Heavenly Harmonies

By: Anne Corke

Aug 23 2021

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Category: Life stories, Music

1 Comment

Yesterday Don Everly passed away. I cried just as I did when his brother Phil left us in 2014. The Everly Brothers harmonies have always been part of the soundtrack of my life. Although they came to fame in the generation just before mine, I was introduced to them at a young age by my older siblings. The first concert I attended headlined Glenn Yarbrough and the Everly Brothers. After the show, I met the brothers and they became part of my life then and there. I still have all their records and the autographed photo they gave me. There’s always a USB key of their music in my car. I love to sing along with them just as my friend Margot and I used to as we walked back and forth from school. We both know all the words and the harmonies.

As I grew up other music genres came and went, from crooners to early rock and roll, to the 60s British invasion, psychedelic rock, punk rock, heavy metal, country rock, rap, hip hop and on and on. But always the Everlys were there. Their ethereal harmonies influenced generations of other musicians including the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Hollies, the Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel and many others. They were inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And although they struggled with personal issues and the changing tastes of the public, their dedicated fans eagerly awaited each new release. As one reviewer put it ‘I could never love anyone who didn’t love the Everly Brothers’.

If I had to choose a favourite album from each decade of their recordings, I’d start with 1958 and the classic ‘Songs Our Daddy Taught Us’, a gem of traditional country songs like ‘I’m Just Here To Get My Baby Out of Jail’ and ‘Barbara Allen’. From the 60s, I’d pick ‘Roots’, which one reviewer called ‘a timely reminder of all that is good in rock and roll’, featuring the haunting ‘Sing Me Back Home’ and the reflective ‘Living Too Close to the Ground’. The 70s ‘Pass the Chicken and Listen’ has so many great songs like ‘Paradise’, Roger Miller’s ‘Husbands and Wives’ and ‘Lay It Down’. And the 80s Reunion Concert is a coming home event for the two brothers who, like many siblings, didn’t always get along but who created the most beautiful music when they sang together.

And now Don and Phil are gone. I will always remember them leaning in to a single mike, Don singing lead and Phil watching him closeIy to make sure his harmony and timing were perfect. I miss them both but take comfort in the beautiful music they left behind which I’m sure I’ll be listening to for the rest of my life. And I’ll be singing along with them as always. Rest in peace boys. Thanks for the music and the memories.

Copyright 2021 Anne Corke

One comment on “Heavenly Harmonies”

  1. what a lovely eulogy Anne! I plan to take a listen to the songs you’ve listed! I am sorry for this loss to you…❤


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