12 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even though this album was all but overlooked upon its 1963 release, it’s hard to overstate its beauty and cultural influence. You can hear echoes of Don and Phil’s voices over aching strums and fiddles and slide guitars in later country-rock albums by Gram Parsons, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and even Linda Ronstadt. In an era when the pop charts were mostly filled with girl-group purities and surfer joys, the Everlys' blended voices betrayed real melancholy, as if readymade for country teardrops and lullabies. They turn Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” into a breakup sing-along, while Carl Belew’s much-covered “Lonely Street” becomes a graceful study in isolation. They serve up songs by both Johnny Cash (“I Walk the Line”) and Hank Williams (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) with uncanny pathos. Yet what’s even more remarkable about this all-covers album is how they didn’t exactly rely on traditional-sounding country to pull off so much ominous beauty, though Southern roots are there. The brothers infused some rock ’n’ roll and tender mercies into these classics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even though this album was all but overlooked upon its 1963 release, it’s hard to overstate its beauty and cultural influence. You can hear echoes of Don and Phil’s voices over aching strums and fiddles and slide guitars in later country-rock albums by Gram Parsons, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and even Linda Ronstadt. In an era when the pop charts were mostly filled with girl-group purities and surfer joys, the Everlys' blended voices betrayed real melancholy, as if readymade for country teardrops and lullabies. They turn Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” into a breakup sing-along, while Carl Belew’s much-covered “Lonely Street” becomes a graceful study in isolation. They serve up songs by both Johnny Cash (“I Walk the Line”) and Hank Williams (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) with uncanny pathos. Yet what’s even more remarkable about this all-covers album is how they didn’t exactly rely on traditional-sounding country to pull off so much ominous beauty, though Southern roots are there. The brothers infused some rock ’n’ roll and tender mercies into these classics.

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