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Don Everly sues brother Phil's family over 'Cathy's Clown' - Reuters
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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Thank you Rosie! [as usual]

I was about to post the Reuters original when I found out you'd already done it...

Once again, it's crucial that we cite sources. Specially with this sort of information!

Thank you, once more!
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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Sources:

clickable text

clickable text
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SherryH private msg quote post Address this user
Hi. I am new to this forum and raised the topic of Don's lawsuit against Phil's family. RosieBarm2 said she would comment later, then changed the name of the thread to "Don Sues." I am wondering why the thread I posted wasn't added to. Just trying to learn the etiquette of the forum.
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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Beats me Sherry [????]

However, I've always insisted that sources be cited so as not to fall into "Faux News" and/or "alternative facts", particularly with touchy topics.

I think that if one reads the original suit, one might get a better understanding of the situation. Please check out above link and/or:

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EverlyBros.pdf

Welcome to the forum!
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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Library of Congress info:

https://www.loc.gov/programs/static/national-recording-preservation-board/documents/CathysClown.pdf

clickable text

If, however, the song starts in G major, not in D major! See paragraph 4, line three.
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Joyb private msg quote post Address this user
That is so sad to hear. As far as I have understood it they both wrote the song. In the programme Heartaches and Harmonies Waddy Watchel refers to Phil ringing up Don and telling him to get over here as I think I’ve got something good here. Meaning Cathy’s Clown I thought on wrote the main and one the chorus. Such a shame. Quite wicked in my mind xx❤️❤️
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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Fact:

Point # 24 of

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EverlyBros.pdf

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states that:

"24. The 1980 Release acknowledged that Phil, 'as his free act and deed,' was not a co-author of the Composition (and others)..."

As some of us say, lets please not take sides [and, thus start a rather muddy snowball]. Lets stick to facts and let the family [or, sadly, the family's lawyers] sort it out.

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RicardoAPriori private msg quote post Address this user
Newbies always stir things up Sherry, that's the way it should be.

Welcome to the site!

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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
Sherry I had read the newspaper article about this on the 12th November and just sat on it. Not sure when everyone else got to hear about it. I guess it is a big talking point and people will say things openly or keep them to themselves. It is most likely being discussed on other sites too so I wouldn't let it worry you.❤
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SherryH private msg quote post Address this user
Sent the post before it was done. All I knew about the Everly Brothers was that they were talented, handsome,and sang angelic songs that spoke to my heart. My best friend,Suzie,and I used to sing both the "low and high" parts of all of their songs,and for years, didn't go a day without listening to our Everly Brothers' 45s on my portable record player. They were a daily part of our lives in our tweens and early teens, and then Motown came along. Growing up in the Calumet Region in Northern Indiana, not that far from Michael Jackson and his family,we were immersed in the Motown sound. I learned so much about Phil and Don in the DVD that I hadn't known about--their wives, children,the 10-year rift/reunion, and that Phil had passed away. I was inspired to research and get into the weeds about their lives and careers; I read article after article about them and each of their children. People can read different "facts" and interpret them differently. After I read about Don leaving his first wife and daughter, Venetia,and never looking back, I couldn't understand why he chose to be estranged from his only child. Then when I read that he was responsible for creating the scene that led to the 10-year rift, because he no longer wanted to be tied to the hip with Phil, I started to get a sense that he was extremely self-centered. Several of his children said that their Uncle Phil was the father figure in their lives, and further research indicated that Phil seemed to be the one who tried to keep both his and Don's family together. Phil was also very close to his two sons and liked nothing better than relaxing with family. When I read about the lawsuit that Don had filed against Phil's family, I wondered how, if he loved his brother so much, that he couldn't share ownership of and royalties from Cathy's Clown. Why do this to the people whom Phil loved the most if you really loved him? I could only think of three reasons-1) Don wanted to finally finish what he wanted from the original rift; i.e.. that he be unshackled from Phil and be recognized in his sole right; 2)that family cohesiveness took a backseat to his ambitions; 3) or for monetary purposes, or a combination of all three. His net worth is over 3 times what Phil's was; why inflict more hurt on the families, especially since they lost their uncle, father, and husband? Why are there lawsuits? Because people look at the same facts and interpret them differently, and they go to court to let a judge decide which interpretation makes the most sense, given the circumstances surrounding the facts. As an attorney, I would like to see people settle these things between/among themselves. It's less complicated, costly, and has less of an acrimonious impact on the parties. Lawyers are notorious for doing what they can to drag out the litigation process in order to keep raking in the money. Litigation is a full-employment act for lawyers and their firms. So what I was doing is giving my interpretation of the facts that I researched, not gossiping or trying to start "a muddy snowball," but to hear from some/all of you why you think my interpretation or parts of it are invalid based on your interpretation of the facts and long history of following the brothers. I am interested in your views,if you care to share.
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Jane43 private msg quote post Address this user
All I can say is that Phil would be horrified by this legal action. Phil always came across as a very fair-minded person; Jason has said that his father wouldn’t allow anybody to speak ill of Don and sadly this is not now being respected. This fair-mindedness is reflected by the fact that, despite having written the verses he decided to attribute authorship of Cathy’s Clown to Don to make up for his (Phil’s) name on some of the earlier songs that had their joint names on when in fact Don had written them.

