Don and Phil with the band, Reunion Tour, 1984, U.S. leg.
Many talented and stellar musicians were members of The Everly Brothers’ touring (and sometimes also studio) bands throughout the brothers’ long career. This list is not complete. Please feel free to add to this Forum thread.
The EBs’ singular style of rock, pop, ballads, country, rockabilly, and R&B required versatile, adaptable, and resourceful musicians who could master The EBs’ repertoire live on stage, from Manila to Paris to Detroit to Phoenix. (For instance, lead guitarist Sam McCue was called up by Don as “Orchestra?” in the mid to late 1960s, to replicate the delicate strings of the “Let It Be Me” intro onstage.)
This list is not in chronological order. A few members funneled in and out of the band. Sam McCue is quoted as saying he dropped out of the band during heavy touring schedules several times as family obligations called him back home. Then, he’d just rejoin The EBs later!
All entries cited in quotes are from Everlypedia. Links are provided for more reading.
Sam McCue, top center, with The Legends, Milwaukee, WI
Sam McCue, lead guitarist, early 1960s - early 1970s:
Everlypedia: “Sam McCue (born circa 1940) has been compared to James Burton by music writers and has played alongside such luminaries as The Everly Brothers. Born into a musical family - his father played the trumpet semi-professionally and his mother sang and played the fiddle - he took up the ukulele at age six and later switched to the guitar. By the early ‘60s, he was a member of the Legends, a Milwaukee-based outfit that rocked the city with their early single releases of “Lariat,” “Bop-a-Lena,” and “Say Mama” on the Ermine label, all of which topped the local charts. The group was good enough to get signed by Capitol Records, through which they released two LPs and a single in 1962 and 1963. Even though none of those records charted nationally, the exposure was enough to get McCue - by then recognized as the main driving force within the group - snapped up by The Everly Brothers for the lead guitar spot in their backing band, and was with them into the start of the 1970s. During the latter decade, he also joined Crowfoot for their final LP. He remains a guitar hero in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. In addition to playing guitar for various artists (Atlee Yeager, et al.), he has also served as a producer for artists such as Steve Cohen. Sam McCue plays on The Everly Brothers album “Roots” and their final Warner Brothers 1970 double live album “The Everly Brothers Show.” He also played on Phil Everly’s 1973 “Star Spangled Springer.”
From EBs Quotes in Forum:
“Trust me, (the kidding by Don toward Phil onstage) was purely in jest. Part of the stage 'shtick'. I know this because I WAS there, playing guitar, with Terry Slater on bass and Jimmy Karstein on drums. The bitterness reared it's head about three years later (early 70s). (I was there as well.)"
"You should have (spoke to them backstage as fans). They were very friendly and accessible. But I know the feeling. I was dumbstruck every time I looked at the back of those tuxedos and realized who I was standing behind. LOL!"
“They didn't socialize a lot when not working, but on the road we'd spend hours on end, hanging out in each other's hotel rooms, "pickin' and grinnin" as they say, and they both had a marvelous sense of humor. The biggest mistake anyone could make would be to talk against one to the other. Not a good idea at all. I spoke on the phone with Donald a couple of weeks ago and I can assure you that he misses his brother terribly. As do I."
-- Sam McCue, March 2016
Phil, Terry Slater, and Don, the year Slater met The EBs.
Terry Slater, bass, mid-1960s-1970?:
Everlypedia: “Terry Slater has a lifetime of experience in the music business. He was born and raised in London - almost within the sound of Bow Bells, which gives him the right to call himself a real cockney lad! Without any formal education, music became a way out of what looked to be a dreary existence. Little Richard and Chuck Berry were his saviours. “If they could do it, I could too, so I learned to play the bass and guitar.” Terry recalls. “This was before the English music scene exploded in the early sixties. Like the Beatles, I went to Hamburg and played at the Star Club. It was a rough place. Whores and sailors, drunks and junkies. One night, I was called into the office backstage. There, a fat guy sat, a cigar sticking out of the corner of his mouth and two Doberman Pinchers beside him. On the table were two pistols. I almost wetted my pants!” Terry was told to return to London and report to his agent’s office. Frightened to death, as soon as he got back home, he locked himself in and didn’t dare go out for weeks. Finally he told his father what had happened and he went to Terry’s agent’s office: all they wanted was to manage Terry! They took him on, tripled his wages, and since that time he has earned his living from music.
He played in backing bands for all his old idols when they were on tour in the UK: Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard and the rest. His career really got going when he joined the backing band for the Everly Brothers. Phil Everly and Terry Slater met in 1963 when the Everly Brothers headlined a UK tour which also included Bo Diddley, Little Richard and (at the bottom of the bill) The Rolling Stones. The band that backed several of the acts on the tour was The Flintstones, a group cast in the mould of the better known Sounds Incorporated. Slater was guitarist with The Flintstones. The result was a long friendship between Phil and Terry - who moved to the US in the mid-1960s, and became bass player in the combo behind Don and Phil. He stayed with them for a long time. He is credited as composer or co-composer of many Everly songs including ‘Bowling Green’, ‘Mary Jane’, ‘A Voice Within’, ‘Talking To The Flowers’ and ‘Do You’. He played bass on many of the recordings including albums such as THE EVERLY BROTHERS SING and ROOTS (Slater is also credited as composer of ‘Living Too Close To The Ground’). Slater is credited as co-composer on Phil Everly’s solo track ‘Up In Mabel’s Room’ included on 1972’s STORIES WE COULD TELL. It was during this period that he gained much of the experience that later made him so capable of handling young talent. He saw where the money was made and taught himself everything there was to know about agreements and contracts. He found out about the exhausting work schedule and how quickly it all went downhill if you started taking artificial stimulants. After many years on the road, in 1972 Slater began working in the business side of music. He became the head of the publishing division of the record company EMI in England, and wrote contracts for the rights to artists such as Kate Bush, Blondie and the Sex Pistols.
