Consuelo Dodge Interview
(The Everly Brothers)
The Everly Brothers are one of rock 'n roll's most influential artists.
If it wasn't for The Everlys, there may not have been The Beatles. John Lennon
and Paul McCartney were inspired by the harmonies of Don and Phil Everly.
Consuelo Dodge has written the history of the duo titled "The Everly
Brothers, Ladies Love Outlaws" (available from Cin-Dav Inc., Rt. 1, Box
778, Starke, Florida 32091 for $14.95 plus $3.00 shipping and handling charges).
Consuelo Dodge talked with us about her book.
Q. Of all the artists you could have written about, why did you choose The
A. There was a special on The Everly Bros. Reunion Concert which was at the
Royal Albert Hall in London. It was absolutely fabulous. I thought they were
just about the most exciting singers I had seen in ages. They took my breath
away. Being an avid reader, the next day I went to the library to get a biography
on them as I wanted to know what they had been doing since I last heard them
in the 50's. There wasn't one! I called the librarian over and said that these
people had been around for years and there must be some information on them.
She looked and then said there hasn't been anything written, and if you're
so upset about it, why don't you write one yourself. I said, o.k. I will, and
Q. Were you an early fan of the duo?
A. I remember listening to them back in the 1950's, but then I grew up. In
addition, Elvis and The Beatles took over the entire music industry and many,
many talented people were forgotten.
Q. You self-published this book of yours?
A. Yes. I'd gotten a couple of offers from small publishing companies
but they wanted to leave certain things out and add others. They especially
wanted to do their own cover. I didn't want that. I wanted to say what I wanted
to say and I still love the cover that I designed.
Q. How did you research the history of The Everly Bros.? Did you talk to
family, friends, and business people?
A. Yes I did. I also read just about everything that was ever written about
The Everlys in newspapers and magazines and spent days doing research
in the National Courthouse files. The Bureau of Vital Statistics in California
and Tennessee gave me a lot of information as did some other government agencies.
I also talked to a lot of people and included exactly what I wanted to include.
Q. Did The Everly Bros, themselves cooperate in any way?
A. They did not cooperate in any way whatsoever. Although their cousin
Ted Everly who lives in Kentucky did as some others that I spoke with. The
Everly management people however, were extremely uncooperative, and as a matter
of fact have always been rude and uncooperative not just to me but to many
others too. I don't understand why. Other managements and publicists that I
have worked with have always been polite, helpful and only too happy to have
someone give their clients a little added publicity. These people are the only
ones I have ever run into who think it is a bad thing. 1 don't think they will
ever change either. The Everlys themselves seem to be pretty nice people so
I don't know why they keep these negative people around. It's only hurt them
and their careers. I might add that I didn't really want Donald and Phillip
to become involved with the book because if they did they would naturally want
to edit out anything that was too personal or anything that they didn't like.
If that happened it wouldn't be an unauthorized biography, it would be
a autobiography wouldn't it?
Q. For someone who does not know The Everly Bros, place
in music history; explain how influential they've been.
A. I think influential is the key word here. Unfortunately the public
only seems to remember the teenage songs like "Bye-Bye Love" and "Wake
Up Little Susie" that they sang when they were in their early 20's. There
are over 30 more years of creativity that no one seems to know about. Their
records and concerts are popular worldwide and their influence is extended
world-wide too. The main people I guess are Simon and Garfunkel who patterned
their style after The Everlys as did Chad and Jeremy and oh, a lot of people
in the fifties. The Beatles thought they were out, of this world, and to this
day, both George Harrison and Paul McCartney own Everly guitars. Paul McCartney
wrote a song especially for them called "On The Wings of A Nightingale." Glen
Campbell told me they were the best harmony singers in the business. I guess
the best compliment to any artist is to have their peers speak highly of them
and their talents, and this happens continually.
Q. You would compare The Everlys to who? Has the music world ever seen an
act such as theirs either before or since their arrival?
A. I don't think anyone can compare to The Everly Bros. They invented that
close harmony and others still try to emulate it. I don't think anyone has
reached their level yet. Being brothers, you at least have that family thing,
that fraternal blend along with the same breathing patterns and pronunciations
and all that. In my opinion, and I'm not alone in saying this, I think they're
the greatest harmony singers of all time.
Q. What did you learn about The Everlys that you didn't know before writing
A. Oh, many personal thing's of course. All their marriages, divorces,
children, ups and downs, but more than that, after collecting almost every
song and record they've ever recorded, I didn't realize they are as good as
they really are. I learned that they are also superb songwriters and musicians
and they still entertain and tour every year, all over the world. I also learned
that being a traveling singer, musician, or entertainer has got to be
a lousy life at best. I wouldn't want any part of it. I guess I like that security
of my own home too much. Some people have homes and others have houses.
Q. How do you think history will treat The Everly Brothers?
A. I honestly think that history will be kinder to them than the present
is. I believe that the music of today and of the past 20 years is and has been
horrible. That's just my opinion. Maybe I'm missing something, but I have a
hard time finding any music in the music of today. No tunes. No melodies. You
can't hear the words. No love and romance. Young people need this, and that's
why they're discovering people like Tony Bennett and Tom Jones. The world will
always need love songs. When artists decide to stop yelling and rapping and
stomping and screaming, then maybe they will discover the truly beautiful stuff
like The Everly Bros, have been putting out for years and years.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved