Earlier in the week we published a post about Phil Everly, and, James Berry, a guitar teacher giving guitar lessons in Brooklyn, whose profile is listed on FindaGuitarTeacher, sent along his thoughts about Phil Everly, Don Everly, the Everly Brothers, and the music they made. Thanks, James. Here’s what James sent:
Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers passed away last Friday, January 3rd. Phil and his brother Don, with their signature tight harmonies, are iconic figures in the history of rock & roll with such hits as “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up, Little Suzie,” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream.”
But when I think of The Everly Brothers, I think of the place where country music and rock & roll meet. Their songs are driven by the acoustic guitar, and their harmonies, like those of their contemporaries The Louvin Brothers, are part of a long country music tradition of family harmonizing. The Everlys drew heavily on the music of Bill and Charlie Monroe, and their recording of the traditional folk ballad “Down in the Willow Garden” shows this influence most strongly.
The Everly Brothers, in turn, passed on this tradition of acoustic guitar and vocal harmony to countless others, such as The Byrds and, most notably, The Beatles (in songs like “Baby’s in Black” and “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”). Rod Stewart’s albums in the early ‘70s, while differing vocally from the Everly style, nevertheless feature the acoustic guitar at the front of a rock band, and The Indigo Girls used the Everly combination of acoustic guitars and tight, two-part harmony to push the tradition in new directions in the ‘90s.
Today, in 2014, sixty years into the history of rock & roll, we have an astounding array of musical equipment and recording gear, but The Everly Brothers are a reminder of what good music still boils down to: an acoustic guitar, two voices, and a great song!