Phil Everly’s first solo album, STAR SPANGLED SPRINGER, was released in late 1973 on RCA; several of the tracks on the album, including the critically acclaimed 'Snowflake Bombardier', were composed by Phil Everly, either solo or with Terry Slater. In 1974, Slater convinced Pye Records in England to sign Phil Everly as a solo artist, and two albums resulted: THERE’S NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR MY BABY (US title: PHIL’S DINER) was released at the end of that year, and MYSTIC LINE, which also involved Warren Zevon. Slater co-composed with Phil Everly many other tracks including, ‘A Man And A Woman’; ‘Better Than Now’; ‘Feather Bed’; ‘Friends’; ‘Goodbye Line’; ‘Goodbye Summer Sun’ (a demo laid down by Phil and Terry); ‘Invisible Man’; ‘It Pleases Me To Please You’; ‘It’s True’ (also involving Warren Zevon); ‘Music Is The Voice Of Love’ (recorded by English House and produced by Terry Slater); ‘Never Gonna Dream Again’; ‘New Old Song’; ‘Old Kentucky River’ (aka ‘Caroline’); ‘Summershine’; ‘Sweet Music’; ‘Sweet Pretender’; ‘Sweet Suzanne’; ‘Too Blue’; ‘You And I Are Song’.
Without wishing to deny or denigrate Terry Slater’s obvious talent and contribution, some compositions are credited to him that are known to have been composed by Don Everly and/or Phil Everly (e.g. ‘Lord Of The Manor’). This was sometimes done as a ‘gift’ and/or to avoid paying royalties to song publishers Acuff- Rose due to the Everly Brothers’ on-going legal dispute with Wesley Rose. There are also a number of unpublished/unrecorded compositions. One interesting Phil Everly/Terry Slater composition, ‘They Smile For You’, composed and recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1967, only saw the light of day in 2008 and then only with a ‘voice over’ (see the song entry for more info).
Terry Slater became head of A&R and finally Director of EMI in 1979. He was responsible for signing up names like Duran Duran, Kajagoogoo (see pic left, with beard, 1982) and Thomas Dolby to EMI. But his career as director was a short one. “Things weren’t going so well for EMI, and they made some big changes. As a result of financial difficulties, people were moved into different positions. They split up our team – so I quit,” Slater says. He got involved in organizing one of the Everly Brothers’ reunion tours - a great success, but then withdrew to his farm and began to search for the one, new, big talent he could bet everything on.
Slater went on to manage a-ha, who fairly successfully covered the Everly classic ‘Crying In The Rain’ – which impressed Don and Phil to such an extent that they presented the three Norwegians with a set of guitar."
With Don, 1978 in London.
Albert Lee, lead guitarist, 1983 Reunion Concert to 2005:
Everlypedia: “This brilliant guitarist and multi-talented Grammy award winning musician was born Dec. 21, 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire, England. Growing up in Blackheath, London, the son of a father who played piano and accordion, Albert started out studying piano at the age of seven. At the age of twelve, heavily into Jerry Lee Lewis and later Buddy Holly, he switched to guitar, was given a Hofner President acoustic arch-top though he soon longed for an electric.
Albert Lee: “My first real guitar was a Grazioso which was the forerunner of the Hofner Futurama. I paid £85 second-hand for it, so it was really expensive...but I always used to wish that I’d bought a Fender instead.” His style was R&B, country and of course rock ‘n’ roll. His heroes included the Everly Brothers, James Burton, Buddy Holly, Scotty Moore and Jerry Reed to name but a few. He left school at 16 to play full-time with a variety of bands, even though at first he had to work various day jobs as well, such as making blue prints, working in a laundry and spray painting.
Albert Lee: “Trying to make it as a rock musician was a very haphazard business in the early sixties - and it was pretty dangerous too...you could get caught up in all manner of things. I was lucky because I could always go home to my parents - it was just a question of hopping onto the tube. I often wonder if I’d ever have become a professional musician if I’d been living somewhere like Cornwall, because I wasn’t the sort to move into some sleazy digs and endure all that stuff, even though I was soon spending a lot of time living in small cupboards adjoining unsavoury clubs spread around Germany!” Commercial success came with Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds in 1964 but Albert Lee had his heart set on playing country music and consequently left the Thunderbirds in 1968. Albert Lee: “In May 1964, I joined Chris Farlowe and I stayed with him four years. I thought it was a great band - the best in Britain at what we did...but we never got much in the way of recognition or public acclaim. It was very frustrating; we’d support bands like The Animals, who were terribly ragged in comparison, with very little feeling or finesse - and they’d go down a storm while we got a smattering of applause from the few punters who weren’t in the bar. I’ve got tapes of some of our gigs and they still stand up - some of our stuff was killer! Farlowe was a dynamite singer! But there was practically no crowd reaction. We worked solidly for years...tours, one-nighters, all-nighters, doubles, trips to Germany and Scandinavia - we went all over the place, but we never cracked it beyond a certain level.”
The following years saw Albert part of various bands – one of them called Country Fever - supporting visiting American folk and country artists on European tours. In 1968 Poet And The One Man Band was formed, lasting only a short time before breaking up. The breakup lead to the nucleus of that group, Tony Colton, Ray Smith and Albert Lee, next putting together Heads, Hands & Feet in 1970. This outfit did not live very long either and they split in 1973, before the release of their third album. The band, however, reached cult status and was obviously very influential as Albert Lee later found: “What amazes me is how many musicians in Nashville have a copy of our first album in their personal record collections, and still ask me what happened to the band.” The members, in this case, got together and played on Don Everly’s second solo album “Sunset Towers” (1974), writing ten of the twelve tracks with singer Tony Colton producing the album. Albert Lee would have toured with Don but got a call from Joe Cocker to do a tour with him – Albert signed up.
That same year, having relocated to Los Angeles, Albert joined the Crickets, at the time including Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis. Albert Lee: “I happened to meet Ric Grech at some press reception and he was about to go on the road with the Crickets...he persuaded me to do a couple of gigs with them since Glen D. Hardin was finishing up some dates with Elvis. I ended up doing the whole tour - and played with them on the next one too. Not long after the first Crickets tour, they flew me out to LA because they’d got a record deal...and then we drove the 2000 odd miles to Nashville - all at one go! Drove there non-stop in three and a half days! Blimey...I don’t ever want to do that again!"
