Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

There’s No Place Like CounterPunch

There's no place like CounterPunch, it's just that simple. And as the radical space within the "alternative media"(whatever that means) landscape continues to shrink, sanctuaries such as CounterPunch become all the more crucial for our political, intellectual, and moral survival. Add to that the fact that CounterPunch won't inundate you with ads and corporate propaganda. So it should be clear why CounterPunch needs your support: so it can keep doing what it's been doing for nearly 25 years. As CP Editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, succinctly explained, "We lure you in, and then punch you in the kidneys." Pleasant and true though that may be, the hard-working CP staff is more than just a few grunts greasing the gears of the status quo.

So come on, be a pal, make a tax deductible donation to CounterPunch today to support our annual fund drive, if you have already donated we thank you! If you haven't, do it because you want to. Do it because you know what CounterPunch is worth. Do it because CounterPunch needs you. Every dollar is tax-deductible. (PayPal accepted)

Thank you,
Eric Draitser

Remembering Phil Everly


I probably first heard the Everly Brothers when I was a real little kid about six or seven, playing in the driveway behind my family’s Northeast Philly row house blasting out of one of the ever present transistor radios that belonged to the bigger kids.  I’m not sure if it was “Bye Bye Love” or “Wake Up Little Susie,” but most definitely “Bird Dog.”  You couldn’t escape it.  Once in awhile I might catch them on TV and they always seemed to have this nervous energy.  And for the next few years they were always on the radio, hit after hit.  And then they weren’t.

Move forward about eight years, and I’m 14 or 15, and I borrow two Everly Brothers album from a friend, The Everly Brothers’ Best on Cadence Records, and The Everly Brothers’ Golden Hits on Warner Brothers.  I still have those records and I never stopped playing them.  And it wasn’t just the hit songs either.  It was the acoustic guitars and the twangy electric leads and the incredible close harmonies.  My favorite song on the Cadence album was “I Wonder If I Care As Much,” an original written by both of them with this powerful almost eerie steel guitar.  And my favorite on the later Warner Brothers album was “Cathy’s Clown,” with another brilliant arrangement from the piano to the almost marching drums.

Sometime in either late ’68 or early ’69, I’m living in New York and I hear a friend of mine who would later record with a group called Borderline sing a Merle Haggard song, “Sing Me Back Home,” that totally knocked me out.  I’m not sure if he told me at the time it was a Merle Haggard song, but a couple of days later, I was in Sam Goody’s and I come across this Everly Brothers album called Roots and there’s that song.  Instant buy!  By this time I was slowly starting to listen to country music, and thanks to The Byrds, country rock was starting to take hold.

Roots was a concept album recorded around the height of concept albums, and it was the Everly Brothers going backwards and forwards at once, singing “You Done Me Wrong” written by George Jones and Ray Price, and “T for Texas” by Jimmy Rodgers, but also covering Randy Newman.  Interspersed every now and then between the songs were sound clips of them as kids playing on their dad’s radio show.  The Everly Brothers were the real deal, part of a singing family, learning to play from their dad Ike who played with the likes of Merle Travis.  Very early in their career, they recorded an album of old folk ballads and country songs called Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.  They were the real deal!  The arrangements on Roots were experimental and adventurous.  A wah wah guitar on Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” a new version of my favorite song, “I Wonder If I Care As Much,” with a sustained almost fuzz guitar crying over gently finger-picked acoustics replaced the pedal steel.  The album should have put them at the forefront of the country rock movement.  But it ended up being an album only a few knew about and treasured.

Phil Everly.

Phil Everly.

Not long after buying that album, I was in that same Sam Goody’s and the salesman who knew me by now asked, if I wanted to go see the Everly Brothers that night.  Of course, I said yes.  He said meet me at the Bitter End.  As we were standing in line, they walked into the club right in front of us.  Onstage, they of course had their black Everly Brothers Gibson guitars and played hit after hit and also the new songs from Roots including “I Wonder If I Care As Much.”  And they projected that same nervous energy and tension I remembered from seeing them on TV, and their band and of course their harmonies were faultless.  No one sang closer tighter harmonies than the Everly Brothers.

A year later they became the summer replacement for Johnny Cash’s TV show, which resulted in their last album for Warner Brothers.  Neither the album or the TV caught on.  Then two years later they signed to RCA Records and recorded an album featuring songs by some of the best songwriters at the time including Jesse Winchester and Kris Kristofferson, but it didn’t take.  A year later they returned to Nashville and Chet Atkins and made a good but not great album, Pass The Chicken & Listen, but it was almost as if they were trying too hard.  Not long after its release, they broke up onstage with Phil Everly smashing his guitar and walking off.

They stayed apart for 10 years trying various things on their own with Phil Everly having some success in England.  In 1983, guitarist Albert Lee convinced them to reunite.  Their reunion concert in London at Royal Albert Hall where all their powers were triumphantly intact, was released as a live album and a video.  They followed that up with a new studio album, EB 84 produced by Dave Edmunds that opened with a song written especially for them by Paul McCartney, “On The Wings Of  A Nightingale” and featured their first Bob Dylan cover, “Lay Lady Lay.”  Two years later, another album Born Yesterday found them still engaged covering country punkers Rank And File, as well as Mark Knopfler.  It was their last good studio album.  Their final album two years later, Some Hearts despite original material was keyboard dominated and seemed to be an attempt to get a contemporary late ’80s sound while ignoring everything they were really about.

Following their reunion, they toured for about 20 more years.  I saw them many, many times.  Albert Lee remained their lead guitarist, and their band often featured such Nashville greats as Buddy Emmons.  And at every show they’d do all their hits and include a special part where they played the songs their daddy taught them, and sometimes some newer songs.  And of course their harmonies – Phil usually sang the high parts though they could mix it up and Don always sang the solo verses – were impeccable.  But as real as they were and as good as they were, and even though they were always on the top of their game musically, they were playing to an oldies crowd, and so they did the oldies.  For whatever reason, they were never embraced by the hip elite as the next big old thing.

The Everly Brothers sold more records than any other duo in history.  The people they influenced from Buddy Holly to the Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel and Dylan on up is beyond remarkable.  Rock and Roll and country rock would not have been what it is without them.   And it’s too damn bad that they were relegated to the sidelines and the cutout bins when they still had so much to contribute.

Phil Everly died today from COPD at 74.  An era is quickly coming to an end and he was one of the giants.

Peter Stone Brown is a freelance writer and singer-songwriter.  His site and blog can be found here:




Peter Stone Brown is a freelance writer and singer-songwriter.  His site and blog can be found here:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians