January 4, 2014

"That All I Have To Do Is Dream song of theirs was one of my very favorites when I first got a transistor radio way back in the early 60's."

"What a heavenly song. I used to put the radio under my pillow and there it was, Dream, dream, dream. Deliciously swoony...."
As it happens, I had a huge crush from age 8 or so on a boy who was 16, John, who was a neighbor in Kingston, Jamaica. He asked my father to help him run away, which my father did. My father also taught John to play the guitar and sail. John went on to spend the rest of his life, mostly playing guitar and sailing. But he also worked for many years the road manager for the Everly Brothers, which I found out in the early 1990's after not seeing John for decades.

So I called up the Everly Brothers' office in Nashville, left a voicemail and sure enough, several days later, I heard from John, who invited me to Atlantic City, to hear the Everly Brothers play and meet him. John also opened for the Everly Brothers at times or played with the band.

Off I went, to awful Atlantic City, to the casino-hotel they were playing to a sad, scant audience of blue rinse ladies and really elderly folk, met the Everly Brothers, heard them sing and saw John again after decades.
Suddenly, this picture comes back to me:



That was the cover for an album called "A Date With the Everly Brothers" (which you can still, of course, buy, though not easily with that cover). That's the one with "Cathy's Clown." The year is 1960, so I was 9 when I first gazed at that cover and tried to understand that concept that this was "A Date With the Everly Brothers." I had not yet acquired a record album of my own. That wouldn't happen until 1962, when this picture would capture my girlish fantasies. "A Date With the Everly Brothers" was my sister's record, so she determined who would have which brother on this imaginary date of ours. I believe Dell chose Don, so Phil was mine.

Don't want your love any more/Don't want your kisses, that's for sure...

Oh! Forget Cathy! And — what? — are the 2 of you sharing one girl, one girl who's not even good to you? Don't you think it's kind of sad, that you're treating me so bad? Or don't you even care? We care! And there are 2 of us! The Althouse Sisters! Where is this Date With the Everly Brothers?

11 comments:

Bob R said...

Sad passing. The silver lining is that today you can go to YouTube or Spotify and explore the old songs if your sister took the album you used to listen to off to college or you are just a bit younger and owned Simon and Garfunkle albums instead of Everly Brothers. Or you can go for a Pandora channel and be introduced to the Louvin Brothers. Faulker is more relevant than ever. The past is never dead. It's not even past.

St. George said...

It may just be me, Professor, but, personally, I think you've lost that lovin' feel in'.

You're trying hard not to show it.

David said...

Claudette was the flip side.

Not the B side. That record had no B side.

cloned said...

As a native of southwest Iowa, I know some history some here might be interested in.

The Everly Brothers grew up and got their start on KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa, owned by local seed magnate, Earl May. Their father, Ike, was hired as a staff musician at KMA, which brought the young family to Shenandoah. They moved there, via Chicago, from their native Kentucky. Before they played together as brothers, the Everlys performed as a family. They also did live, on-air performances with other musicians.

Earl May's mail order seed company competed with (and still does) with Henry Field's seed company, and Field's radio station KFNF (where I think they also played some), both also based in Shenandoah. (Henry Fields's sister, Jessie, started the first 4-H clubs, and is known as the "Mother of 4-H".)

Although Shenandoah and the surrounding area is quite rural, KMA has a strong signal and includes Omaha in its broadcast area (60 miles away), where Earl May also started television station KMTV.

This pdf includes a lot of radio history and Everly family history, including the Everly's early years in Kentucky, and in radio at KMA (see page 99):
KMA Radio: The First 60 Years

Incidentally, in a drought year when we were kids, my brother once pulled a huge bull buffalo skull from the muck bottom in the middle of the Nishnabotna River (river mentioned on page 1). I imagine it fell through the ice, was old and couldn't get out, like one I saw at Yellowstone years later on TV.

Here is the article today in the Des Moines Register:
Phil Everly, 1939-2014: Younger Everly Brother dies

Skeptical Voter said...

There was a good biography/obituary of Phil Everly today in the LA Times.

I have to say Ms. Althouse that Phil and Don were too old for you and your sister--no matter what your fantasy was in the early 1960's. Phil was born in 1939 and his brother Don was two years older.

Still I really did like the Everly Brothers at the time although I was more of a Wake Up Little Susie and Bird Dog guy.

Jason said...

I just played "Dream" at a community musical gathering in Dallas, Oregon. I played fiddle, as usual, while two women sang and played guitar and mandolin and performed it beautifully. It sounded really nice.

Phil Everly would have been proud.

I don't know if anyone already knew that Phil had died. But if he was listening to us in Dallas, he got a nice send-off, with one of the many beautiful musical gifts he and his brother left us.

EMD said...

Think of the last modern pop song you heard that was honestly wistful?

No one can really do that anymore, unless you're into more alternative musicians.

realwest said...

Its hard when someone who had such an influence on you during your formative years, passes on.
Don and Phil were among the first class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Phil was a pall bearer at Buddy Holly's funeral.

There was something unusual and magical about their harmonies.
Y'all might want to listen to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B3b9hq_eGM

Gahrie said...

Think of the last modern pop song you heard that was honestly wistful?

Crying by Roy Orbison

The duet version with K.D. Lang is pretty wistful.

paul a'barge said...

Oh dear. Sux to be us.

Thanks to NickySkye.

EDH said...

My first album was Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, "The Beat of the Brass".

Coincidentally, that vinyl album was a plot device and the first album of Keira Knightley's character in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World".