The Everly Brothers: Harmonies from Heaven (2016) Movie Script

- What is your name?
- Don Everly, aged 20.
Only a 20-year-old would say his name in the first place.
- How about you? What's your name?
- Phil Everly and I'm 18 years old.
Bye, bye, love
Bye, bye, happiness
Hello, loneliness
I think I'm-a gonna cry-y
Any musician with a set of ears was influenced by The Everly Brothers.
Well, this is the best harmony I've ever heard in my life.
And from that moment,
I was on the train called The Everly Brothers.
I don't think you'll ever find another pair that can match them.
Here he comes That's Cathy's clown.
Here's that thing about being brothers that the voices
were so similar that that's also why the harmonies just sounded,
you know, so great in unison.
Wake up, little Susie We gotta go home.
This programme contains some strong language
They had a very different sound.
They're fusing new elements into what had been up until then
an easy-listening format.
I've been cheated been mistreated
When will I be loved?
Some people are lucky enough
to live at the time of a new form, others are not.
The Everly Brothers were,
that moment when rock and roll
was just starting.
And their gifts were perfect for it.
Young at the right time,
two people singing as if one head with two voices.
I can make you mine
Taste your lips of wine
Any time night or day
Only trouble is
Gee whiz
I'm dreamin' my life away.
For a period of five years,
from 1957 to '62, The Everly Brothers
were this amazing vocal duo
who just completely dominated the pop charts.
And they influenced a raft of musicians
and bands who came in their wake.
And the reason we all do what we do
is cos we heard that and wanted to do it.
Walk right back to me this minute
Bring your love to me
Don't send it
I'm so lonesome every day
- I'm so lonesome every day.
It was 1957.
I went bowling in Jamaica with Paul.
I was on a school coach trip to the Lake District.
You had to take a transfer and change buses.
And on the jukebox was this wonderful sound...
And there the bus driver's radio
- had...
Which was Bye Bye Love
and I didn't know who was singing it or knew what the song was.
And for some reason, it played about nine times on the trot,
I think the jukebox was stuck.
My best friend Allan Clarke and I are attending
a Catholic school girls' dance on a Saturday night,
Bye Bye Love by The Everly Brothers
came on the big speakers
and it changed me and Allan's life completely.
Bye, bye, love
Bye, bye, happiness.
- And both Paul and I went...
"These guys are the greatest.
"How do they harmon...? Who are these people?"
I'd seen that it was by some act called The Everly Brothers.
"They're brothers, oh, no wonder, the DNA gives them a huge leg up."
I didn't know how many there were.
Whether they were a 10-piece band or what.
But it made an enormous impact on me.
There goes my baby with-a someone new
She sure looks happy I sure am blue
She was my baby till he stepped in
Goodbye to romance that might have been.
It was the first time I ever heard music that I loved
and I thought, "Wow, if this is what music is like,
"I can't wait to find out more."
And then I spent the last 30 years looking for anything that's as good
as The Everly Brothers and there isn't anything.
I assumed that was the tip of the iceberg,
I thought all music was going to be that good.
You bet music was changing.
What came before that was so tame - Patti Page and Perry Como.
Doris Day and Frank Sinatra and the Beverley Sisters.
The crooners came out of the war and the war era
when everybody needed to be on message, if you like,
and together and now you're starting to get the age of teenage rebellion
and younger people wanting music that they could identify with,
which was much more their own.
This stirring things up was much more...
subversive is the word I would use.
I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.
The beginning for Phil and I is just a small dot on the map
called Brownie, Kentucky.
I was born in Brownie, Kentucky, it was the Brownie coal mines
that named it Brownie, Kentucky
and my father worked at the coal mines then.
These coal miners, you know, they worked five, six days a week
and on the weekends, they get together
and have their little parties
and play music and that kind of thing.
And my father, he came out of there playing a guitar.
My father was
a thumb picker out of Kentucky.
- DON:
- But Mum and Dad moved to Chicago
and I don't remember the move cos I was very young.
And their father was a great musician
and somebody who's knowledge of music and, you know,
folk music, in particular, was encyclopedic.
He was a unique guitar player when he was up in Chicago
and the area, playing the honky-tonk.
Actually influenced Merle Travis.
Merle was the guy who went to Hollywood and made good
and influenced a lot of people.
Ike Everly and Merle Travis are the people that we feel
is really responsible for the thumb-and-finger style
or thumb style of guitar playing.
Chet Atkins, considered one of the greatest guitar players
in American history and certainly one of the most influential,
because he took a style
which was sort of playing the rhythm
with your thumb and using your fingers to sort of pick out
the melody and so you have sort of
a double guitar sound going on at once.
The interesting thing about the finger-picking styles
were they were things that were handed from musician to musician.
Ike Everly was a tremendous influence on his sons
and, of course, made sure that even though
they were both left-handed, they played the correct way around.
