The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers Show

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The Everly Brothers Show Review

by William Ruhlmann

On Wednesday, July 8, 1970, at 9 p.m. EDT, the ABC television network broadcast the first of 11 weekly episodes of The Everly Brothers Show, a one-hour musical variety program that was the summer replacement for The Johnny Cash Show. The same month, Warner Bros. Records released a double LP (later reissued as a single CD) also called The Everly Brothers Show. But the album was not a soundtrack to the TV series; it was a live recording that had been made five months earlier at the Grand Hotel in Anaheim, CA, at which the duo of Don and Phil Everly, backed by an electric guitar/bass/drums trio, played a mixture of their old hits, some newer songs, and various cover material. There was a sort of autobiographical structure to the show, at least at first, as Don Everly began with a spoken introduction that harked back to the brothers' youth, leading into a series of songs loosely related to that youth -- "Mama Tried," "Kentucky," and "Bowling Green" -- followed by a batch of their hits. After a cover of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," there was a lengthy medley of rock & roll songs, then a string of ballads. But, as Don Everly's sardonic remarks suggested, it was all taken in a simultaneously off-hand and dismissive manner. The brothers' fast numbers "('Til) I Kissed You," "Wake Up Little Susie," "Cathy's Clown," and "Bird Dog," were taken at breakneck tempos, as if to get them out of the way, while the ballads that came toward the end, "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Walk Right Back," "I Wonder If I Care as Much," and "Let It Be Me," were slowed down. The strangest section was the rock & roll medley, eighteen-and-a-half minutes of seemingly random snatches of songs including Berry's "Rock and Roll Music," the Beatles' "The End," "Aquarius" from Hair, "If I Were a Carpenter," the Everlys' own "The Price of Love," "The Thrill Is Gone," and "The Games People Play," with riffs from other songs thrown in, and including drum and bass solos (a standard indulgence of the time, admittedly). The duo displayed a bizarre Beatles obsession that included appending the coda from "Hey Jude" to "Susie Q" and even turning "Let It Be Me" into "Give Peace a Chance" at the end. Their harmonies were as attractive as ever, but this was not a live album that showed off their stage talents to advantage.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
The Everly Brothers 01:31 SpotifyAmazon
2 The Everly Brothers 02:03 SpotifyAmazon
3 The Everly Brothers 02:43 SpotifyAmazon
4 The Everly Brothers 02:34 SpotifyAmazon
5 The Everly Brothers 01:56
6 The Everly Brothers 01:42 SpotifyAmazon
7 The Everly Brothers 01:23 SpotifyAmazon
8 The Everly Brothers 01:57 SpotifyAmazon
9
The Everly Brothers 02:16 SpotifyAmazon
10 The Everly Brothers 18:39
11
The Everly Brothers 04:52 SpotifyAmazon
12 The Everly Brothers 03:11 SpotifyAmazon
13 The Everly Brothers 02:09 SpotifyAmazon
14 The Everly Brothers 05:23 SpotifyAmazon
15 The Everly Brothers 04:12 SpotifyAmazon
16
The Everly Brothers 03:11 SpotifyAmazon
17 The Everly Brothers 03:59 SpotifyAmazon
18 The Everly Brothers 04:10 SpotifyAmazon
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