The Everly Brothers were awesome. Their voices blended together so perfectly that is was occasionally difficult to tell there were two men singing. It’s a pity that they’ve always had such difficulty getting along with each other in every other way. Of course, they could also be considered pioneers in Being in a Band with Your Brother. Brother acts are either very short-lived (and hence forgotten), or they last for decades but the brothers can’t stand being in the same room together.
Think about it. The Kinks. The Beach Boys. The Black Crowes. All of these groups had brothers who argued and fought and generally hated each other most of the time they were working together. The Davies boys actually got into fist fights on stage. (To be fair, there was a lot of strife in The Kinks. Drummer Mick Avery once threw a cymbal from his kit at Ray, who only avoided being decapitated by ducking.) I think the Robinson boys got it straightened out for the most part. Unfortunately, Brian is the only Wilson brother left to be on the beach. I have no idea about the current personal status of Ray and Dave Davies; I do know they don’t play in a band together anymore.
So the fact that Phil and Don Everly essentially do not speak anymore is not really a surprise. They briefly reunited as performers in the 80s, but from what I’ve heard, they’ve just decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Maybe they’ve found a way to be civil at family gatherings. Maybe not. I can see where they’re coming from. I have a feeling that when there are no other relatives left to keep us in contact, my brother and I will cease to talk (not that we talk all that much anyway). It is entirely possible that they simply do not have anything besides genetics and music in common. But there must be some kind of higher power to allow those voices to come together the way they did. There is a timelessness to the Everly’s, a feeling that for a few minutes everything stands still so that even the rocks and trees can listen to them sing.
“All I Have to Do Is Dream” is probably my favorite. A slow burning study in harmony and steel guitar, a sweet teenage lament to unrequited love and the power of fantasy. The story of a boy lost in dreams of a girl who might not even know he exists, it manages to be both innocent and sultry, filled with tender longing. He imagines “I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine, anytime night or day. Only trouble is, gee whiz, I’m dreaming my life away.” It’s one of those perfect moments in rock music. This clip includes another one of those perfect moments with the utterly despondent “Cathy’s Clown.”