The Everly Brothers

Cathy's Clown

Composed by Don Everly / Phil Everly

Song Review by

Among the many erroneous mini-party lines that have been devised by rock criticism, there's the one that holds that the Everly Brothers' truly great period was their 1957-60 stint at Cadence Records, their move to Warner Brothers heralding a decline in quality and importance. In fact, for the first year or two of their stay at Warners in the early '60s (and intermittently throughout the 1960s), the Everly Brothers did some of their best work, continuing to grow as artists. Their first Warner Brothers single, "Cathy's Clown," would be a reasonable choice as their greatest single ever, and it was certainly one of their most successful as well, going to number one. The production was fuller and more adventurous than their typical acoustic guitar-driven Cadence productions, including a piano and centering, in the verses, around an unusual drum pattern, half stutter and half martial. The harmonies and melody were among the pair's most glorious, particularly when they went into their descending lines, cascading in tandem with the drawn-out combination of romantic bitterness and frustration detailed by the lyrics. Particularly ingenious were the spare, sharp guitar licks that answered the brothers vocals' when they went into a particularly dark, minor passage. The bridge (sometimes identified in critical analysis as the verse, with the main parts of the song identified as the choruses) goes into a more standard bluesy rock & roll mode that brings the piano further up in the mix, the harmonies taking a rest as the lines are delivered in a solo vocal. "Cathy's Clown" is typical of the Everlys' work both in its ambiguous, tense portrayal of troubled love and its exultant harmonies. The harmonies in particular were most likely extremely influential on the Beatles, and you can hear echoes of "Cathy's Clown" in the Beatles' first single, "Please Please Me," particularly in the use of those thick descending harmony vocals and inventive stuttering tempos.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Everly Brothers' Best 1959 DCC Compact Classics 2:28
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1960 1960
Various Artists
Rhino 2:25
A Date with the Everly Brothers 1961 Rhino / Warner Bros. 2:25
The Golden Hits of the Everly Brothers 1962 Friday Music
The Very Best of the Everly Brothers 1964 Rhino Flashback / Warner Bros. 2:26
The  Everly Brothers Show 1970 Rhino / Warner Bros. 1:23
Walk Right Back [Warner Brothers] 1976 Warner Bros.
The Reunion Concert 1983 Recall (UK) 3:02
No Image 1984 K-Tel Distribution
No Image 1986
Various Artists
Vestron/Dick Clark Video
The Rock 'n' Roll Era: The Everly Brothers - 1957-1962 1987 Time/Life Music 2:25
The Cruisin' Story 1960 1988
Various Artists
One Day Music 2:25
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
All-Time Greatest Hits 1990 Curb 2:26
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Polygram 1:24
Reunion Concert: Live at the Royal Albert Hall [Video] 1991 Image Entertainment
Walk Right Back: The Everly Brothers on Warner Bros. 1993 Warner Bros. 2:24
Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits: 1957-1961 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 2:25
Heartaches & Harmonies [Box Set] 1994 Rhino 2:26
No Image 1994 Rhino
No Image 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
In Concert [Excelsior] 1996 Excelsior Recordings 2:44
Greatest Love Songs, Vol. 2 1997 Prism Entertainment 2:44
Pop 60's 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:23
The Very Best of the Everly Brothers [Crimson] 1998 Crimson Productions 2:33
All-Time Original Hits 1999 Rhino 2:26
Walk Right Back: 20 All-Time Hits 1999 Prism Leisure 2:33
Live [BCI] 2000 Brentwood Communications 2:44
No Image 2000 Import
Doo Wop Collection [Madacy 2000] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:40
Jerry Williams Väljer Århundradets Rocklåtar, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Stockholm Records 2:26
In Concert [Castle] 2001 Castle Pulse 2:39
Rock, Rhythm and Doo Wop, Vol. 1: The Greatest Songs from Early Rock 'n' Roll 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:24
The Legends Collection 2001 Legends Collection 2:41
29 Golden Greats: Live 2001 Prism Leisure 2:44
It's Everly Time/A Date with the Everly Brothers 2001 Warner Music
In Concert [Brentwood] 2002 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records 2:44
No Image 2002 Time Music 2:44
Hitdossier 60's, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
B.R. 2:26
Best of Millennium Collection 2002 WEA International 2:24
A Night at the Royal Albert Hall 2002 Cleopatra 2:44
12 Hits: Five Star Collection 2002 Rhino / WEA
The Definitive Everly Brothers 2002 WEA International 2:26
Gold Collection: The Everly Brothers Live 2002 St. Clair 2:39
Live/Reunion Concert 2003 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 2:44