Because you'll have trouble for the rest of your life
if you don't do that.
I'm left-handed. I'm completely left-handed in everything.
And he taught me right-handed, he wouldn't let me learn left-handed.
Don was probably six years old, Phil four years old,
they decided they did not want them to grow up
in a big town like Chicago, they wanted them to grow up
kind of like they did.
So, they moved off to western Iowa.
Back then, radio had artists that...they put their own shows on.
This is in the days, of course, when America had thousands
and thousands of very localized radio stations.
My mother and father figured out that they could go get us on air
as the Everly family.
'54 degrees in Shenandoah, 6.16 is the time.
'Now into part two with the Everly family.'
It was every morning, early morning radio show.
Before school.
And they appeared as Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil.
She was crying, softly crying
- Teardrops falling in the snow.
'This is Dad Everly,
'speaking for Mum, Don, Baby Boy Phil.
'Saying so long, thank you for listening.'
Dad was teaching Phil and I to sing, you know, together.
They grew up with harmony.
It was like a language
and thus, they could speak it when they got older.
If you grew up in Louisville or you grew up in Kentucky,
you were used to hearing bluegrass singing,
you were used to hearing that kind of two-part harmony.
That was just part of their lives, cos their mum and dad
were doing that for years.
That was how they were brought up,
it was probably nothing strange for them.
We think it's strange, you know,
but I guess for them it wasn't strange,
- cos they were brought up that way.
I went back to Tennessee
and then I started writing.
And it just came out of the clear blue.
Chet Atkins had a lot to do with it.
We went to a concert that he was at down in Oxford, Tennessee
and my father called him over
and he got talking and he introduced Phil and I to him to chat
and told him that I was writing songs.
He was, you know, enamored with, Ike Everly and his sons,
you know, he finds all of these talented singers,
so he encourages them to come to Nashville
and introduces them to Wesley Rose, who was running Acuff-Rose,
which was the biggest music publishing organization in town.
We drove over from Knoxville and went to Chet Atkins' house.
He lived in Belle Meade at the time.
And we recorded something on Chet's tape in his house and he said,
"I'll publish 'em if I get 'em recorded."
And I said, "Fine."
The Everlys were very fortunate to have him
as their mentor in the early days.
But I think he recognized very early on
that there was a special talent there.
He was really instinctive
in the way he brought musicians and songs together.
So, that was a very inspired move
to give Kitty Wells, Don Everly's song - Thou Shalt Not Steal.
It sort of startled me that one of them was recorded already.
Kitty Wells, she was the first female country music star
and was beginning to bring in real-life concerns,
real-life issues, singing about, you know,
double standards for men and women.
It was a Bible song and it was about a cheating thing.
But I can't trade my love for pride
My conscience just can't be my guide
Too late to heed the warning
The love thou shalt not steal.
She sold quite a few records.
I had got my cheque, that money got me and Phil to Nashville
when I graduated high school.
We're now living
in Nashville, Tennessee.
This is our town of Nashville.
Nashville as a music town,
you know, goes back to the start of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s,
which was pretty much the beginning of commercial radio,
commercial records or commercial music at all.
The Grand Ole Opry
was the nucleus of that
and people came here by the droves
to be on that show, which was broadcast on WSM,
which was a 50,000-watt clear channel.
And as the Opry grew, they had more reach than other radio stations,
so you could hear them in Texas, you could hear them in Michigan,
you know, you could hear them in Florida.
They were so paranoid that they thought at some point
they might have to make announcements
over the radio, nationally,
if there was a threat from the Soviet Union.
'We interrupt our normal programme to cooperate
'in security and civil defense measures.'
In the end, the technology was used in a more positive way
in terms of the music industry.
You had millions of people sitting by their radio
on those Saturday nights from the farms to the cities,
falling in love with artists that they'd never seen,
had never heard of, but were all of a sudden
becoming their best friends.
The Grand Ole Opry, which was on the radio, was a radio show
and radio shows really meant something.
It really helped win a national audience
for country music among young people.
It was crucial that kids listened to the radio and here,
hardware becomes important.
The invention of the transistor radio.
Most houses had a radio or a radiogram.
And that was in the sitting room.
And that was your parents' territory and that's what they controlled.
So, the transistor radio suddenly allowed young people
to take their music to their rooms,
listen to what they wanted to listen to.
As regional as America was still at that point,
you know, I think certain people in country music
realized that this didn't have to be just a regional music,
this could be a national music.
Nashville was buzzing
and a lot of things going on
if you were interested in music, this was the place to go
and see what was going on.
At that point in time, we had RCA,
we had Decca, we had Capitol,
and Columbia.
Those were the record companies in Nashville.
There's a great story about Chet Atkins.
Somebody asked him, you know, "Chet, like,
"what is the national sound?"