With the Crickets he cut three albums before joining Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band in 1976, replacing his hero James Burton. Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell were sometime members of the Hot Band as well. In between he had been working on his solo album Hiding (with a guess spot for Don Everly on the title track and ‘Billy Tyler’ and Emmylou Harris) which was finally completed 1978 and issued on A&M in 1979.
Albert Lee: “I worked on my album, on and off, for the rest of ‘75 - flying in Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock and using them along with Pete Gavin and JayDee Maness - but it didn’t really turn out the way I wanted it to...which was my fault entirely: I didn’t really do enough preparation and made the mistake of trying to produce it myself. The results were shelved until 1978, when I did most of it again - with Brian Ahern producing. Only 2 tracks survive from the earlier sessions, the rest is new.”
The year 1978 also saw the beginning of five years working with Eric Clapton, who has been widely quoted as stating that Albert Lee is “the greatest guitarist in the world”. In 1982 his second solo album was released on Polydor, simply titled Albert Lee. Albert was one of the driving forces behind the 1983 Everly Brothers Reunion Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, for which he also served as musical director. A close friend of Don’s, he continued to play with them live for over twenty years as lead guitarist in the EBs’ main touring band. His solo career continued through it all with two instrumental albums: 1987’s Speechless and 1988’s Gagged But Not Bound. Both albums met with much critical acclaim. Since 1987, when he was asked to front them, he has been touring regularly and recording with his own band Albert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes (originally formed by steel guitarist Gerry Hogan, specifically to back Albert); in addition he is a member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and fronted this band at the O2 Arena on the night of the Led Zeppelin reunion concert, 10th December 2007. To top it off he has played with the inimitable Eddie Van Halen, Steve Luthaker and Steve Morse in a supergroup called the Biff Baby All-Stars. Throughout his career he has remained a much in-demand session player and has contributed to many recordings.
In the industry, Albert Lee is known as the ‘guitar player’s guitar player’, admired for his speed of playing and his virtuosity, while at the same time he is one of the most melodic on the slow parts. No wonder he is a five times consecutive winner of Guitar Player Magazine’s “Best Country Guitarist”. He is often described by fellow musicians as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego. Earl Scruggs has stated: “Albert is in every sense of the word, a genuine guitar wizard.” “
With Phil alone on UK tour after Don fell ill.
Joey Paige, center, in the U.S. Marines with Don, left, and Phil.
In Phil's band.
Joey Paige, bass player, early 1960s:
Everlypedia: “Joey Paige was born Joseph Sauderis (date not clear but circa 1939) and raised in Philadelphia. He first met Don and Phil Everly in New York City in 1959. At the time he was playing with a band called Dickey Do and The Don’ts. He moved to California when he joined The Everly Brothers as bass player. He travelled the world with Don & Phil and became a solo artist in the early 1960s. He became a songwriter and had several songs recorded, some of which he wrote with Phil Everly. He went through basic training at Camp Pendleton with the Everlys. “We had just returned home from a world-wide tour, and Don and Phil had to make the decision whether to go into the service or wait to be drafted. I was facing the same problem myself, so when they decided on the Marine Corps, I joined too. Their manager, Jack Rael, called the Marine Corps and asked if it was possible for me to go through basic training with them, and it was arranged. It was quite an ordeal, really – Don and Phil were at the height of their popularity, which made the transition from stage performing to the Marine Corps life quite a traumatic move.”
Andrew Sandoval in his book accompanying “The Price of Fame” box set refers to a report of Phil Everly remaining behind in November 1963 at the end of the UK tour to help Joey Paige with a recording at Decca with the aim of getting Warner Brothers to release it. Paige was part of the Everly touring band that year and he duetted with Phil on the '62 tour when Don Everly had to fly home ill. Joey Paige released ‘Surfer From Tennessee’/‘Such Wonderful Dreams’, (WB 5377) in 1963. He wrote both sides under the name Joseph Sauderis (his birth name). ‘Such Wonderful Dreams’ has an Everly ‘sound’.
Decca at that time of course released Warner Brothers recordings in the UK. It is possible that it was recorded in the UK. Billy Strange played lead guitar on ‘Surfer From Tennessee’; however he couldn’t recall the recording in detail. As well as playing in the band, Paige recorded with The Everly Brothers in that period - mainly in 1964. Possibly Paige and Phil Everly had a few try-outs at Decca in the UK and finished it in the U.S. However, it is listed as a 1963 release so it must have been a pretty fast turnaround from the recording in November to release before the end of the year. Phil is quoted as “hoping to persuade Warner Brothers to release it” as if this was Paige’s first recording attempt. ‘Surfer From Tennessee’ may have been his only Warner Brothers recording at that time. In 1964 Paige was signed up to the Tollie record label. On 1st January 1965 (date tbc) Paige released on Vee-Jay Records ‘Goodnight My Love’ coupled with a cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’.
While the Rolling Stones were recording ‘The Last Time’ at the RCA Studios in Los Angeles in early 1965, Brian Jones became friends with Joey Paige. Bill Wyman offered Paige one of his songs, ‘‘Cause I’m In Love With You’, written with Brian Cade as a solo record (Paige had opened for the Rolling Stones - with other acts - at the San Bernardino Swing Auditorium on 31st Oct 1964). There are suggestions that ‘‘Cause I’m In Love With You’ was written with The Everly Brothers in mind and even that Phil Everly was involved in the recording but Paige is quite clear that that the song was offered only to him and Phil was not involved. Furthermore some sources suggest that Sonny Bono sings on the track with Paige but again, not so - Paige double-tracked his own voice. It was, however, produced by Bono who composed the B-side ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’. It was released on the Tollie label (9045). Brian Jones was staying with Joey Paige in Hollywood at this time, flying back to the UK on 24th February.
