In 1976, Wings – you know, the band that Paul McCartney was in after The Beatles? – released a single called “Let ‘Em In,” and among the individuals to whom McCartney giddily allowed entry were a twosome named Phil and Don. Even though it wasn’t mentioned within the song, this pair shared the same last name: Everly.
That’s right, Sir Paul was citing those singing siblings known as The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil. Join us as we offer up a six-pack of some of the best songs ever recorded by these occasionally-battling but beautifully-voiced brothers.
“Bye-Bye Love” (1957)
The second single of their career, this instant classic climbed to No. 2 and became a smash hit, becoming the duo’s first 45 to go gold.
“Wake Up, Little Susie” (1957)
Released on the heels of “Bye-Bye Love,” as you might reasonably have guessed from that date, this was the duo’s second gold single, but it was also their first No. 1 hit, establishing them as fixtures on what would eventually become the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, it was the bane of every girl named Susie as soon as their parents heard it, because they instantly started using it to get them up for school in the morning.
“All I Have to Do is Dream” (1958)
Arguably the most poignant of the brothers’ early singles, the harmonies are to die for. If you’re in the right mood, i.e. a bad one, it can still give you chills and bring on the waterworks when they sing, “Only trouble is / Gee whiz / I’m dreamin’ my life away...”
“Cathy’s Clown” (1960)
The pair’s first big hit of the ‘60s, this song later inspired a sequel by John Wesley Harding entitled “Cathy’s New Clown,” and while it can’t compare to a classic like this, it’s well worth searching out.
“Crying in the Rain” (1962)
Co-written by Carole King, this sadly beautiful number has been covered by more people than you can shake a stick at, from Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds to a-ha, but you don’t get much more tragic than this version.
“On the Wings of a Nightingale” (1984)
Last but not least, we thought we’d bring it full circle by offering up one of the Everlys’ last singles, from their EB84 album, which was written by none other than - wait for it - Paul McCartney. And it even has the word “Wings” in it! Now that’s a serious full circle moment.