One of the stellar careers of rock and roll began in 1957 when The Everly Brothers issued “Bye Bye Love.” It entered the charts on May 27 and eventually ranked #2 where it remained for four weeks. In September they would follow with “Wake Up Little Susie,” their first #1 record. The Everlys were certainly not a “new” act in 1957 -- they had actually begun performing at ages 6 (Don) and 8 (Phil) on a radio show in Shanendoah, Iowa with their parents. Their father tried to get them a recording contract in Nashville --- several sessions at Columbia had produced no success. Cadence records had been looking for a country act -- their only success at the time was Andy Williams. The Brothers were teamed with songwriters Felice and Bordeau Bryant for “Bye Bye Love.” The song had been turned down by thirty others and Phil and Don recorded it because they desperately needed the session money. The “Rockabilly” sound (a combination of country swing and rhythm and blues) was combined with the Everly Brothers’ harmony. But make no mistake -- this was rock and roll. They were the first to bring drums to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Between 1957 and 1962 the Everly Brothers would have fifteen top ten songs, including four number ones: “Wake Up Little Susie” (‘57); “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Bird Dog” (‘58); and Cathy’s Clown” (‘60). Their music influenced future rock stars such as The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

week debuted title highest ranking weeks on chart
5/27/1957 Bye Bye Love 2 22
9/30/1957 Wake Up Little Susie 1 20
4/28/1958 All I Have To Do Is Dream 1 16
8/11/1958 Bird Dog 1 15
8/18/1958 Devoted to You 10 11
11/24/1958 Problems 2 11
8/24/1959 Til I Kissed You 4 13
1/25/1960 Let It Be Me 7 11
5/2/1960 Cathy's Clown 1 13
6/27/1960 When Will I Be Loved 8 9
9/12/1960 So Sad to Watch Good Love Go Bad 7 10
2/13/1961 Walk Right Back 7 10
2/2/1962 Crying in the Rain 6 9
Cathy's Clown:
One of the first record albums I ever owned was "A Date With the Everly Brothers" which was issued in 1960. I had just received a stereo record player for Christmas and my Mom helped me join a record club (probably Columbia). I ordered "A Date With the Everly Brothers" which looking back might have cast some doubts concerning my sexuality, but in reality was a logical connection to my burgeoning interest in rock and roll music. I had liked their earlier recordings of "Bye-Bye Love" and "Bird Dog." The big hit on this album was "Cathy's Clown." It went to #1 that spring. This was the first album released by the Everly's for Warner Brothers (all their early hits were with Cadence) and "Cathy's Clown" would be their best seller for that label. As was usually the case at that time, the album didn't really contain any other Everly "hits" -- "Always It's You" was the flip side of "Cathy's Clown." But this LP doesn't follow the trend of the early sixties that had most album releases contain one or two originals that were released as singles and then filled with "covers" of hit songs by other artists. In this case, the rest of the album is mostly original Everly songs -- but none ever charted as singles. They did cover Little Richard's "Lucille" (and quite well I think). I still find it very easy to listen to this album even though the songs aren't as familiar as the duo rocks on songs such as "Donna, Donna" and sings in their classic ballad style on "A Change of Heart."