Tanya Tucker recorded the Phil-Joey composition ‘Lover Goodbye’ for her TNT album, and another of their songs, ‘Don’t Say You Don’t Love Me Any More’, featured in the movie Every Which Way But Loose. Phil also recorded several songs that
Paige co-wrote, one of which was released on Curb Records, ‘Sweet Southern Love’. In connection with Phil Everly’s solo “Living Alone” album (on which Paige co-composed three songs) Joey said: “Phil and I would get the urge to pop out on the road to try out new songs that we’d written. He’s put a little mini tour together and we’d go to the Palomino, in North Hollywood, and work for a couple of days, trying the songs out with the audience, which was always a nice, pleasant thing.”
Joey explained Phil’s amazement at their (Don & Phil’s) harmonic communication after their long separation (the Split!): “Because Phil has lived in California for so long, he’s lost a little of his Southern accent, and he was very concerned about how that would affect their singing together. Now, I had worked with them – played with them onstage for three years, but when I heard them sing after their reunion, I just couldn’t believe it! Their voices are so much richer – their harmonies are just as good, if not better...it was just unbelievable!” “Personally, I’m so glad that they got back together. I encouraged it throughout my whole association with Philip, during their separation. And of course, it was something the public always wanted. They are two of the most talented people in the business – and the most human. They truly care about people, and they go out of their way not to hurt anybody. Now, that’s a very strong quality to have in the music business! Throughout their careers they never let their being in the limelight change them – ever.”
Joey Paige spent 30 years in show business working with such artist as the Everly Brothers and the Rolling Stones (the opening act for the Everlys on their 1963 UK tour.) He also worked with Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Little Richard etc. He danced on Dick Clark’s Bandstand in Philadelphia and ended up doing his show in California singing one of his hits ‘Good Night My Love’. Paige is in the process of writing a book on those days and says he thinks, “no one has touched on how free we were back in those days.”
In 1990 Paige became a realtor in Santa Clarita, CA.
With fellow EBs band member Waddy Wachtel.
Warren Zevon, keyboards, band leader, early 1970s:
Everlypedia: “Warren William Zevon, (24th Jan. 24, 1947 - Sept. 7, 2003) was a pianist and bandleader for the Everly Brothers during the early 1970s tours. Born in Chicago but growing up in California, Warren Zevon’s early years were marked by genius. By the age of 13, he was an occasional visitor to the home of Igor Stravinsky where he, alongside Robert Craft, briefly studied modern classical music. Later, he spent time as a session musician and jingle composer. He wrote several songs for his White Whale label-mates the Turtles (“Like the Seasons” and “Outside Chance”), though his participation in their recording is unknown. Another early composition (“He Quit Me”) was included in the soundtrack for the film “Midnight Cowboy” (1969). Zevon’s first attempt at a solo album, Wanted Dead or Alive (1969), was produced by 1960s cult figure Kim Fowley but did not sell well.
During the early 1970s, Zevon toured regularly with the Everly Brothers as keyboard player and band leader/musical coordinator. He tells of his first road trip in an interview for an Everly Brothers documentary: “My first road job was playing with the Everly Brothers and it was a fantastic introduction to the road. For one thing, we were very proud of them, you know, every night – they sang that way wherever they were, [whether] it was Albert Hall or an oyster bar in Maryland, they always sang that way. I think the picture I still have of Don and Phil in my mind...it was a little two-prop plane to a ski resort – and it was turbulent. It was the kind of flight where they serve you coffee and a moment later it’s dripping from the ceiling. When I say turbulent, I mean it was like a Jeff Bridges movie. And I looked around – Don was sitting in his seat, calmly, with pitched-black dark glasses on, calmly reading a magazine, reading Time Magazine. The plane was all over the place. I looked around to the other side – Phil, he was smiling, he had his camera out and he was taking pictures out the window of the engine that was failing. And I thought: this is cool.”
Warren is quick to point out the brilliance of Don’s guitar playing. From the same doc: “You can’t have “Bye Bye Love” or “Wake Up Little Susie” without those guitar pickings, without those guitar riffs we all remember, and they’re always Don Everly. And Don may say that he’s playing Bo Diddley’s lick but it’s just the modesty of a genius; they’re all Don Everly parts.”
He played keyboards on the Everly Brothers’ 1972 RCA album “Stories We Could Tell.” Later during the same decade he toured and recorded with Don Everly and Phil Everly, separately, as they tried to launch solo careers after their break-up in 1973. His dissatisfaction with his career (and a lack of funds) led him to move to Spain during the summer of 1975, where he lived and played in a small tavern in Sitges near Barcelona owned by David Lindell, a former mercenary. Together they composed Zevon’s classic “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.”
By September 1975, Zevon had returned to Los Angeles, where he collaborated with Jackson Browne, who during 1976 would produce and promote Zevon’s self-titled major-company debut. Contributors to this album included Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, members of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, and of course Phil Everly, who sang on “Frank & Jesse James” (a sort of tribute to Don & Phil) and “Hasten Down The Wind.”
Interestingly, there was an October 1974 demo of many of this album’s tracks produced by a still unacknowledged John Rhys, (aka John Eddins) who held the masters for many years. On his production of “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” both Don and Phil contribute, albeit unbeknownst to each other at the time. Each was called in separately to add their vocals without the other knowing. This is reckoned to be the only recording during their split when both appeared on the same track. Rhys says: “The Everly Brothers came in separately. Warren got Don in first because they weren’t talking to each other at the time. Then he got Phil in and told me, ‘Don’t play Don’s part because if Phil hears it, he won’t sing.’ ” This version of “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” on the posthumous Warren Zevon CD Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings is indeed this same demo track which (along with some others - but not all) is taken from a non-master (pretty basic) tape located by his son Jordan among Zevon’s possessions after he died. Unfortunately no musician or contributor (including Waddy Wachtel, Leroy Marinell, Eddie Ponder, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, T-Bone Burnett et al.) gets any proper credit or recognition despite the fact that the origin of these tracks is quite obvious. The original master is much ‘brighter’ than the more ‘deadened’ flatter sound on the CD - not really surprising due to the tape source of the CD version. WZ and some of these guys toured with Don Everly as part of his “Sunset Towers” touring band.
