Saturday, January 4, 2014

Phil Everly: "It feels good to sing"

Phil Everly
Phil Everly (1939-2014) once described "Devoted To You" as “like an English madrigal." The song was written for the Everly Brothers by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, and appeared in 1958 as the b-side to "Bird Dog," a tune about which the brothers had some reservations. They were sold on the beautiful "Devoted To You," however. “It’s a very well-structured piece and it feels good to sing,” Phil Everly said. It feels even better to listen.

The Everly Brothers have provided me with countless speechless moments as I stared at the record or CD in wonder at the duo's close harmonies and melded spirits. Over the years I've cried a lot listening to their songs, sorrow and elation reached only by melody. Speaking about his sometimes vexed relationship with his brother, Phil said, "Harmony singing requires that you enlarge yourself, not use any kind of suppression. Harmony is the ultimate love." Now that Phil Everly is gone, that melody is halved. But the songs Phil and Don sang are out there, around us and above us, forever.

RIP Phil Everly.

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