And he shakes his pocket and the coins all rattle and he goes,
"That's the national sound. That's the sound of money."
My parents, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant
were the first songwriting duo
and team of professional writers in Nashville.
So, by 1957 when the Everlys had arrived,
my parents had had many hits.
They wrote every day.
It was their job and they would wake up every morning and write
and it was, you know, come rain or come shine or colds or sickness,
it didn't matter, this was their job.
They showed that you can make a living as songwriters
and they also showed that you had to go to work at it
and be a professional at it.
My brother and I were in the back seat one day driving to a home site
where we were building a new home.
And there was a light drizzle
and the windshield wipers were going.
And Dad started Bye Bye Love to the rhythm of the windshield wipers.
He says, "Listen to this, it was...
Bye, bye, love
Bye, bye, happiness
Hello, something else
I think I'm gonna...
Die, cry or whatever the heck that was.
And I said, "Oh, yeah." I was really impressed.
DEL: Dad started showing it around
and a lot of people liked it, but turned it down.
I listened to it and I said, "We could do it."
And it was as simple as that.
I would've sung anything.
The idea that we were going to get the chance to record,
I knew we were going to make 64.
And 64 sounded real important to me at the time.
The real seismic change which had taken place in the '50s
in American music was this coming together
of black and white styles.
I think the change, to be perfectly honest,
was to do with black influence going mainstream,
you know, because all the way through the big band era,
it had been the, you know, the black musicians
that were kind of driving it.
And then into jazz, a lot of the black musicians
went into the jazz area and sort of drove that.
And I think probably for the first time, the younger people,
they actually didn't care where the music came from.
They cared about the music.
There was a lot of gospel music, black gospel music
on the radio back then.
And it was wonderful music.
So, you have the blues with black people,
you have country and western with white people, but equally sincere.
And then comes this moment in the mid-50s
when the two were fused and the living synthesis is Elvis Presley.
I think what was so shocking about it was that for the first time,
you know, a white artist was doing what black people had been doing
for years and years and years and people were anxious about that.
I was very interested in black music and then country music too,
the two together made rock and roll, I believe.
I think Don had mentioned to Chet that he really loved Bo Diddly
and he said, "How does he get that sound on his guitar?"
I fell for Bo Diddly sounds and the rhythm that he got.
And I just loved it. Loved it.
The drive that Bo Diddly had in his music
is this incredible kind of rumble.
That's there in The Everly Brothers' songs.
I've followed him, you know, his music
and I was trying to get it involved in my music
and Archie Bleyer, the head of Cadence Records said,
"Well, why don't you take that arrangement
and put it on Bye Bye Love?
And I said, "I never thought of that."
You see, there are some things you can't do
in classical, regular tuning.
You can only do it where you've got these weird
little country tunings and stuff.
And I guess it rubbed off on me.
Don's acoustic guitar,
that rhythm guitar was rocking, man.
And now, eight seconds later, the intro's over, the song begins.
Bye, bye, love
Bye, bye, happiness,
Hello, loneliness
I think I'm-a gonna cry-y.
You have to write material that
can sustain those two voices,
running through the whole song.
So that when the individual voice comes in, you know,
usually Don's, you know, that really has a dramatic impact,
because mostly they're singing harmony all the way through.
I'm-a through with romance
I'm a-through with love
I'm through with-a countin' the stars above
And here's the reason that I'm so free
My lovin' baby is through with me
Bye, bye, love.
The Everly Brothers were the first example in rock and roll
of something that happens very rarely,
but always beautifully in popular music,
which is family groups singing in close harmony.
The Andrews Sisters, the Bee Gees who were the Gibb brothers,
The Beach Boys, who were a family group.
And these exquisite harmonies come from people
who've just been together all their lives.
They cannot be separated.
The classic model is thirds.
One guy sings... HE VOCALISES
And the other guy goes... HIGHER PITCHED VOCALISATION
The interval is thirds.
La da...
If you hold that interval you have a very simple and pleasing,
sweet, kind of folky harmony.
Boudleaux designed that harmony.
You know, and I just sang it.
That was... But he designed it to be that way.
And that's all the greatness... All that stuff really counted.
Phil was such a genius at matching Don's sound
that they produced two halves of a whole.
Boudleaux could hear harmonies.
He could see what he wanted to
happen with that piece of material.
Bye-bye love
Bye-bye sweet caress
Hello emptiness
I feel like I could die...
The difference is that Phil's voice was pitched in a tenor range
and Don's was more baritone tenor
so that the two-note difference that gives you the thirds interval
was perfectly comfortable for Phil to be higher.
Bye-bye my love
Bye-bye my love
There was a little buzz about this record, you know.
This was a pretty good record.
So we got the job down in Mississippi and Alabama.
On that trip, the record came out
and we were making 90 a week apiece, which was a fortune to us.