During 1978, Zevon released “Excitable Boy” (produced by Jackson Browne and guitarist Waddy Wachtel) to critical acclaim and popular success. The title tune (about a juvenile sociopath’s murderous prom night) name-checked “Little Susie”, the heroine of former employers the Everly Brothers’ tune ‘Wake Up Little Susie’. Tracks from this album received heavy FM airplay and the single release ‘Werewolves of London’, which featured Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, was a relatively light-hearted version of Zevon’s signature macabre outlook and a Top 30 success. The idea for the song came from Phil, as Warren explained in an interview for an Everly Brothers documentary: “I remember him saying, ‘Why don’t you guys write a dance song for me, and, call it ‘Werewolves of London’.’ We didn’t know what he meant but we did. Of course, uhm, ‘Werewolves of London’ turned out to be a kind of a big international hit for me – thank you. So, it was Phil’s idea entirely.”
After follow-ups failed to be a commercial success, Zevon retreated from the music business for several years, during which he finally overcame severe alcohol and drug addictions. During this interim period, Zevon collaborated with Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills (of R.E.M.), along with backup vocalist Bryan Cook to form a minor project called Hindu Love Gods. Berry, Buck and Mills served as the core of Zevon’s next studio band when he re-emerged in 1987 by signing with Virgin Records and recording the album Sentimental Hygiene. The release, hailed as his best since Excitable Boy, featured a thicker rock sound and taut, often humorous songs.
During 1990s Zevon toured the United States, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand, performances often with minimal accompaniment on piano and guitar. Occasionally, between 1982 and 2001, Zevon filled in for Paul Shaffer as bandleader on Late Night with David Letterman and later Late Show with David Letterman.“
Zevon died in 2003 at age 56 of cancer in LA.
In EBs Quotes in Forum:
“(The EBs) played a sold-out gig in Albert Hall, and it'd be just like A Hard Day's Night. They'd send us out one exit to be trampled, so they could get out to their limo through another exit. And then a week later we'd be in an oyster bar in North Carolina playing to three people. And the best thing that I learned from them, and always admired them for, was that they always sang the same, which was as well as they could, which was incredibly good. We had chills all the time. I'm sure Waddy (Wachtel) would tell you the same thing. We were real proud to play those songs every night. Because they're great oldies, and they sang them as well as they could. That was real impressive. They didn't get along with each other, and that was real understandable. And I stopped feeling bad about not having made it before I was twenty, from seeing that you didn't really have anywhere to go. The saddest part is that individually they still sing better than anyone else, except maybe dead Elvis - they really do, each individually - but I don't know, their name is Everly Brothers. People are used to the cake with the frosting, and they're reluctant to give an ear to half the recipe. The other great but sad part is that they're the kind of guys who would do the set and then go back to their rooms and play their guitars all night. ..."
- Warren Zevon
Waddy Wachtel, lead guitarist, early 1970s:
Everlypedia seems to have overlooked Waddy Wachtel! Info to come.
1965, with EBs drummer Jim Gordon, next to Phil.
1979, Sonny Curtis and The Crickets with Maria Elena Holly and Don.
Sonny Curtis, lead guitarist, 1960s:
“Sonny Curtis (born 9th May 1937, Meadow, Texas) famed composer of ‘Walk Right Back’ and member of the post-Buddy Holly Crickets. From his West Texas beginnings as the lead guitarist in Buddy Holly's pre-Crickets band, The Three Tunes, to a prolific songwriting career, Sonny Curtis is a rare talent who transcended musical genres long before the term “crossover” was coined. He has penned over 500 songs, recorded by legendary artists across the music spectrum, including Holly, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Hank Williams, Jr., Bing Crosby, The Everly Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Green Day, Roy Orbison, The Clash, etc.
Sonny was born in a dugout about seven miles east of Meadow, Texas in 1937. When he was a boy, Sonny and his family would gather with neighbours for “musical Saturday nights”, where anyone who played an instrument could join in the fun. Sonny learned to play before his fingers could reach across the neck of the guitar; he just played on the four high strings. He joined his older brothers, Pete and Dean, to pick at local radio stations, jamborees, and other events. In his teens, Sonny’s friends and contemporaries were fellow musicians Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, and future Crickets (J. I. Allison, Joe B. Mauldin, and Glen D. Hardin.) While still in high school, Dave Stone, a local promoter, frequently used him on bills that included the young Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, and other stars of the day.
In 1956, Sonny accompanied Buddy Holly and bassist Don Guess to Nashville, where he played lead guitar on Buddy’s recordings of ‘Blue Days, Black Nights’, ‘Midnight Shift’, and his own composition of ‘Rock Around With Ollie Vee’. On those recordings, Sonny made history as the first rock ‘n’ roller to record playing a Fender Stratocaster. (Pic on the right shows, Sonny, Buddy, Don Guess & Dean Curtis.) Soon after, he left the band to play with Slim Whitman, and went on tour as a member of the Philip Morris Country Music Show starring Carl Smith, Red Sovine and Goldie Hill. Curtis was on the road when Buddy Holly put together The Crickets in 1957.
Sonny’s first record as a songwriter, whilst still a teenager, was ‘Someday’, a chart success for Webb Pierce. One sand-stormy afternoon Sonny wrote one of his most recognized and recorded tunes, ‘I Fought the Law’, originally released on the album In Style With the Crickets. It later made stars of The Bobby Fuller Four when they recorded it in 1964. ‘I Fought the Law’ has since been covered by everyone!
Aged 21, Sonny rejoined the Crickets, just prior to Holly’s tragic death in a plane crash and soon took over the lead vocalist role in addition to lead guitar. After Holly died, The Crickets (J. I. Allison, Joe B. Mauldin and Sonny) backed The Everly Brothers on tour. One of his classics, ‘Walk Right Back’, was recorded by The Everly Brothers in 1961 and topped the charts in the U.S. and the UK. There are two verses to ‘Walk Right Back’ but The Everly Brothers sang only the first verse - twice. The story goes that Curtis played them his ‘work in progress’ with the one completed verse. He then went off with the army to Germany where he was stationed (Sonny received his draft notice whilst on tour). Meanwhile Don and Phil were so taken with the song as it was that they recorded and released it without waiting for verse two - which Sonny subsequently mailed them. He heard the ‘one verse’ version on the radio and it launched his writing career.
