All I Have to Do Is Dream
The Everly Brothers
Writer(s): Felice Bryant, Boudeleaux Bryant (see lyrics here)
First Charted: April 14, 1958
Peak: 15 US, 13 HP, 14 CB, 2 GR, 14 HR, 13 CW, 15 RB, 17 UK, 15 CN, 3 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 6.0 radio, 0.43 video, 85.12 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
The Everly Brothers’ “close-harmony country-rock became an enormous influence on the wave of artists who found fame in the 1960s.” TB Bob Dylan said, “We owe those guys everything. They started it all.” TB Don and Phil Everly, born in 1937 and 1939 respectively, grew up in a musical family. They first performed on their parents’ radio show when they eight and six years old. Don was working as a writer in Nashville in 1954, having crafted songs for Kitty Wells and Justin Tubb. KL When the Everly Brothers tried to launch their own careers, they struck out on their first recording session, but then “Nashville heavyweight” TB Chet Atkins hooked them up with the husband-and-wife writing team of Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, KL who’d written hits for Little Jimmy Dickens, Joe Smith, and Eddy Arnold. FB
Felice met Boudleaux when she was working as an elevator operator in a Milwaukee hotel where he was playing in a jazz band. When she met him, she claims she knew him immediately because she’d dreamed the face of her future husband when she was eight-years old. As such, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” may be closer to their story than any of their other songs. DM It “feels so natural and right in its beautiful hesitations and thoughtful syncopations that it might as well be fated.” DM
The Bryants went on to write the Everlys’ first three big singles – “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” All three topped the country charts and the latter two topped the pop charts. However, “Dream,” “with Atkins’ innovative tremolo chording backing the brothers’ high-lonesome harmonies,” RS500 also topped the R&B and UK charts, making it the biggest hit of the Everlys’ career. On June 2, 1958, the song became the only record to hit #1 on all four of Billboard’s singles charts simultaneously. WK
Phil Everly recalls first hearing the song “on an acetate and it was just Boudleaux and his guitar. I said, ‘You could put that out and it would be a hit.’” KL “‘It’s just a great, great song. It’s beautiful.’” SF Phil’s sentiments have been echoed in subsequent decades. Richard Chamberlain had a #14 hit with it in 1963. In the ‘70s, Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell had a top 40 version of the song and in 1981 Andy Gibb dueted with Victoria Principal for yet another charted version. In the end, though, it is the Everlys who own the “definitive version.” HL Theirs is “so pretty, so evanescent, so – dreamlike” PW that they “don’t sound like two guys. But they don’t sound like one guy, either. They sound…like an angel.” PW
Last updated 4/5/2023.