The team in New York that did the promotion for Cadence Records
made a mistake with the record Bye Bye Love.
They sent it out to all of the radio stations.
The country ones they had received addresses on, and the pop stations.
By the time we got back to Nashville on the end of that tour,
we were in the top ten.
In pop and in country.
And that was the... The game was on.
Teddy Bear by Elvis Presley was number one.
Bye Bye Love by the Everly Brothers was held at number two.
You go and you record...a thing like that just happens to you.
You don't know why, where or how.
You can be talented, but that isn't enough sometimes.
You've got to be lucky.
You've got to be at the time the market is ready for you.
That the public is ready to listen to you.
You've got to have that on your side.
Almost all the other artists that could
fill in the gaps between Elvis records were the
black rhythm and blues pioneers such as
Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry,
who had already been going.
They had really brought what Alan Freed called rock and roll
to the public consciousness.
So the radio stations had all of these wonderful
African American artists and Elvis Presley.
"Let's get some more white people into the mix."
Usually in history, it's the other way round.
Here were the Everly Brothers - a real deal -
genuine, white teenagers.
And they sang music with a rock and roll sensibility.
Even though it was not that far divorced from pure country music.
They were the country side of rock and roll.
But it was rock and roll.
After Bye Bye Love, we went on the road.
We were... Things were happening.
And we were travelling around this, that and the other.
And we had to start thinking about a second single.
And then you became the worry about one-record act.
Cos there were plenty of them in rock and roll.
Then Boudleaux brought in Wake Up Little Susie.
But he had designed Wake Up Little Susie
with the holes in it
for that guitar work. Cos he knew that this would work.
And therein is the power of what we had from Boudleaux and Felice.
That they started designing things for us.
I can never think of the Everly Brothers, knowing what I know
now about songwriting, that there were actually four people involved.
And the other two were Felice and Boudleaux Bryant,
who wrote all of those beautifully written songs.
And so well-suited to the boys' voices.
Isn't it terrible to think a few years from now,
these boys will both wind up looking like Yul Brynner?
Wake up, little Susie, wake up.
The way Don uses it, it's quite aggressive.
Rather than just be some gentle backing to fill out the track.
So it would punch through the mix, sort of thing.
And he'd get that...
HE PLAYS Wake Up Little Susie
It was downstrokes. Dan-da-da-da-da.
The intro was all downstrokes.
HE VOCALISES GUITAR PARWake up, little Susie, wake up...
Wake Up Little Susie would be recorded here.
It was the next record after Bye Bye Love.
I was upstairs. I hadn't gotten out of bed yet. And Boudleaux
was on the main floor, which wasn't carpeted.
And so the acoustics were just feeding up to the bedroom section.
And I hear this...
Wake up, little Susie, wake up
and I thought, "Man, that sounds great. Just that much."
And so, I thought I'd better get downstairs,
because Boudleaux was most capable of finishing stuff on his own.
And I had to jump in when I thought,
"We've got something here. I want a piece of this."
In its early stages, as Dad was writing it,
was a little bit what Mother thought was a little too risqu.
She kind of cleaned it up.
I added some lyrics because I thought Boudleaux was getting
a little too rough, you know.
And so I put the bridge in.
"The movie wasn't so hot
"Didn't have much of a plot
"We fell asleep
"Our goose is cooked
"Our reputation is shot."
The movie wasn't so hot
It didn't have much of a plot
We fell asleep
Our goose is cooked
Our reputation is shot
Wake up, little Susie
Wake up, little Susie
We gotta go home.
For an artist in those days, you would have what were called
regional breakouts and then they would go from region to region.
So you would be popular for a long period of time
but not always in the same place at the same time.
So Bye Bye Love had a long chart life.
Peaking at number two from an extended run in the charts.
Then Wake Up Little Susie comes out and everybody is paying
attention at the same time and it's a very quick number one.
There is a kind of winking sexuality to Wake Up Little Susie.
You know, there's a sense that essentially
they spent the night together.
And they're in trouble. And the parents are upset.
And the friends are saying, "Ooh la la."
Ooh la la.
Which everyone knew was French for racy.
Well, what are we going to tell your mama?
What are we going to tell your pa?
What are we going to tell our friends
When they say, "Ooh la la!"
Wake up, little Susie...
It was banned in Boston.
And a couple of other places.
My father was thrilled because at that time, as today,
when something is banned with a certain amount of publicity,
it really has the tendency to spark interest and explode.
And indeed, Wake Up Little Susie did.
It's hard now for people to realize how scandalous that would
have seemed at the time.
But was much more in keeping with what was actually
realistically going on.
Every other word out of people's mouths in the 1950s
was about juvenile delinquents.
There was a lot of concern about
what was happening with rock and roll.
And a song like Wake Up Little Susie,
as innocent as it is, to a degree, participated in that.