Sonny Curtis also composed the Everly recordings, ‘And I’ll Go’, ‘I Used To Love You’, ‘The Collector’ (actually composed in collaboration with Don Everly,), ‘This Is The Last Song I’m Ever Gonna Sing’ (with J. I. Allison) and ‘Whatever Happened To Judy’.
After his discharge from the Army, Sonny moved to Los Angeles. In 1965, he decided to devote more attention to songwriting and developing his career as an artist. Throughout the 1970s, Sonny applied his songwriting skills to rock, pop, country, television and radio commercials. Along with friend and songwriting companion Don Piestrup, Sonny wrote numerous nationally known jingles for clients such as McDonald’s, Buick, Western Airlines, Honda, Bell Telephone, etc. During this time, he also wrote and sang the theme song for the Mary Tyler Moore Show, ‘Love Is All Around’. Because of its positive message for working women in the early days of feminism, the song is not only one of television’s best loved themes - it's a cultural touchstone.
Sonny moved to Nashville in 1976 where, as a member of The Crickets, he toured with Waylon Jennings for five years. As a recording artist for Elektra in the early eighties, Sonny scored numerous songs in the Top 100 country charts, including ‘Good Ole Girls’, written by Dan Wilson, which made it into the top ten charts. With co-writer Ron Hellard, he achieved one of his biggest country music successes with ‘I'm No Stranger to the Rain’, a number one record for the late Keith Whitley. In 1989, the Country Music Association voted it the Single of the Year.
Sonny is a member of BMI's Million Airs Club in recognition for ‘I Fought the Law’, ‘More Than I Can Say’ (co-written with J.I. Allison), ‘Walk Right Back’, ‘The Straight Life’, and ‘I'm No Stranger to the Rain’, each of which achieved 1,000,000 air plays. His wide-ranging contributions to songwriting earned him a place in the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Hall of Fame in 1991. Along with the other two Crickets, Sonny was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame in April 2007 and The Musicians Hall Of Fame in October 2009 (see pic on left – with Keith Richards.)
He has continued to record and perform intermittently as part of the band over six decades, most recently on their album The Crickets and their Buddies (2004) where they reprised most of their hits with help from many noted fellow musicians including Phil Everly and his son Jason Everly. Curtis did leave the band several times to pursue his solo career but even during those periods made occasional guest appearances, in performance and on record, with The Crickets. His song ‘The Real Buddy Holly Story’ was written in response to the inaccuracies in the movie The Buddy Holly Story.”
In EBs Quotes in Forum:
"Well, I knew Don and Phil myself, but not that well, whereas (Crickets) J.I. and Joe B. knew them from way back. Actually, on one tour in Florida, the Everlys had trouble with a backup band, so the Crickets had backed them for a few dates, and apparently the two boys loved it, so when they were going to England in 1960, they phoned J.I. and suggested that he and Joe B. should come along too. And good old J.I. said - "Well we'll consider it, but you've got to include Sonny also, as he's with us now.” And so that's how we all ended up in England in 1960.”
- Sonny Curtis
At the EBs Tribute Concert, October 2014, Don Everly with former EBs band members Don Peake, Albert, and Phil Cranham.
Don Peake, lead guitarist, 1961-63:
Everlypedia: "Born Donald Geoffrey Peake on 7th June 1940 in Los Angeles, Don Peake is a multi-talented musician who has worked as a guitarist, arranger, record producer and film music composer. Starting his professional musical career as a guitarist in 1961, Peake’s talent was recognized early when he toured as lead guitarist with the Everly Brothers at the age of 21, playing in the U.S. and Europe for two years. Peake returned to Los Angeles to establish himself as a recording musician, and played for many of the legendary performers under Phil Spector’s production including The Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’, Ike and Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep Mountain High’, as well as recording with Mahalia Jackson, Billy Preston, Cannonball Adderly, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross. Don holds the distinction of being the first white guitarist to play with the Ray Charles Orchestra, which he both recorded for and toured with for ten years. Peake also became one of the premiere session guitarists in Los Angeles, recording for Jan and Dean, The Mamas and the Papas, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys, and many others. Peake was inducted into an elite group of musicians led by drummer Hal Blaine known as “The Wrecking Crew”.
Peake played lead guitar on all the Jackson Five’s original hits, he was on the Commodores, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations and many more Motown Artists’ records as a staff guitarist for Motown Records. As arranger he worked for such artists as Roy Orbison, Kenny Rankin, the Monkees, Wayne Newton, Sonny and Cher, Minnie Ripperton, the Fifth Dimension, Gloria Gaynor and Hank Williams, Jr.
His amazing range of musical experience led him to composing music for film and commercials; he has collaborated with director Wes Craven on the scores for a number of cult films and scored 77 episodes of the hit TV series Knight Rider, which he worked on for three and a half years. One of his film scores is Moving Violation; Phil Everly wrote and recorded ‘Detroit Man’ for the soundtrack. For Black Oak Conspiracy Phil wrote ‘Jingo’s Song’ together with Peake, who served as musical director for the film. Don Peake has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and as a judge for the Grammy Awards in the arranging category. On 26th November 2007, he was inducted into the Musician’s Fall of Fame in Nashville, TN.”
Buddy Emmons, steel guitarist:
Everlypedia: "Born Buddie Gene Emmons on 27th January 1937 in Mishawaka, Indiana (in his mid-twenties he changed the spelling to “Buddy”). He is the world’s foremost steel guitarist in genres spanning country, jazz, swing, folk and country-rock. He learned to play when he was eleven years old and his father bought him a 6-string lap steel guitar and signed him up for lessons. However, Buddy soon began to figure out on his own how to play the country music he heard on the radio.
Early influences were Jerry Byrd and Herb Remington. At fifteen he began performing with local bands and at sixteen he left school, pursuing a career in music. By the age of eighteen, he was living in Nashville and playing with Little Jimmy Dickens’ band; two of Buddy’s instrumentals he recorded with them, ‘Raising The Dickens’ and ‘Buddie’s Boogie’, became
steel guitar standards. Not yet twenty, he formed the Sho-Bud Company with Shot Jackson to design and build steel guitars, making many steel guitar innovations over the years; he also started doing session work in Nashville. In 1957 he joined Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours and stayed with them for most of the following five years.
