The Everly Brothers

Sing Great Country Hits

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The Everly Brothers' homage to some of the best country songs of their era (and their authors and originators) seems like a no-brainer today, and ought to be regarded as a classic record, right up there with their own Roots, not to mention as beloved as anything by the Louvin Brothers or even, say, the Brown's Ferry Four in its sheer beauty and simplicity. Instead, partly thanks to the early Warner Bros. Records' inability to market their LP releases (or do much else right), and also some unfortunate timing in its release, it's ended up overlooked by most fans and listeners. Actually, swept aside would be more like it, along with most of the Everlys' other LP work, by the tidal wave of the British Invasion, which hit North American shores just two and a half months after the album's release. Phil and Don do right, and then some, by Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Hank Locklin, et al.; the singing is heavenly and the playing is spot-on perfect, and even if the public overlooked it, one might easily presume that Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and a few other soon-to-be-important folk-rockers heard at least some of these renditions. They're still priceless, the singing is some of the most beautiful in the Everlys' output, and the arrangements are models of creative simplicity -- and for fans of the duo, it's almost as essential a record as Roots. [In 1997, the Collectors' Choice Music label reissued Sing Great Country Hits with seven additional bonus cuts.]

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