It was really the emergence of the teenager as we know it.
The purse strings were also just in transition from being
the older generation to being a situation where the younger
generation was starting to have their own money.
For the first time, you had young people who could buy records
and they bought them in droves.
It was the times.
It was America coming
out of the Eisenhower administration
and the greyness, straightness of that administration.
America did not realize how lucky it was in the 1950s.
First of all, it had not been bombed,
with the exception of Pearl Harbor, which was off in Hawaii somewhere,
the mainland had not been bombed in the war.
So it was not spending millions to rebuild.
There was an incredible sense of optimism in the country.
The economy was booming.
The country felt very young.
There were a lot of young kids around. It was the baby boom.
What started to become more relevant was fashion and cars,
you know, things which were sort of style objects
which were much more about the youth of the day.
Back then, it was brand-new. Rock and roll was brand-new.
Nobody knew how to do it.
Don was very smart about guitar parts and arrangements.
And I'm sure Chet had some say in that too.
The drums are barely part of those early records.
It's mostly just guitars, bass and electric guitar.
But it's very carefully thought out. It's well arranged.
And it's so well recorded.
Everything was just in the right place.
So simple but so difficult to do.
I'm sure that you recognize this as a golden record.
And this is the third golden record that the boys have won.
This year.
This, of course, is All I Have To Do Is Dream by the Everly Brothers.
Donald told me that one night they were on the
rock and roll tour bus and Buddy Holly came over
and sat down next to him and he goes,
"Hey, man. I wrote a song for you guys. It's called Not Fade Away."
He played it for them.
And Donald says to me, "Yeah. That's great."
He says, "I love it, but we can't do it."
He says, "We're going back to Nashville.
"We've got to cut some ballad called Dream."
After a novelty like Bye Bye Love, you have to come in with
another novelty. Wake Up Little Susie.
After that, you've got to give them...
You can live longer on a ballad.
Dream, I think actually made us a...
The difference between sort of an act
and then being here forever, you know?
At that time in America, there were different categories,
different charts - pop charts, country charts,
what they called the race records charts.
And not many artists crossed over
because they were marketed very differently.
Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie,
and Dream I think were all in the R&B charts.
They were on the pop charts and they were on the country charts.
They were on all three charts at that time.
Dream, dream, dream
When I feel blue
In the night
And I need you
To hold me tight
Whenever I want you
All I have to do
Is dream.
At this particular time now, we're having success with the Everlys
so we wrote for them specifically.
On the slow ones, the harmonies can really stretch out.
And that is the forte of the Everly Brothers.
I can make you mine
Taste your lips with wine
Any time, night or day
Only trouble is
Gee whizz
I'm dreamin' my life away...
That line, "Only trouble is, gee whizz, I'm dreaming my life away"
is a great line.
He says, like, you know, gee whizz is one of the lyrics.
I don't think that now it's going to have the same appeal,
but, you know, that's the beauty of it.
It was a time and it was, you know...
At the time, it was really cool.
I still think it's cool.
They've recorded All I Have To Do Is Dream 31 times.
Back in those days, you couldn't record like you can now.
You didn't have the digital tracks so you could slice and cut.
If you messed up, you backed up, started all over again.
And something happens then. You get a warmth and a power.
And, of course, adjusting the mics all the time.
In between each outtake.
So eventually it comes together and you hit the center and bam,
you've got it. And you go, "That's it, we can all go home."
Whenever I want you
All I have to do
Is dream
Dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream
There is the second level of hits
after the big three.
The big three established what they can do.
It establishes them internationally.
Well, then, they've got to do something else.
But they can't make a breakthrough any more
because they've already made the breakthrough.
They've made their contribution.
They can just have more hit records.
And so they have this period of very enjoyable songs,
which would be late '58 and '59.
Johnny is a joker
He's a bird
A very funny joker
He's a bird
But when he jokes, my honey
He's a dog
His joking ain't so funny
What a dog
Johnny is a joker that's a-tryin' to steal my baby
He's a bird dog.
Great lyrics again. I mean, daft but brilliant.
There was another one. They threw it in there.
Oh, it's in Problems, isn't it? Yeah.
Where that keeps, that thing, the...
HE PLAYS Problems
That bit. That's the Everly Brothers' thing.
Problems, problems, problems all day long
Will my problems work out right or wrong?
My father was working...digging ditches and stuff up there
by the end.
And he told us that he couldn't support us anymore.
I said, "It's OK. We're making money now."
And then I said, "You've got to quit your job and come back with us."
The trappings of success were, certainly back then,
very straightforward material things.
A nice place to live, a nice car, nice clothes,
be able to go out to the higher class establishments.
In the late '50s...
You did the normal thing.
You bought them a house and everything.
Worries, worries pile upon my head
Woe is me, I shoulda stayed in bed...
I was paying 90% taxes, though.