The year 1962 saw him teaming up with Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys, where he replaced his long-time friend Jimmy Day. He became Price’s bandleader and was responsible for many of the arrangements on Price’s recordings. In 1962 Buddy Emmons left Sho-Bud to form a new guitar manufacturing company called the Emmons Guitar Company; the Emmons steel guitar soon became the instrument of choice of many musicians and today are highly sought-after instruments due to their outstanding tone and durability. Another musical milestone was Buddy’s Steel Guitar Jazz album, recorded in New York City in 1963. The first jazz album featuring a steel guitar and recorded with established jazz session players, it received praise from Downbeat, the highly respected jazz magazine.
His life then hit a bit of a rough spot in 1967 when, as he explains, “I spent most of my time with a drink in my hand. I couldn't get work for one thing. My wildness had peaked. I guess everybody had caught my act. I missed sessions, and I was having troubles at home with my second wife.” His third wife helped straighten him out and his long-time friend Roger Miller offered him a job in his band in California. Buddy moved to Los Angeles and also got into session work there, playing on recordings by Gram Parsons, Judy Collins, The Carpenters, John Sebastian and Ray Charles.
He played on the Everly Brothers’ STORIES WE COULD TELL album and after Don and Phil split in 1973, Buddy contributed steel guitar on some of their solo albums: Phil’s STAR SPANGLED SPRINGER and Don’s SUNSET TOWERS and BROTHER JUKEBOX. In the 1970s he returned to Nashville, recorded a highly regarded tribute to western swing great Bob Wills. Beginning in 1974, Buddy became a regularly featured performer at the annual International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis, and was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1981.
Throughout the 1980s/90s he continued session work for artists like John Hartford, George Strait and Ricky Skaggs. In 1990 he formed the Swing Shift Band with Ray Pennington and produced an acclaimed series of CDs that includes Big Band Swing, Western Swing and original country songs. He joined the Everly Brothers’ touring band in 1991 and even discontinued session work in 1998 for this reason. He stayed with them until about 2001 when he began suffering from a painful repetitive motion injury to his right thumb and wrist and had to give up playing for over a year. Fortunately he fully recovered but ever since chooses to do only session work occasionally, for artists he has known a long time, like Ray Price and Willie Nelson."
A young Jim Gordon on drums, Calliope Records
Jim Gordon, drummer, 1963-66:
Everlypedia: “James Beck Gordon, 14th July 1945, is a Grammy Award winning American musician, songwriter, recording artist and one of the most sought-after session drummers during the late 1960s-70s. He was a protégé of legendary session drummer Hal Blaine and began his career backing The Everly Brothers in 1963 at age 17. They heard him play and were so impressed that they asked him to go on tour with them. He stayed with the EBs for about three years.
Jim Gordon can be heard on many of the time’s notable albums, such as the Beach Boys’ superb Pet Sounds, The Byrds’ The Notorious Byrds Brothers and the Mason Williams hit ‘Classical Gas’. In 1969-1970 he toured as part of the backing band of Delaney and Bonnie, of which Eric Clapton was also a member. He was part of Derek And The Dominoes that Clapton then formed, co-writing the classic smash hit ‘Layla’. The band split up in 1971 and Gordon joined Joe Cocker on the Mad Dogs And Englishmen tour. Throughout his career he has played on albums by Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, George Harrison, Frank Zappa (who nicknamed him Skippy), Steely Dan, John Sebastian, Tom Petty, Mel Tormé, Johnny Lee Hooker – the list is sheer endless. Gordon was also the drummer on the Incredible Bongo Band’s Bongo Rock album, released in 1972. His drum break on the LP’s version of ‘Apache’ has been repeatedly sampled by rap music artists. Jim is seen playing sax with the The Band in the Martin Scorsese 1978 film The Last Waltz.
In the late 1970s, Gordon complained of hearing voices in his head – primarily his mother’s denying him food, sleep and any kind of relaxation. Even though he had a well-documented history of mental problems, his physicians nevertheless failed to diagnose his mental illness as acute paranoid schizophrenia and instead treated him for substance abuse (sources vary whether this was cocaine or alcohol abuse). Consequently, his condition worsened. The sad part is that it led to his brutally bashing his mother’s head in with a hammer and then stabbing her to death with a butcher’s knife on 3rd June 1983. It was only then, during his trial, that he was properly diagnosed. Because California had recently severely restricted the insanity defence he was unable to use it and was thus convicted for second-degree murder and sentenced to sixteen years to life in prison. Of the crime itself he said in a 1994 article in the Washington Post: “When I remember the crime, it’s kind of like a dream. I can remember going through what happened in that space and time, and it seems kind of detached, like I was going through it on some other plane. It didn’t seem real. I was in a real strange place then. What I was imagining and what was real - I still don’t know the answer to that...but something always confronted me and didn’t allow me to go along the lines I wanted to go along. And well, it just ruined my life.” He was twice denied parole. In 2009 an on-line petition to get him paroled was held (he had another parole hearing that year); whether Jim is now a free man again we do not know – please inform us if you happen to know more!”
Other bands members:
Drummer Tiny "Bang Bang" Schneider, 1971, Hippies With Money tour, Australia.
Drummer Jimmy Karstein, left, with Terry Slater and Sam McCue, NYC, 1968.
Guitarist Jay Lacy, Terry Slater, and drummer Jack Sargent, 1966.
Last update on April 7, 11:57 am by Mary.
EBs band members with drummer Larrie Londin.
Larrie Londin, drummer, 1984-early '90s:
Everlypedia: "Born as Ralph Gallant (Larrie Londin was his stage name), Oct. 15, 1943 - Aug.24, 1992. He was a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He claimed his drumming career started by accident, being exposed to rock ‘n’ roll all the time from a very early age on as his mother was a roller-skating waitress in one of the drive-in hamburger restaurants in town. With his brother Lonnie, who played bass, he was a member of The Headliners, one of the very few white acts signed to Motown in the early sixties; they released two singles.