Doo Wop Collection [Madacy 2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:40
All the 60's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:26
#1 Pop Hits of the 60s & 70s [Madacy Box] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:40
No Image 2003 Forever Gold / Weton 2:39
Billboard #1 Hits of the '60s 2003
Various Artists
Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 2:25
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Everly Brothers 2003 Hip-O 2:25
Simply the Best 60's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music
Singers and Songwriters: 1960-1964 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Time 100: Music of Our Lives 1960-1980 2004
Various Artists
WEA International 2:24
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 60s [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:41
20 Best Hits of the 60s 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:40
Casey Kasem: The 60's #1 Pop Hits 2004
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:24
All I Have to Do Is Dream 2004 Dfp
The Everly Brothers: Live [Rock and Roll Legends] 2004 Rock and Roll Legends 2:44
The Best of Everly Brothers: Live 2004 Essential Records 2:35
Live [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair 2:37
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 60s - Disc 1 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:41
The Everly Brothers: Live [Platinum] 2005 Platinum Disc 2:41
60's Rock N Roll [Madacy 2005] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:36
Rock'n Roll Legends 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:43
Love Hurts: The Platinum Collection 2005 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. 2:25
Platinum Collection 2005 WEA International / WEA
Golden Years 2005 WEA International 2:25
The Price of Fame 1960-1965 [Box Set] 2006 Bear Family Records 2:24
The Everly Brothers Live 2006 Madacy 2:35
K-Tel Presents: He's a Rebel - The 60's Revisited 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:39
Ultimate 16: Rock N Roll of the 60s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:26
Chained to a Memory 1966-1972 2006 Bear Family Records 1:23
Hits of the 60s [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Ground Floor 2:39
The Everly Brothers Live [Madacy] 2006 Madacy 2:37
Rock N Roll of the 50s & 60s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:39
The Definitive Pop Collection 2006 Rhino 2:25
60's Love Songs: The Ultimate Collection 2006
Various Artists
MCI 2:39
No Image 2006 CD Horizon / Horizon
Essential Collection [Red Box] 2006 Demon 2:39
#1 Hits of the 50s and 60s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:36
The Price of Love [Denon] 2006 Denon Records 2:39
Icons 2007 Icons
Reunion Live 2007 KRB Music 2:46
Wake Up, Little Susie 2007 Phantom Import Distribution / Double Pleasure / Music Products BV 2:43
Forever Gold: Everly Brothers Live 2007 St. Clair 2:39
Forever Gold: #1 60s Pop, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:39
The Everly Brothers [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 2:36
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Hit Club
Works 2007 Warner Bros. 2:24
100 Hits: 60s 2007
Various Artists
DMG / DMG TV 2:26
#1 Classic Hits of the 60s 1960-1964 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 2:24
Number 1 Pop Hits of the 60s, Vol. 2 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:39
Best of the 60s [Diamond] 2008
Various Artists
TGG Direct / Diamond Recordings 2:39
25 Best: Hits of the 1960's 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:36
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
Rock & Roll Jukebox [Madacy] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:39
Rock and Roll: 50's and 60's 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:39
50's Hits and Flicks 2008
Various Artists
Warner Music / WEA International 2:59
50 Years of Hits 2008 Warner Bros. 2:25
Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records - The First 50 Years 2008
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 2:24
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Ba-Ba 2:39
The Ultimate Love Album 2009
Various Artists
Sight and Sound 2:24
Heartaches & Harmonies [American Legends] 2009 American Legends 2:37
Oldies But Goodies [Madacy] 2009
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:39
Original Album Series (It's Everly Time/A Date With The Everly Brothers/Rock 'N' Soul/Two Yanks In England/Roots) 2010 Rhino / Warner Bros. / WB Records 2:25
Oldies But Goodies 2010
Various Artists
Madacy 2:39
100 Hits: Sixties Pop 2010
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:25
Dreamboats & Petticoats, Vol. 4 2010
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:24
The  Everly Brothers 2010 Sonoma Entertainment 2:37
Greatest Hits of 1960 2011
Various Artists