First taxes I paid were 90%.
I couldn't believe that. But that was the way it was.
Problems, problems, problems
They won't be solved until I'm sure of you.
90% is a lot of money to pay to the government for nothing.
It was for, you know, for bombers and things.
Problems, problems, problems all day long.
I played one of the Everly Brothers signature editions.
I think it was, yeah, it was one of the Gibson ones.
It was just one of those.
You pick it up and it was a pretty magical thing.
It had that top end sound to it, which is just them.
We designed it. I said I wanted a smaller guitar.
I said, "Make it three-quarters size of it."
And I said, "That's the size we want. And I want a black guitar."
And he said black guitars wouldn't be any good cos they wouldn't sell.
And I said, "Well, that's what I want."
Didn't play that good.
They looked good.
They looked like a '50s Cadillac.
I could see why they were hits.
They were great fucking records. Every one.
For about 12, 13 in a row.
For the first few years, I would buy my Cadence Records,
produced by Archie Bleyer, take it home and go, "The streak continues.
"They just don't quit in how great they are, these guys."
Take a message to Mary
But don't tell her where I am
Take a message to Mary
But don't say I'm in a jam
You can tell her I had to see the world
Tell her that my ship set sail
You can say she'd better not wait for me
But don't tell her I'm in jail.
When I listen to it, it sends the shivers up your spine.
It's a good sadness, you know.
It makes you feel a certain way.
It's not a typical sadness.
Take A Message To Mary was a stone in the vacuum cleaner.
Click. Click. Click.
Take a message to Mary.
At the session, when they were recording this,
Archie Bleyer, who knew nothing about my vacuum cleaner,
said to Boudleaux.
He said, "You know, Boudleaux, I hear a chink, chink,
"chink in this Take A Message."
And he said, "Somebody bring me a Coke bottle.
"And somebody get me a screwdriver."
So he says, "Here, Boudleaux, you belong to the union."
He says, "Hit this Coke bottle."
And he says, "That'll take care of what I think I hear."
So that's what you hear on the Everlys' record
of Take A Message To Mary.
You hear Boudleaux playing a Coke bottle.
You can tell her I had to change my plans
And cancel out the wedding day
But please don't mention my lonely cell
Where I'm gonna pine away
Until my dyin' day.
The Everlys could pull your fucking heartstrings out.
And still do when I listen to the records.
They couldn't not sound good.
You know, they would take a song, take it apart,
put it back together and...
it's still really, really interesting and solid.
Till I Kissed You was Don Everly, I think he wrote that on his own.
Yeah, it had a great da-dum, that drum sound on it.
The drum was quite an important part of the rhythm,
which was unusual for the Everlys.
Never felt like this until I kissed you
How did I exist until I kissed you?
Never had you on my mind
Now you're there all the time
Never knew what I missed till I kissed you
I kissed you
Oh, yeah.
It's funny, you know.
If you listen to the records, when the harmonies are singing,
Phil's voice is the louder voice.
His voice was pure. He had a pure voice. You know?
Pure harmony.
And everybody liked that harmony.
They would sing along with the records.
So they equated it with Phil.
Mm, you got a way about you
Now I can't live without you
Never knew what I missed till I kissed you
If you didn't know, you wouldn't guess they were brothers.
They are wholly different personalities.
We never got along.
He was...different than I.
He was a Republican. I was a Democrat. You know?
And I couldn't believe he was voting for Republicans.
I just couldn't believe it.
I was a complete Democrat. I was...just a leftist, you know?
You'd find that you wouldn't really get along with both.
You wouldn't be in both camps.
You would fall into one or the other.
I didn't know anyone who was really friendly with both of them
at the same time.
It's just funny to think of the Everly Brothers as belonging
to another great rock tradition, which is
that of the brothers who can't stand each other.
When you have two talented people working together...
there's always going to be friction. And that friction
often leads to really good things.
After the Everlys came The Kinks...
Oasis, Creedence Clearwater Revival,
Jesus And Mary Chain.
It just seems that there's something about having two
brothers in with line-up which is a recipe for conflict and grief.
The fact that they happened to be brothers means that they
probably expressed themselves more directly to each other.
Phil died about a year and a half ago. Almost two years now.
And I miss him, you know?
We used to have good times together
But now I feel them slip away
It makes me cry
To see love die
So sad to watch good love go bad.
We went from Cadence to Warner Bros
because they offered us 1 million.
You have to think of what 1 million was then and what 1 million is now.
I mean, if you think about what a million dollars could have bought.
Warner Bros was a new company.
It was a spin-off of the film company, obviously.
And it started releasing film soundtracks, movie-related stuff.
But they wanted a rock group because rock and roll was big.
So they got the Everly Brothers in.
When we left Cadence, we had to give them 14 records.
Or 14 singles.
And I thought, "Oh, gosh. We have to do 14 singles, wouldn't work."
