I only today heard that Don Everly had passed at age 84. An era has passed. A beautiful voice is gone.
I recalled a passage I wrote in my novel One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles where, for reasons unknown to myself, I talk about my love for the Everlys….
But Marsha sat motionless, looking out the window at the god-awful 405 freeway. “Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,” Stan muttered to himself, quoting the old Simon and Garfunkel song….. “Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together.” Yes, that was how the song went. Stan thought of Chester. They used to sing those old Simon and Garfunkel tunes all the time. Up in their bedroom. Stan played the guitar, Chester the drums. Tommy Shea, Chester’s friend, used to play guitar too. They had studied those Simon and Garfunkel records laboriously. And then Chester had insisted they learn the Everly Brothers’ songs. His argument was that if they played Simon and Garfunkel, then they must also play the Everly’s. They were “prerequisite” he said. Stan remembered how Tommy had teased Chester about the use of the word prerequisite. Tommy had joked that they were only playing music, not getting a college degree. But Chester, God bless him, responded with an even more extreme stance. He asserted that if Simon and Garfunkel were a college degree, then the Everly’s were like a high school diploma.
I’ve often played, or tried to play, a number of the Everly Brothers’ hits. But their purity of tone is something that I can’t capture at all. It’s hard to think of anyone who did.