Two by the Everly Brothers

Actually, there are three songs here, as the first is a mixture of their two most famous songs. The harmony of this duo isn’t often appreciated, much less remembered, and several of their songs, like the three in the first two videos, were excellent. Phil died six years ago, but Don (born 1937) is still with us.

I must feed my ducks, so, as the evening approaches and with it Yom Kippur, I’ll leave you with two live Everly videos and French lagniappe:

This is, I think, their best song, and was recorded by Don and Phil in 1960 when they were 23 and 21, respectively. Here they perform it in 1989 when they were 52 and 50, and the harmony is still amazing: they hadn’t lost much.

I didn’t realize until I started putting this post together that “Let It Be Me” was originally a French hit: “a popular song originally published in French in 1955 as ‘Je t’appartiens’ [“I belong to you”] interpreted by Gilbert Bécaud.” So I looked up the Bécaud version, and it’s below. It, too, is very good.

Brush up on your French with the subtitles.

40 Comments

  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I also love the song that Paul McCartney wrote for them: “On the Wings of a Nightingale.” It appears on the Everly Brothers’ 1984 album, “EB 84”.

  2. Posted September 27, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Man, you’re old, Jerry Coyne!

    • Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks a lot; much appreciated. Am I ugly, too?

    • Filippo
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      “Man, you’re old, Jerry Coyne!”

      What is this? How gratuitous. How egregious.

      Just “congenially” curious, at what moment in the past does one become “old” in relation to appreciating a gem of a song or musical act of yesteryear?

      I’m sure there’s at least one teenager right now who enjoys the Everly Brothers, and the Beach Boys. Is there fault to be properly found with that teenager? Is it okay if a youngster happens to like, say, Tony Bennett, who endures? Is s/he “out of touch” or “irrelevant”?

      I like Nat King Cole. Mario Lanza. Mantovani. Ferrante and Teicher. Andy Williams. Johnny Mathis. The Four Freshmen. Have a problem with that if you must.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Believe it or not, the Everly Brothers started out way back in their beginning singing on the radio KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa, about 20 miles from where I was from.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    The harmony of this duo isn’t often appreciated …

    It’s been much appreciated by vocalists who’ve followed in their path — from the Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Byrds and CSN&Y, and by everyone else who’s ever sung close harmony.

  5. rickflick
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Dream was the first record I ever bought. I couldn’t get over the harmony. They influenced a lot of performers, such as the Beatles.

    • merilee
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I think that might have been my first 45 as well. Something else great was on the flip side?

      • rickflick
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        That song was written by Roy Orbison as a rocking tribute to his wife Claudette.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        • merilee
          Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          But of course😻

  6. Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Wait, they didn’t actually write Let It Be Me? Oh no, It’s the End of the World As We Know It! (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEndqTWoTsk"A qué hora es el fin del mundo)

  7. rickflick
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I just noticed as they approach the start of a song or after an interlude, they quickly glance at each other to get the timing perfect.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I believe Mark Knopfler wrote this one for the Brothers:

  9. Tim J Reichert
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Their influence on The Beatles can not be overstated.

  10. rickflick
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s Let is be Me again in mid career. Look at the eye contact. They must have been very close. It’s sad that they later had a breakup.

  11. John Dentinger
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Call me crazy, but I like this one best:
    Wake Up, Little Susie!

    • yazikus
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Also a favorite of mine. I’m an unabashed FM enthusiast (I commute) and I’ve been sad to see the ‘Oldies’ stations get fewer and fewer over the years. The real scandal, to me, is when they start playing 80s music on an Oldies station. Blasphemy!

      • C.
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        I feel your pain. I was born in ‘77 and I knew my youth was over when Guns n Roses and similar started being played on the “classic rock” stations while the classic rock of my teen years started migrating to the “oldies” station, where they no longer play Chuck Berry, Elvis, Fats Domino except on the weekend late night “golden oldies” hour…but I stopped listening to FM in favor of Spotify (or yes, even that antiquated technology format: CDs!) so I can listen to whatever without being reminded I’m careening head first into middle age.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Hey, no love round here for “Bye-Bye Love”?

    • merilee
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Let it Be Me!!

    • merilee
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      How ‘bout a couplea Garfunkels.

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always loved the Everly Brothers, and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” is one of my favorite recordings.

    • yazikus
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s just earwormy in the loveliest of ways.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realize until I started putting this post together that “Let It Be Me” was originally a French hit: “a popular song originally published in French in 1955 as ‘Je t’appartiens’ [“I belong to you”] interpreted by Gilbert Bécaud.”

    I’ve always been a huge Bobby Darin fan, including of his recording “Beyond the Sea.”

    I was well into my adulthood before I realized it was a cover of a 1940s’ French tune “La Mer” by Charles Trenet.

    As Chuck Berry said, goes to show, you never can tell.

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      “You never can tell” – or “On ne sait jamais”, as the original French version undoubtedly had it… ;o)

  15. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh, nice pick – not sure what the enormous Erlenmyer flasks were doing there…

  16. Marou
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The soundtrack to my teenage romances. The backing group on the Dream clip is, I think, The Crickets.

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    All I Have to Do Is Dream was written by Boudleaux Bryant of the husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.

    Source: Wikipedia


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