1959: Everly Brothers – 1959
Chet Atkins first heard the Everly Brothers singing in Knoxville in 1956 and convinced them to move to Nashville and sign with Columbia Records. They recorded and released Keep a-Lovin’ Me, a song Don had written. The record failed to chart and Columbia dropped them.
Wesley Rose of Acuff-Rose signed the duo to a songwriting contract and had them record for Cadence Records. They recorded the song Bye-Bye Love in 1957, a song that 30 other artists had turned down. That began a streak of hit records. The Everly Brothers scored four number one Country singles that all also reached #1 or #2 on the Hot 100. The brothers wrote their next single (Problems) which reached #2 near the end of 1958.
The duo then stumbled in 1959: their first single in 1959 (Rip It Up) failed to chart at all!
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote most of the early Everly Brothers hits, including both sides of their next single, which came out later in 1959. It became their fifth two-sided hit. Neither side reached the Country chart, a first for their records that reached the pop chart.
The record label plugged Take A Message To Mary, and that side of the single peaked at #16. It was a much bigger hit in Australia (where it reached #2).
The other side of the single was Poor Jenny, which reached #22 on the Hot 100 before fading off the chart.
The brothers had two more top ten singles before signing with a different record label.
They wrote their first single for Warner Brothers, and Cathy’s Clown turned into the biggest hit of their career. Their old record label also continued releasing singles for the next three years. The competition between the two labels gave them lots of records on the charts through 1962. I became annoyed with them when they re-recorded their earlier hits and released them on Greatest Hits albums for Warner Brothers.
Phil died in 2014, and Don passed away in August 2021.
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