The Everly brothers should have been on a roll when they recorded these albums in 1961 but they weren't. For reasons explained in the liner notes in the accompanying booklet, they weren't allowed to record any songs by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and it would even have been difficult for them to record self-penned songs. Without the Everly Brothers, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant didn't write many more notable songs thereafter (though they later wrote Rocky top, which the Everly Brothers eventually covered in 1973) so I don't suppose they were pleased at the turn of events.
Not wishing to return to their natural roots in country music (which, with hindsight, might have been a wiser choice), Don and Phil decided to record pop and jazz oldies instead, but to do them in their own style. Frank Sinatra and others were able to sustain successful careers recording such music but the people who enjoyed that kind of music weren't interested in the Everlys, while the traditional Everly fans didn't like the new direction in which the boys were taking their music. So these two albums were a commercial failure, but I love them.
Since the dawn of the new millennium, I've come to appreciate the old songs from the first half of the twentieth century. Some of them have stood the test of time well but others haven't. One double-A side single was taken from the album, featuring Don't blame me (originally an American top ten hit for Ethel Waters in 1933) and Muskrat. Although it charted in Britain and America, it didn't do as well as the brothers hoped in either country. Other songs that might be familiar, though not necessarily via the hit versions that I'm going to list, include My Mammy (an American number two hit for Al Jolson in 1928), My gal Sal (an American number one for Byron G Harlan in 1907), Grandfather's clock (an American top five hit for the Haydn Quartet in 1905), Hi-lili hi-lo (from the soundtrack of Lili), Now is the hour (five different versions became American top ten hits in 1948), Wayward wind (an American number one in the fifties for Gogi Grant and a British number one in the sixties for Frank Ifield), When I grow too old to dream (an American number one for Glen Gray in 1935), True love (first recorded by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly), Bye bye blackbird (an American number one hit for Gene Austin in 1926), Oh my papa (an American number one for Eddie Fisher in 1954) and Autumn leaves (a translation of the French song Les Feuilles Mortes, which was first recorded in English in 1955).
Among the other songs, there is one piece of nonsense (When it's night time in Italy it's Wednesday over here), which provided Lew Holtz with his solitary hit in 1922. Even allowing that it's not meant to be taken seriously, I've never even been able to figure out what point the songwriters were supposed to be making. Please post a comment on my review if you can come up with a credible answer.
The bonus tracks on this CD include Crying in the rain (a top ten hit in Britain and America) and That's old fashioned (an American top ten hit) as well as some other fine songs including a cover of Hernando's hideaway.
My entusiasm for music of all ages enables me to appreciate all the great music here, but I can understand why some people don't like it. It certainly doesn't fit the image of Don and Phil that most people have. Maybe you should try to hear samples before buying if you're not sure.
am 6. Dezember 2008
... du kannst ja von den Everlys nehmen was du willst > ALLES STARKE SONGS - nicht nur die Chart-Stürmer!
Ich empfehle jedoch die Anschaffung der BEAR FAMILY Boxen, da sparst du VIEL Geld und hast die Everlys ABSOLUT KOMPLETT!!
Wenn es auch teuer erscheint > ist es nicht! Bedenke: du hast ALLE, aber auch ALLE Aufnahmen der Everlys die die jemals gemacht haben!!
Mit einem SUPER-Begleitbuch mit allen verfügbaren Daten zu den Songs und den Everlys!! Das ist absolut SENSATIONELL und NICHT ZU TOPPEN!
Sowas gibt es eben nur von BEAR FAMILY!!
Jede Wette > da klappen dir die Fußnägel hoch!