids can enjoy the sounds that we knew in our youth.

Here’s a collection of songs put together by Rolling Stone so you can hear the Everly sound – and it’s amazing harmonies.

The Everly Brothers were among the first set of rockers inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Ranked in top 100 singers by Rolling Stone .

Here are a few of my favorite Everly Brothers tunes – all live performances posted on YouTube:

Crying in the Rain

Let It Be Me

All I Have to Do is Dream” followed by “Cathy’s Clown” (backed by Buddy Holly’s Crickets)  BTW, John Lennon says that Please Please Me was inspired by Cathy’s Clown.

And some covers:

“When Will I Be Loved” – Linda Ronstadt

“Wake Up Little Susie” – Simon & Garfunkel  (I love playing this on guitar.  Fun strum.)


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