RaR9 – All I Have to do is Dream
Listen to the recording of the tune by clicking the attached mp3 file. This will open the recording in a new window or tab. Listen and follow along with the listening guide in the book.
Read the liner notes below.
Read the information “What to Listen For”
Respond to the Rate-A-Record/Questions by clicking on the assignment link and then click on on the button “Write Submission” (to the right of Text Submission) to record your response. Do not use the comments field.
All I Have to Do is Dream by the Everly Brothers
Don and Phil Everly were immersed in country and “roots” music from early in life; their parents and two uncles had a country and folk music group that was popular in the Midwest and parts of the south. The boys started singing with the act at the ages of eight and six, respectively.
By the 1940s the family had settled in Shenandoah, Iowa, where the boys’ father Ike played several times daily on a local radio station. At that time most music heard on regional radio was performed live; the young Everly brothers occasionally sang with their father and filled in when other scheduled performers didn’t show up. The Everly Family Show was the most popular in the Midwest in the early 1950s, but recordings were fast replacing live music on the radio. After several moves to potentially larger markets that didn’t yield jobs, the young brothers decided to pursue other options.
One day after high school graduation Don and Phil Everly set out for Nashville, Tennessee, with hopes of breaking into the country music recording industry. A family friend, Chet Atkins, was working as a session guitarist in Nashville, and through his contacts he got the boys a six month recording contract at Columbia Records. They recorded four tracks, but only one, “Keep On Lovin’ Me,” was even a modest success. To make ends meet Don became a songwriter for Acuff-Rose, the large country music publishing house founded by Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff.
In 1957 the brothers got word that Archie Bleyer, the owner of the small, independent Cadence label, was looking for new talent. He offered the duo “Bye Bye Love,” written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. Thirty other artists had passed on the tune, but Bleyer still felt it could be a hit if given the right treatment. Don and Phil thought they knew what would work. Their family’s travels had landed them in Chicago for a time, and they were familiar with urban blues and rhythm and blues; Don was a particularly fervent fan of Bo Diddley. The Everly brothers fused the aggressive, syncopated rhythm guitar of early Chicago blues with the close vocal harmonies and short, broken phrase structure of early country music in a way that sounded different from anything else in the marketplace. “Bye Bye Love” became a smash hit that rose to the top of the country, pop, and R&B charts.
Over the next several years the Everly Brothers put six more songs, including “All I Have to Do is Dream,” in the country top ten and seven on the pop charts; all walked the line between the two styles. The brothers’ fortunes faded somewhat after 1964, when the British invasion hit the United States, but they continued to make records until the early 1970s. Ironically, the new British acts sang harmonies that were modeled on those of the Everly Brothers, as did the folk rock artists emerging in California and New York. Even today, the Everly Brothers are recognized as the founding fathers of rock and roll vocal harmony.
WHAT TO LISTEN FOR:
“Tight” vocal harmonies, equal in timbre – blend of voices
Bossa nova like groove or pattern on drum set
Electric guitar sounds with lots of reverb/sustain/echo
Form – This is a super example of AABA form. It is also a super example of a partial reprise. Notice how the tune does AABA and then repeats the BA to basically make it 1 1/2 songs, really making for interesting listening and variety with the B (bridge).
RATE-A-RECORD/QUESTIONS TO ANSWER:
Do a quick internet search for “musicians influenced by the Everly Brothers”. Make a list of five important artists/groups influenced by the duo.
Give it a rating: 0 = Bad, 100 = Awesome. Defend your number.
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