Roger White’s Book Walk Right Back Page 58 gives this quote from Phil:

‘We had just come in off the road. Don called me over and said he’d started writing a song and could I come over. He’d written the chorus of Cathy’s Clown and had the melody for the verses. I just put together the verses and it was finished.’

The book goes on to say:

‘The Song was primarily Don’s as had been most of the songs put out under their joint names. The copyright situation was resolved in 1980 when Phil signed away his rights to the songs.

Phil said: ‘Some Of The things were inaccurate. I worked on Cathy’s Clown but not on those other early ones. At the time I did the work on it I said to Wesley, “Give the song to Donald to make up for the others”, knowing that it was going to be a big hit.

So from this we learn that Don wrote the chorus and the melody and Phil wrote the verses. Roger White also tells us that Don had been inspired to write Cathy’s Clown when listening to The Grand Canyon Suite so it was primarily his idea.

Nobody knows whether Phil’s decision to sign over the rights was the result of his fair-mindedness or a reluctance to enter into a legal wrangle, only Phil could give us the answer to that one.

Sherry you say that Don left his first wife and daughter without looking back. Did you know that the divorce settlement stated that Don couldn’t see his daughter if his second wife was present? This surely made it very difficult to have regular contact with her bearing in mind the amount of touring they did and that he would want to spend the limited free time he had with Venetia and their children. Mary Sue married again the same year Don married Venetia and lived in Nashville whereas Don lived in California at that time. In a later interview Don says regarding the little contact he had with his children: ‘It is hard to have a relationship with your children when you have nothing with their mother.’ Sorry I can’t source this quote at the moment.

I don’t know if Don attended Phil’s funeral or not but he didn’t attend Buddy Holly’s either because he was too distraught; that doesn’t mean he didn’t care for him.

Phil’s Family have brought this law suit against Don to reverse a decision made 37years ago and he has to defend it. I think both sides may regret it.
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SherryH private msg quote post Address this user
Better for whom? Easier for whom?
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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
Not for the children that's for certain.
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Collibosher private msg quote post Address this user
Phil's estate has counterclaimed against Don's declaratory judgement action. Below is his answer to this counterclaim. The matter is quite active. I'll post a link to the ongoing discovery list if anyone is interested.

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.tnmd.72577/gov.uscourts.tnmd.72577.7.0.pdf
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DeeDee private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiebarm2

Don Everly sues brother Phil's family over 'Cathy's Clown' - Reuters
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DeeDee private msg quote post Address this user
Oops, not sure how the bit directly above has my name on it! Just wanted to say it is so sad that this dispute has been aired in public! The minute lawyer-speak is added to any sensitive subject it usually sounds like the brink of world war 3!! Such a pity
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Collibosher private msg quote post Address this user
Don won the case. The judge confirmed his 100% ownership of Cathy's Clown and other assorted songs Phil's estate was claiming royalties for.
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Kathyc private msg quote post Address this user
I like Chris sat on this, as this site is kinda Phil's. I haven't read all these comments posted here today in detail kinda scimmed through, but my view is:- I do not think Phil would have been happy about this situation and would not have sued Don EVER. Phil told me years ago that Cathy's Clown was Don's song his idea he (Phil) only wrote the verses. Phil did write the verses. Waddy had it back to front it was Don who said he had something - remember shouting at the TV at the time!! When their finances were still being sorted out and divided back in the 80's I think Phil's solution was at the time the right one. I can quite easily think Phil regretted giving it away in heignsite but as I said I don't think he would have sued or done anything to put the hand that fed them and gave them a great lifestyle ie Everly Bros name. Also Don did not walk away from his little daughter. Brenda Lee told me back in the early 60's before I got to know Don and Phil that he would visit on his own to spend time with his little girl. It is very sad that this happened. Let's just forget.
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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
I agree Kathy. It is known to every Everly fan the world over that both Everly Brothers wrote the song. Phil did not want anything more than his name on the song and in BMI and that is how it should be. Phil's family were carrying forward his wishes, I am not sure monetary things ever came into it. It would have been a good outcome if it could have been settled that way. It was co-written end of.
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DeeDee private msg quote post Address this user
All this bickering is so, so, sad, especially as Phil is no longer here to clarify things I always thought Phil was the kinder brother and if you watch old interviews he is always singing Don's praises and speaking of him with such affection It shows through, his more loving nature, even mid concert when Phil gives such caring looks in Don's direction I am sure Phil was the more contented man too and was comfortable in his own skin and happy with the wealth he had worked so hard for over the years! Don does seem to have his demons and if only he could put all that behind him, speak to his very elderly mother and speak of Phil as kindly as his brother did of him, he would be the better man for it!
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Sharona private msg quote post Address this user
I haven't commented on this site and probably never will again, but I feel I have to say something for a change. I hope Don never reads here, because what I've read has been judgmental, hurtful and sometimes downright despicable. Yes Phil isn't around to clarify things, but Don is. Don should never had been put in this hurtful position of having to to defend his copyrights in the first place. He owned the royalties since 1980 after Phil signed away all claims to certain songs. In 2011 Don filed notice to reclaim copyright from Acuff-Rose, which he was granted in 2016. Phil had 34 years to change his mind but never did. He was a man of honor and principle, imo. So is Don in his own, very different, way. He HAD to sue to retain his rights due to actions taken by Jason and Phil's widow about a couple months after Phil sadly passed away. He did not find out about these actions til later. As 81 year-old Don tragically (imo) said in his deposition, "I wish Phil was here to answer these questions because he could answer it better than I could." It breaks my heart to see him vilified like this. Forgive ME for being judgmental if I say it would probably break Phil's heart too.
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Kathyc private msg quote post Address this user
Sharona thank you for your very well put comments above I agree with you wholeheartedly. It's a shame for all concerned that this happened.
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BarbaraAnnL private msg quote post Address this user
Stunning how many people claim to know what Phil would have wanted and feel free to trash his wife and son.

