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The Everly Brothers Show 19707040

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By Andrew Male January 7, 2014

BACK IN DECEMBER 2012 I interviewed Will Oldham about the album of Everly Brothers covers that he’d just recorded with Faun Fables’ Dawn McCarthy. We’re both huge fans of the brothers’ work – especially the beguiling B-sides and heart breaking covers they cut for Warner Brothers in the late ’60s – but, understandably, Oldham was deeper into their back catalogue than me and opened my eyes to a double live album I’d always assumed was but four sides of contractual filler. Of course, you should never do that, and 1970’s The Everly Brothers Show proves the rule.

Recorded live at the Grand Hotel in Anaheim, California on February 6, 1970, The Everly Brothers Show was produced by Lou Adler and saw the brothers backed by a crack team featuring Milwaukee guitar instrumentalist Sam McCue, Walker Brothers stalwart Al “Tiny” Schneider on drums and Robert Knigge on bass.

The Grand Hotel, Anaheim, CA

At first glance, the album appears to be little more than your standard live ragbag of ’50s Everly classics and rock’n’roll oldies – Maybellene, Suzie Q, Bird Dog, Wake Up Little Susie – but it also contains some stunning versions of more recent material – a hard-driving cover of 1967 single Bowling Green and a stripped-back, soulful rework of Lord Of The Manor – and a twenty minute medley that now ranks as one of my favourite side-long album tracks.

Talking about the Medley in 2012, Will Oldham said, “This is one of my favourite tracks of recorded music anywhere. It’s frantic. The one potential promise of jazz that didn’t seem to come into fruition was great musicians taking popular songs and just kind of riffing on them. It seems like that stayed within a jazz tradition. But this is close. It’s 18 minutes of going from one song to another with extended four minute bass solo section, three-minute drum solo section… When you listen to it you just laugh, because it’s insane, infectious.”

The concert was filmed, and sections were shown on the Everlys’ 1970 ABC TV vehicle, also called The Everly Brothers Show. This five-minute clip is taken from that medley and shows Don and Phil moving seamlessly from Chuck Berry’s Rock And Roll Music into Abbey Road‘s valedictory coda, The End. In light of the brothers’ acrimonious split in 1973 and, of course, Phil Everly’s recent passing, the sequence now feels incredibly moving, especially as everything Don Everly sang around this time was touched by shades of night. It could be just a cover. But given the brothers’ troubles, it could also be a gesture of reconciliation, an admission of guilt, an onstage taunt.

However you read it, the whole Medley feels like a conversation, a sibling narrative running between two brothers who, by that stage, had pretty much given up on talking to each other off-stage. If you don’t believe there’s something else going on here, other than the standard Vegas segue-fest, just watch how Don and Phil effortlessly glide from the saccharine hippie optimism of The Hair Soundtrack’s Aquarius into the cold, romantic pessimism of The Price Of Love and Joe South’s zero-sum game The Games People Play.

If that isn’t enough of a convincer, here’s Will Oldham on another highlight from the album, one without an accompanying Youtube clip, sadly…

“There’s one moment after everyone’s done their extended solo section that the whole band comes back together doing the Ticket To Ride riff, just for a second. You think that the musicians don’t know where each other are, and then they go back into their groove. It’s just one of the most intense pieces of music to listen to. That’s one I play regularly for people. Usually I’ll play it on tour in the van because everybody gets lost in it.”

The entire show is attached

All the separate songs can be found from this show, I just posted the one extra from the whole show which is "The Medley"

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salfitz private msg quote post Address this user
wow ... what a find .. thanks so much xxx
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craiglhope private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks, as usual, for all our the great homework you have here, Chris. The EB, Don & Phil were an interesting brothers act. Ups and downs, break-ups, reconciliations, Top 40 hits, no Top 40 hits...decades of tours, stage shows, concerts, recording studios......what a life, what a magical, mystery tour. Their voices together couldn't be beat. From the birth of rock to decades after......
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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
It's just a case of researching from point one and the more you dig the more you find, then putting it into some order to present it. Researching the Everly Brothers is my favourite pastime. A date, a venue or similar is all you need to get started. I do have favourites that I have done, the Valley Forge tent shows is one which I posted here a while back. It is very satisfying when there is enough to post. I also do believe that everyone can add a little bit of something on a topic somewhere and make it bigger and better. I love people to mention that they went to one or know about it or have some information, that is what Everly fans do. If anyone as anything else to add to this concert at the Anaheim Hotel in California I would love to know.
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craiglhope private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Chris, First of all, I made a typo on the 6th word in on my last msg....meant to say...your...not..our, regardless, you are an expert indeed, so thank you. I remember being excited when I saw this Dual (?!?) LP album in the Summer of 1970 as I recall. Bought it, took it home, went up to my bedroom and listened to it, but it was a revised / revision of the older, earlier tunes, plus newer songs of the day, into a, not exactly 'hippie', but 'psychedelic'-type feel, for that time, obviously, 1970. Vietnam bombings, drugs all over the place...whatever, this was a Vegas-type, big-hotel, TV show venue. Elvis was dressing in fringed, white jump suits, doing karate moves, bling-bling sunglasses, whatever.
I was a different person from back in the Summer of 1957 to the Summer of 1970 Things for me were not good in 1970, heck, 1964 onward, but that's neither here nor there. I remember driving from Philadelphia to New York City, The Bitter End, the small coffee-house-nightclub down in the Village, just to hear that incredible "Lord of the Manor." 2nd row seat. I was mesmerized. Keith R. was right. "Don Everly is one of the best guitarists in the world." Came of age on country music radio shows. Our Daddy taught us.
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Jane43 private msg quote post Address this user
That's a great article by Andrew Male, thanks Chris. I remember buying this LP, playing it and being blown away by Lord Of The Manor and The Medley, not so much by Don's constant negativity to Phil; in fact I found it really upsetting and I was a huge Don fan at that time. Some say it was part of the act and Phil was fine with it, I suppose we'll never know because we never got that 'Warts and All' book that was on the cards at one time. Anyway, I still have the LP - it's one of the few vinyl survivors in our house.

The Medley is a work of pure genius IMHO and I would love to know how they chose the songs, came up with the arrangements etc. One part I have always loved is the very brief extract from 'if I Were A Carpenter' and I would love to hear them sing the whole song which has always been a favourite of mine by The Four Tops. Somebody once said it was in one of the Johnny Cash replacement shows - if anybody knows which one please let me know.
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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
I like the medley too Jane my husband really likes it. I only have the album from downloading it and copying it for 5/6 friends I didn't buy it at the time and it costs a King's ransom Now!! I have never seen it in vinyl shops because I guess anyone who wants to sell it makes a big profit by putting it on eBay.
I like some parts of it but I would prefer to have heard Phil doing as much talking as Don like on the Johnny Cash replacement shows.
Yes the warts and all book would have been good. Jason has taped Phil conversations so maybe one day.........
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Jane43 private msg quote post Address this user
I'd better put a post it note on my LP then so it doesn't get taken to the charity shop. 😄
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