The Everly Brothers
Writer(s): Don Everly, Phil Everly (see lyrics here)
First Charted: April 18, 1960
Peak: 15 US, 15 CB, 14 HR, 11 RB, 17 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU, 8 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 8.5 video, -- streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Don and Phil Everly were pioneers of rock and roll, combined elements of country and pop. They found success with “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and more in the 1950s. On songs like the latter, the brothers “radiated a tremulous lost-little-kid vulnerability. That approachability might have been one key to their longevity; they were still making hits back when many of their peers were falling off.” SG “Of that initial big-bang wave of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll stars, the Everly Brothers were arguably the least threatening.” SG
In 1960, when some rock stars were already peaking, the Everlys signed a 10-year, million-dollar contract with Warner Brothers. FB It was reportedly the first million-dollar contract. KL Their first single on the new label, “Cathy’s Clown,” was the best-selling of their career. SG It was also their longest-running #1 in the UK, where they topped the charts five times. The song also has the distinction of being the first single to be atop the charts simultaneously in the United States and the UK. FB
The “perfectly solid pop song about romantic bitterness” SG was written once Don and Phil Everly were home in Nashville after a tour. Warner Brothers was eager for a hit and didn’t see one in the eight songs the Everlys had recorded so far. Don wrote the melody and the chorus while Phil wrote the verses. FB It was another example of how they “simply knew how to put a song together.” SG “They managed to make even the bitterness sound friendly and approachable.” SG
Graham Gouldman of 10cc said, “I loved the Everly Brothers and still do. They would sound like three people singing and they recorded brilliant songs, looked great, and played beautiful guitars. ‘Cathy’s Clown’ was the first record I bought and I can still hear its influence in my writing. I loved the fact that one note was being held with another melody descensing underneath it. I used that idea in ‘For Your Love’ for the Yardbirds.” KL
First posted 11/12/2022.