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 Everly Bros.?
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 I did.

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 the book?
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