Archive Fun: The Everly Brothers

January 17, 2014

Garrison Keillor, with Phil and Don Everly

The Everly Brothers made their debut in 1958 with the release of their self-titled album. According to Billboard, The Everly Brothers hold the record for the most Top 100 charted songs by a duo and have amassed 26 Top-40 singles featuring their tight two-part harmonies which have gone on to influence legions of other artists including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Simon and Garfunkel. In 1986, the duo was among the first to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 1997 and were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Whether it was a song they wrote such as "Cathy's Clown," "Till I Kissed You," "When Will I Be Loved," or a song they performed such as "Bye Bye Love," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Birdsong," or their most popular hit "Wake Up Little Susie," their songs always made an indelible impression and were instantly recognizable. A Prairie Home Companion had the pleasure of hosting Don and Phil on several occasions.

"Stories We Could Tell"

Phil Everly passed away on January 3, 2014. Introducing a song in tribute to Phil that weekend, Garrison stated that for "those of us who grew up in his day and age, he was like a high school classmate, you know, he and Don Everly were BIG STARS when we were in high school so we looked at them and we envied them, of course, but we got over it. He was a sweet man. They were on our show many, many times and it was such a pleasure to see them. This is an Everly Brothers song they did later. John Sebastian wrote this song called 'Stories We Could Tell.' This is for Phil"

"Old Shep," The Everly Brothers with Garrison Keillor

"Old Shep" is a favorite of A Prairie Home Companion fans. Every couple of seasons, the song is re-performed upon request, as recently as this past September. This version was originally performed by The Everly Brothers with Garrison in the late '80s and one can clearly hear Garrison state the obvious that this is indeed a very sad song. It was written by Red Foley and Arthur Willis about a German Shepherd Arthur owned that had been poisoned by a neighbor. The song is a classic which was the first song publicly performed by Elvis Presley and recorded by many others including Chet Atkins.

Songs made famous by The Everly Brothers have been a tradition on A Prairie Home Companion. Here are a few of The Everly Brothers biggest hits performed by a few APHC guests...

"When Will I Be Loved," performed by Holly Jones, Chic Gamine and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

This song was written by Phil Everly in 1959 and released as a single in 1960. The delay was due to a change in record labels and their first label, Cadence Records, decided to release a few tracks it had in the vaults which resulted in The Everly Brothers last rockabilly-style hit. It is Phil's most popular composition and has been covered by Rosemary Clooney, John Fogerty, Tanya Tucker, John Denver, and most famously by Linda Ronstadt. The song has also enjoyed success on the television as it was featured on Dolly Parton's variety show several times and on American Idol by Carrie Underwood.

"Gone Gone Gone" by Tonic Sol Fa

"Some sunny day baby/when everything seems OK baby" Tonic Sol Fa delive ar superb rendition of The Everly Brothers classic "Gone Gone Gone" outdoors at The Minnesota State Fair. The song was also recently covered by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on their Raising Sand collaboration. "Gone Gone Gone" features and up-tempo guitar track, fast paced lyrics and some fine harmony on a catchy track. After a 2 year absence, it was this song that returned The Everly Brothers back to the Top 40 on the charts.

"Bye Bye Love" by the Milk Carton Kids, Pat Donohue, Heather Masse, Heather Johnson, Ellie Dehn and The Guy's All Star Shoe Band

"All I Have To Do Is Dream" by Inga Swearingen and Garrison Keillor

"Sleepless Nights" by Garrison Keillor and Suzy Bogguss

"Bye By Love" and "All I Have to do Is Dream" are among The Everly Brothers most popular songs. They were all recorded when Phil and Don were signed to Cadence Records. "Bye Bye Love" was The Everly Brothers' first hit. The song had been rejected by some 30 other bands until their version was cut and released. This song was The Everly Brothers first million selling record and began a relationship with the songwriting husband and wife team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The songwriting duo brought The Everly Brothers many of their best known hits including the two aforementioned songs, "Sleepless Nights", "Wake Up Little Suzie" and "Bird Dog." "Bye Bye Love" was the show closer featuring the Milk Carton Kids and that evening's guests, while "All I Have to Do is Dream" is presented as a duet between Garrison and Inga Swearingen and "Sleepless Nights" as a duet between Garrison and Suzy Bogguss.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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