An all-star tribute concert featuring the music of the Everly Brothers is set for Saturday night in Cleveland. Graham Nash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krause are among the artists set to perform.
Don Everly was born in Muhlenberg County and both brothers frequently returned to Kentucky during their childhoods and again for a series of homecoming concerts in the 1980s.
This weekend’s concert is part of the Music Masters Series, put on in conjunction with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers were members of the first induction class.
Muhlenberg County is hosting a show this weekend that pays tribute to the area’s most famous musical sons. The show, called “Walk Right Back”, honors the music of the Everly Brothers.
Don Everly was born in Muhlenberg County in 1937, and during 15 years beginning in 1988, he and his brother Phil performed an annual “homecoming” concert in Central City.
Joe Hudson, the executive director of the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame and the organizer of Saturday’s concert says the influential harmonies that the Everly Brothers sang in the late 1950s and 60s played a major role on future musical acts.
“The significant impact that the Everly’s harmonies had on other bands, even The Beatles, is really humbling when you look at the fact that it all roots back here to a small town in the middle of Muhlenberg County," Hudson told WKU Public Radio. "They had that family harmony that you just cannot reproduce, and their harmonies are still known as some of the best and tightest harmonies that have ever been recorded.”
Among the recordings – the Everly Brothers 1960 hit “Cathy’s Clown”, which was recorded at the RCA “Studio B” in Nashville.
Earlier this year, Muhlenberg County held a celebration of life for Phil Everly, who died January 3rd. Everly and his brother Don held a series of charity concerts in their family’s hometown in Western Kentucky in the 1980s and 1990s.
Phil Everly is remembered at the Merle Travis Music Center in Central City, Kentucky
For 15 years beginning in 1988, Phil and Don Everly returned to the town of Central City, Ky. to perform an annual benefit “Homecoming” concert which, at its pinnacle, drew a crowd four-times the town’s population. On Saturday, hundreds of people from that same town turned out to pay tribute to Phil Everly, a day before what would have been his 75th birthday.
The recognizable hits poured from the stage of the Merle Travis Music Center. As one performer put it – being asked to pick out an Everly Brothers song to cover was like being led into Fort Knox and being asked to select a favorite piece of gold to take with you.
He picked "Bye Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie".
Two of the Everly Brothers second cousins, Tim Giageos and David Everly performed four songs including "All I Have to Do is Dream" and "When Will I Be Loved."
One of the Everly Brother’s first cousins, Diana Sue Taylor described one of the first memories of her famous relatives – when she was eight years old was escorted backstage at the Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana.
A memorial service is being held this weekend for Phil Everly near Central City, where the Everly Brothers entertained for years at a homecoming benefit.
The Central City Tourist and Convention Commission said the service will be at 2 p.m. CST Saturday at the Merle Travis Center in Powderly with music from cousins of the Everly Brothers and a tribute band.
Phil Everly died Jan. 3 at 74. With his brother, Don Everly, the duo had 19 top 40 hits between 1957 and 1962.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The Everly Brothers began the homecoming concerts in 1988 and continued through 2001 to help raise scholarship money and funds for other projects.