So I told Archie. I said, "Why don't we do Songs Our Daddy Taught Us?"
I had that idea, I thought it was a good idea.
It's like, "No, maybe we better make this record that shows
audiences a little bit who we are more fully."
I think it's inevitable that as well as doing
pop, rock and roll, as it was considered then,
they would go back to their roots. Cos their roots go deeper.
I mean, this was kind of mountain music and folk music.
And, you know, it was stuff that was very much
woven into the kind of communities that they lived in and grew up in.
One of these early songs which they use on that album
is a favorite of mine called Kentucky.
This was something of a standard in country circles.
I don't think it was an enormous pop hit.
But it was a favorite with the country audiences.
I miss you...
They both had to get in on that one mic.
And that was really magical.
There was something about it
when they got on that one microphone,
we'd all look at each other and think, "Wow, listen to that!"
I die...
Don would do his...
Maybe do his little solo bits and he'd lift it up to the microphone.
So you could hear it, you know?
I'd never heard anything so beautiful.
And by the time they'd got to the ending,
when they did this slide down at the end of it,
this vocal slide down together, I was standing there crying.
Cathy's Clown was the first one for Warner's.
First one for Warner's had to be good.
That was one of the criteria.
Had it not been for the Everly Brothers, Warner Bros
probably would not exist today. Because of Cathy's Clown.
Don't want your love any more...
Huge international number one, Cathy's Clown.
So, at a time when Warner Bros is hemorrhaging money,
their balance sheet is saved not by a film star,
not by a soundtrack, but by the Everly Brothers.
You couldn't make it up.
I die each time
I hear this sound
Here he comes
That's Cathy's clown.
Cathy's Clown was designed pretty much in the same way.
Donald designed that.
And what people mistook for the lead was the harmony part.
He wanted me on a sustained note. That was his idea.
And he dropped the lead down to that.
Phil told me that he had to call Donald and say,
"Hey, man, you better come over here.
"I think I wrote something good." So he goes over to his house
and he's got the chorus to Cathy's Clown written.
And Donald wrote the parts that he sang along.
"I've gotta stand tall."
I've gotta stand tall
You know a man can't crawl
When he knows you're tellin' lies
And he lets 'em pass him by
Then he's not a man at all.
They could express it, that sort of...young sort of yearning,
melancholy thing,
and still make you feel good.
You know? Even though it's so sad to see good love go bad.
Cathy's Clown, which is credited to both of them,
was probably, in terms of sales, their biggest of all.
Which is interesting, because it is a magnificent pop record.
Superbly sung.
Great song. But it's not a universal theme, really.
I would guess that most of the audience wasn't listening to it
thinking like, "Yeah, everybody's making fun of me.
"That's why I like to listen to this song."
I think they liked to hear it cos the beat was so cool and the
singing was so powerful and the harmonies worked together so well.
And people just hadn't heard anything like that
and couldn't stop listening to it.
Because it was just such a visceral experience.
I started listening to like, you know, like Cathy's Clown and songs
like All I Have To Do Is Dream just because the harmonies were so cool.
I wanted to learn both parts.
There are aspects of the song that...
You know, that middle part in the song, the bridge,
it takes you to another place. It's a little more confident.
But then you're right back into that struggle of feeling like,
you know...
you're Cathy's Clown. You're the guy that got left.
When you see me shed a tear
And you know that it's sincere
Don't you think it's kinda sad
That you're treatin' me so bad
Or don't you even care?
Don't want your love any more...
Paul and I were a brand-new rock and roll group.
Practicing, practicing, and we used the Everlys as our models.
And we started writing songs that were like Don and Phil.
Phil got his chance to shine when he wrote When Will I Be Loved.
And I think that's one of the most soulful records they ever did.
There's just a feel to that record that doesn't quit.
I've been made blue
I've been lied to
When will I be loved?
I loved the fact that When Will I Be Loved
was issued by Cadence Records
when Cathy's Clown had charted on Warner Bros.
So it was like, "Wait a minute.
"You've left us but we've still got these."
And it turns out When Will I Be Loved was a major song.
It happens every time
I've been cheated
Been mistreated
When will I be loved?
When will I be loved?
The Everly Brothers hit a real watershed in '59
when they were signed by Warner Bros.
Million-dollar deal. It seemed amazing.
But actually, it turned out to be a real poisoned chalice.
The Everly Brothers' early manager
and their publisher, Wesley Rose,
was also my family's publisher.
Don and I, somewhere in like '61, broke with Wesley Rose.
And Wesley Rose had been managing us
and we didn't want him to manage us anymore.
When that happened, Wesley Rose would not license any more
Boudleaux and Felice Bryant songs for us.
So we couldn't get any more songs.
And that was a terrible thing to have happen. It really was.
That's not our fault, not the Bryants' fault,
that was Wesley's fault.
