New Details on Rock Hall's Tribute to the Everly Brothers

Young Phil & Don with Cleveland DJ Tommy Edwards (c) Christopher Kennedy
Young Phil & Don with Cleveland DJ Tommy Edwards (c) Christopher Kennedy
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The early image of Rock and Roll was fast, frenetic and aggressive, thanks to the musical stylings of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Then came Don and Phil Everly, with a much more clean-cut style, featuring acoustic guitars and close harmonies


For the past 19 years, the Rock Hall and Case Western Reserve University have celebrated the legacy of a pioneering performer or group in a week-long symposium. Starting October 20, this year's Music Masters event will use a series of lectures, films and performances to focus on the Everly Brothers --- their impact and influence. Among the speakers will be NPR music writer Ann Powers whose keynote address will examine how their songs captured teenage angst in an age of innocence.


ANN POWERS: The Everly Brothers to me are unique in the gradations of what they capture in those songs --- how it can shift from funny to anxious to dreamy all within a verse or two, just within those seemingly simple harmonies. This is in the songs that Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote for them, as well as their own songs. They really captured such things as hope and anticipation and the sense that you can't quite control how you feel, but you're working on learning how. I think the Everly Brothers do that better than anybody

The week-long tribute will conclude with a concert, featuring a broad spectrum of performers who were influenced by the Every Brothers, ranging from country rock warbler Emmy Lou Harris and Nashville crooner Vince Gill, to rock and roll veteran Graham Nash and the up-and-coming duo, Secret Sisters. Phil Everly died earlier this year, but brother Don will make an appearance to accept their Music Master award.

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