Great Voices of the Century 2:25
Hit Parade 1960 2011
Various Artists
Dynamic / dynamic records 2:25
The Everly Brothers 2011 Go Entertain
The Essential Everly Brothers [Not Now] 2011 Not Now Music 2:26
Paul McCartney's Jukebox 2011
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams / United States of Distribution 2:25
The Cruisin' Story 1955-1960 2011
Various Artists
Not Now Music 2:25
Lemon Popsicles and Strawberry Milkshakes [10 Disc Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Go Entertainment 2:22
100 Party Hits of the 60's 2011
Various Artists
Audiosonic 2:27
Purely...Everly Brothers 2011 Delta Leisure Group 2:22
Heartbreakers 2012
Various Artists
Go Entertain
The Hits of the 60s [DST] 2012
Various Artists
Dst / Music & Melody 2:24
Legend: The Everly Brothers - 52 Classic Songs 2012 HLI 2:21
My Kind of Music: Here Come the 60s! 2012
Various Artists
USM Media
Jukebox Favourites: Hits of the 50's & 60's 2012
Various Artists
AP Music
The Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame - The Everly Brothers 2012 DLG Digital 2:22
America's Greatest Hits, Vol. 11: 1960 2012
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:25
Radio Gold: 60s 2012
Various Artists
Sonoma / Sonoma Entertainment 2:34
The Great British Street Party 2012 2012
Various Artists
Rock and Roll Gold 2:28
Rock 2013 Bear Family Records 2:24
Lemon Popsicles and Strawberry Milkshakes: Shakin' All Over 2013
Various Artists
Go / Go Entertainment 2:26
Britain's Greatest Hits 1960 2013
Various Artists
Fabulous 2:25
Don & Phil: The Essential Guide 2013 Music Club Deluxe
The  Essential Collection [Metro] 2013 Metro / Metro Sound+Vision
Country 2013 Sony Music 2:34
100 Rock n Roll Hits: Jukebox Classics 2014
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:23
Songs for Mum [Music Digital] 2014
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:27
The Very Best of the Everly Brothers [Rhino] 2014 Rhino 2:26
Ultimate Collection: 60s Classics 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square / Universal 2:24
#1 Hits of the 50s & 60s [Sonoma]
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 2:33
No Image
Various Artists
Wagram
100 Hits Legends: The Everly Brothers 100 Hits
No Image AP Music
101 Hits from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
Various Artists
DLG Digital 2:22
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records 2:23
1960 British Hit Parade, Vol. 1: January To June
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:25
No Image Arista
3/60: The Sixties
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
60 #1 Pop Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:39
60s Hits [Crimson]
Various Artists
Crimson / Crimson Productions
No Image Documents 2:24
American Sounds of the 60's, Vol. 1
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:25
Bye Bye Love Musical Memories / Rolled Gold
No Image
Various Artists
Awesome Inc. 2:40
Coronation Street: Magical Memories
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 2:24
No Image
Various Artists
Sony BMG
De Pre Historie: 1960, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:22
Five Classic Albums Real Gone Music
Four of a Kind: 200 Classic Songs (From Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry)
Various Artists
HLI 2:21
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 5
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:21
Golden Oldies: Heartbreakers
Various Artists
HLI 2:28
Golden Oldies: The Soundtrack of Your Life (100 Classic Radio Hits)
Various Artists
HLI 2:28
Hit The Road: Route 66
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:41
Hits of the 60s [Delta]
Various Artists
Delta Music Group 2:41
It's All In the Name: The Girls
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:25
No Image
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 2:39
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 8
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:21
No Image
Various Artists
Puzzled Records 2:26
No Image Atlantic
No Image
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
No Image
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Soda Shop Hits
Various Artists
CD Baby / Green Hill Productions 2:25
Sweethearts & Stolen Kisses: Love Songs
Various Artists
Performance
Tequila and More No. 1 Hits
Various Artists
Sound and Vision 2:23
No Image Must Have Records 2:26
The Classic Jubilee Party Album! (100 Classic Hits!)
Various Artists
Rock and Roll Gold 2:28
The Great British Street Party 2012 (120 Classic Songs and Anthems to Celebrate the Jubilee!)
Various Artists
Rock and Roll Gold 2:28
The Very Best Of Sad Songs
Various Artists
EMI 2:24
Top Hits/60's Only Number 1's
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:27
Top Hits/Ballads & Love Songs 60's & 70's
Various Artists
Warner Bros. / Warner Music 2:27
No Image
Various Artists
Performance
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