But mostly he was a musician’s musician, and played on literally thousands of sessions – his work covers the complete musical spectrum. He played on the Everly Brothers’ 1972 PASS THE CHICKEN AND LISTEN sessions. He spent nine years recording and often touring with Elvis Presley. He went from being the only drummer in country music to country music’s top session drummer. He mentored younger musicians and promoted innovations in the session business. Chet Atkins said in 1991, as he introduced Larrie during the Guitar Masters tour, “Larrie Londin is the greatest drummer in the world, at least that’s my opinion, and it should be yours too.” Londin toured with Don & Phil on the 1984 reunion tour and during the late eighties and early nineties. He also played drums on the 1985 BORN YESTERDAY album and 1988’s SOME HEARTS, for which he was also Associate Producer.
On April 24, 1992, Larrie Londin collapsed following a drum clinic at North Texas State University. Never waking up from his coma, he died four months later, only 48 years old."
Phil Cranham, bass, 1985 - 2005.
Everlypedia: "Phil Cranham is a British session musician who played bass on the Everly albums BORN YESTERDAY and SOME HEARTS, and was part of the post-reunion touring band up until the last tour the Everly Brothers undertook in 2005. Phil Cranham can be heard on albums by The Proclaimers, Gavin Cox, Petula Clark, Elaine Paige, Hot Chocolate and many more. With his producer-brother Bob he forms an independent music production company these days."
Pete Wingfield, keyboards, 1983 - ?
Everlypedia: "English record producer, keyboard player, songwriter, singer and music journalist, born William Peter Wingfield, 7th May 1948, in Liphook, Hampshire, England. He learned to play the piano as a boy and while still in his teens founded a fanzine entitled Soulbeat, devoted to soul music (together with R&B his big passion) as well as contributing articles on the subject in other, established magazines such as Let It Rock and Melody Maker. With some of his fellow students at Sussex University he formed a group called Jellybread, which had him on keyboards; they were signed in 1970 by the Blue Horizon label. However, despite good reviews, the group didn’t enjoy enough success to justify a continued effort, and Pete Wingfield left in 1971 - by that time, he’d played sessions with ex-Yardbirds guitarist Top Topham, and ended up playing on the B.B. King In London album and recordings by Lightnin’ Slim, Memphis Slim,
Nazareth, Bryn Haworth and The Hollies. For a while he played with the Keef Hartley Band, Colin Bluntstone’s band and Van Morrison. He was also a member of the British soul band the Olympic Runners.
In 1975 he got his big break with ‘Eighteen With A Bullet’ (a doo-wop tune partly sung in falsetto) from his first solo album Breakfast Special. It was his only charting single, but the lack of any follow-up success hardly seemed to matter in a career that had him playing dozens upon dozens of sessions and live shows every year, with everyone from Freddie King to Al Stewart to Maggie Bell. He also worked on records by Edwin Starr, Lindisfarne, Richard & Linda Thompson, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Fury, and Lonnie Donegan. Meanwhile, as a songwriter, he contributed the title track to the Olivia Newton-John album Making A Good Thing Better (1977), and as a producer he helmed the 1980 debut album by Dexys Midnight Runners.
He had worked with Phil Everly on Phil’s eponymous final solo album in 1982 and a year later, he became a member of the Everly Brothers’ backing band, starting with their reunion concert in the Albert Hall in 1983 and continuing on subsequent tours and their three post-Reunion releases: EB84, BORN YESTERDAY and SOME HEARTS.
His work with the Everlys didn’t stop him from producing the Kane Gang’s debut album Bad and Lowdown World of the Kane Gang in 1984 and three years later The Proclaimers UK Top 20 hit ‘I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, and their album Sunshine on Leith. He also wrote the Pasadenas’ 1988 hit ‘Tribute (Right On)’. In 1998, his ‘Eighteen With A Bullet’ was featured on the soundtrack to the film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. In 1999, he played with Paul McCartney on Run Devil Run. He has further played and toured with Albert Lee’s Hogan’s Heroes, though he insists he is not a full-time member: “No, none of us are – we’re all freelance musicians who come together to work with Albert Lee in Europe when his and our other commitments permit. I’ve only been involved with the group [since 1999] - the guy who played with Hogan’s Heroes before me, Mike Bell, went off to live in Luxembourg - although, of course, I’d worked with Albert as part of the Everly Brothers band, mostly in the US, since 1983.”
In 2008, Pete Wingfield’s solo recordings for the Island label were assembled on an anthology by Cherry Red Records."
Last update on April 6, 10:34 pm by Mary.
Mary, there is a lot of good and interesting reading in this thread. I will have to set aside some time to read all of it. For some reason though, I latched onto the Joey Paige one first. I loved what he had to say about The Everly Brothers. I have to agree with him about the Everlys' voices at Reunion time. Their voices were undeniably more mellow and definitely richer in tone. So glad they got back together; we probably would have never known how delightful those voices would sound together after the passage of time.
The Everly Brothers always managed to find the best musicians to make their music even more delightful. Band members and musicians they used in studio recordings. The Studio B recording session players in particular but other recording session players were very talented also; Glen Campbell and Jim Burton come to mind immediately but there were many others too.
The Everly Brothers always managed to find the best musicians to make their music even more delightful. Band members and musicians they used in studio recordings. The Studio B recording session players in particular but other recording session players were very talented also; Glen Campbell and Jim Burton come to mind immediately but there were many others too.
Last update on April 17, 1:19 pm by Lenore.
I love that photo of Albert Lee for many reasons. If I did not know differently, I would say Albert is sitting in a field of Texas Bluebonnets, which are in full bloom now and when you look at them in full bloom this time of the year, they look so much like a sea of blue. And if there is a little wind or breeze in those fields of blue, the effect makes them look like there are "waves" in the field.
But I think those are not bluebonnets. I think it is just rocks that appear to be "blue" in the photo. That is a terrific photo of Albert Lee.
But I think those are not bluebonnets. I think it is just rocks that appear to be "blue" in the photo. That is a terrific photo of Albert Lee.
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