Acuff-Rose happened to represent not only Boudleaux and Felice Bryant,
which meant the Everly Brothers were cut off from their songs,
but the Everly Brothers.
So that meant they couldn't even record their own songs.
I mean, it was silly of me to have a deal with a publishing
company where they wouldn't release unless they published it.
It was silly. It's death for an artist.
There's no court of appeals.
You know, I mean, obviously the Bryants want
the Everly Brothers to record their songs.
The Everly Brothers want those songs.
But the company says no. And that's the end of it.
You know, it's rough stuff.
What an unbearable situation.
And when we learn that in future we want to go back in time
to 1962 and say, "Oh, my God. Now I know why you have recorded
"Crying In The Rain by Carol King and Howard Greenfield.
"Cos you can't record your own songs.
"And you can't record Boudleaux and Felice Bryant songs."
In 1962, the Everly Brothers had this massive hit.
It wasn't their own song.
It was Carol King's song, Crying In The Rain.
But it went into the top ten.
And it was actually their last big American top ten hit.
Great for them, but they couldn't really enjoy it.
Or even capitalize on that success because, at that point,
they were in the Marines.
I'll never let you see
The way my broken heart is hurting me
I've got my pride and I know how to hide
All my sorrow and pain
I'll do my crying in the rain...
And then The Beatles happened
and even though The Beatles are directly
influenced by the Everly Brothers,
no-one wants to know anybody who existed before breakfast,
because now it's The Beatles and the British Invasion.
So, suddenly the Everly Brothers, who had actually influenced
The Beatles, start to look really old-fashioned, an old hat.
They ran into the brick wall with The Stones and The Beatles.
Because it happened to be 1963 and the world was suddenly changing.
And suddenly, they were old-fashioned for some reason.
Where there was no reason really, in musical terms, to think so.
Everybody was grabbing what was relevant from the Everly Brothers.
The Beatles taking the harmonies and that part of it.
I mean, From Me To You, Please Please Me,
everything is based on Everly Brothers' harmony.
Paul McCartney said that John was Don and he was Phil.
Allan Clarke and Graham singing their two-part,
call it The Hollies, but they were doing Everlys.
If you talk to The Stones, if you talk to The Beatles,
you talk to everybody,
if you talk to everyone that was in the British Invasion,
Herman's Hermits, everybody you wanted to know
loved the Everly Brothers. And tried to do that.
The great British Invasion didn't come at a very good
time for the Everlys.
I remember going to see the Everly Brothers in '63
and the opening act was The Rolling Stones.
It was an Everly Brothers' tour,
so I got to watch those guys every night.
I remember watching Mick Jagger onstage and I said,
"That's different, man. That was different."
And I told him. I said, "You guys can make it in the States."
You kind of thought, "Well, this act, The Rolling Stones..."
I mean, I certainly wasn't prescient enough to say,
"These guys are going to be the biggest thing out."
But you could see that there was a different audience emerging.
At the same time, the Evs had to live with
the fact that The Stones were suddenly the flavor of the month.
And they actually stepped down
and gave us the top of the bill at the Albert Hall
after six weeks on the road.
And I think that was an amazing gesture from their part.
I think the reason why they may have faded from the public
appreciation is the fact that times move on. You know?
I mean, there are people that think that Paul McCartney was in Wings.
Their days of selling big numbers were over.
The Everly Brothers didn't lose their talent,
but they lost that sense of being part of the zeitgeist.
They continued to perform, but the atmosphere between them
was very strained.
To the point where 1973, infamous live performance.
They're playing a gig in California
and they had this really acrimonious split right there onstage.
And didn't speak to each other for ten years.
Then they reformed in 1983 for this amazing comeback concert
at the Royal Albert Hall.
And so I beg you
Let it be me.
They were battling brothers, but they were brothers nonetheless.
And when they sang together, you know, you can
really feel that connection in their sound.
They brought together so many different
forms of contemporary music
and projected it totally genuinely through what they were.
Which was two young kids making their way.
I think pop music would have been quite different
if it hadn't been for the Everly Brothers.
That simplicity when it comes to songwriting and simple,
strong melodies.
I don't think you can listen to that music
or look at those guys singing so close in harmony like that
and not smile.
Their legacy is that their music will last forever.
It's indefinable. And that, I guess,
is the beauty of it, is that you can't put your finger on it.
But boy, look at those boys sing, man. You know?
It's an interesting question for Artie Garfunkel,
who is not Paul Simon's brother, there is no DNA there,
but damned if we didn't try to make it seems like there was.
We were brothers when we were in junior high school.
We were each other's main friends.
We smoked our first cigarettes together.
We were trying to be in each other's family.
But we didn't quite get to where Don and Phil did.
So never leave me lonely
Tell me you'll love me only
And that you'll always
Let it be me.