Don did say he wished Phil was here to answer the questions but it was in response to this -

“Allright, sir. So is it correct that even though you said on those two clips that Phil Everly co-wrote Cathy’s Clown...”

Lawyer “But, in fact, he did not co-write?”

Don..”No, he did not, no.”

From Don’s deposition dated July 20, 2018.

3. I wrote Cathy’s Clown myself in my home on Forest Acres Drive, in Nashville, Tennessean, and also wrote Sigh, Cry, Almost Die, and That’s Just Too Much myself (the “SCs”).
4. The Everly Brothers recorded the SCs for Warner Bros. Records.
5. Cathy’s Clown was the Everly Brothers’ most successful hit single.
6. Phil Everly did not contribute any material to the writing of the SCs, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, including any contribution of words, music, chord progressions or arrangement.

So are you saying Phil would say he didn’t write any of it even though he has said in interviews in print and audio that he did?
2014, Randy Lewis article in the Los Angeles Times, “Regarding “Cathy’s Clown, Don Everly told the Times that he and Phil wrote it after his father and musical mentor, Ike Everly, spoke about a girlfiend he’d once had who caused him to be ridiculed by friends. Don applied the name of his first girlfriend in high school as a way of personalizing the tale, which was the Everlys single after switching labels in 1960 and getting what was reputed to be the first million dollar contract in the record business”.

I think most people know Phil wrote part of the song. The question is why Don would take an oath and swear that he didn’t.
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ChrisW private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraAnnL
I think most people know Phil wrote part of the song. The question is why Don would take an oath and swear that he didn’t.


That puzzles me too.
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Collibosher private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisW
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraAnnL
I think most people know Phil wrote part of the song. The question is why Don would take an oath and swear that he didn’t.


That puzzles me too.


It was almost 60 years ago. I believe its possible Don believes he wrote it on his own. He's nearly 82, it sounds like he may have health problems and memory can be a tricky thing.

Conversely, we know he doesn't believe Phil's wife and son are entitled to a penny of the royalties Phil legally signed over to him in 1980. The court agreed, and would have agreed even if Don testified Phil wrote part of the song. That was never the issue at hand, so whatever the "truth" is about Phil's contribution, it is irrelevant with respect to this dispute.

The full deposition transcripts/videos are not available, so we can't know everything that was said, but it is clear that Phil's son and wife do not like Don one bit. Jason called Don a "horse's ass" who was "asinine".

So no, we can't truly know what Phil would like or not like about this situation. But it was the same son who said "If you were going to say something bad about my uncle Don in front of my father, you were in for it." So if he was telling the truth, we know exactly how Phil would have felt about Jason calling Don a horse's ass.

It's sad all around. But bottom line, the Estate was ill advised to attempt to get Don's royalties. And they were ill advised to defend the Summary Judgement Don filed. They were bound to fail, if only because far too much time had passed. Now the whole world knows far more than they should about this ugly chapter.
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MarieLuluSibenik private msg quote post Address this user
So sad. Pray for everyone. Family is more important than worldly credits or money.
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Sharona private msg quote post Address this user
Who trashed Phil's family? BOTH brothers have given conflicting stories about CC in various interviews. As for Don's deposition, have you read Jason's deposition? However I prefer to think of it as what Jason Believed was the truth. If that is considered trashing him, so be it. The authorship of CC was not the issue anyway. And the judge ruled logically and correctly. Please read the decision. It clears up so much. The one-sidedness, which sees posters needing to pit Don as some kind of "heavy" against Phil or Phil's family, when there shouldn't be a "side" at all, is just too toxic. Done.
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MeFloody private msg quote post Address this user
I find this whole subject hurtful. I believe this is much more to do with wife's rather than Brothers
Post 29 IP   flag post
KDF private msg quote post Address this user
People are posting this posting that of what they think who wrote what and taking sides. It was 60 odd years ago and really only Don and Phil knew who did write it so my thoughts are lets just move on and its not really our business to comment when we really don't know for sure the full facts and details of back then and carry on listening to their great music
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