Archive for the ‘Good ‘Ole Country’ Category

The Country Roots of The Beatles

November 30, 2008

everlys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to Alberta’s Country Legend 790 on the AM dial today I heard one of those hokey old country songs that I love the most – it was called Bird Dog by the Everly Brothers. This song went to #1 on the Top 40 Billboard in ’58:

Johnny is a joker (he’s a bird)
A very funny joker (he’s a bird)
But when he jokes my honey (he’s a dog)
His jokin’ ain’t so funny (what a dog)
Johnny is a joker that’s a’tryin’ to steal my honey (he’s a bird dog)

Johnny sings a love song (like a bird)
He sings the sweetest love song (ya ever heard)
But when he sings to my gal (what a howl)
To me he’s just a wolf dog (on the prowl)
Johnny wants to fly away and puppy-love my baby (he’s a bird dog)

Hey, bird dog get away from my quail
Hey, bird dog you’re on the wrong trail
Bird dog you better leave my lovey-dove alone
Hey, bird dog get away from my chick
Hey, bird dog you better get away quick
Bird dog you better find a chicken little of your own

Johnny kissed the teacher (he’s a bird)
He tiptoed up to reach her (he’s a bird)
Well he’s the teacher’s pet now (he’s a dog)
What he wants he’s been gettin’ now (what a dog)
He even made the teacher let him sit next to my baby (he’s a bird dog)

Hey, bird dog get away from my quail
Hey, bird dog you’re on the wrong trail
Bird dog you better leave my lovey-dove alone
Hey, bird dog get away from my chick
Hey, bird dog you better get away quick
Bird dog you better find a chicken little of your own

[Fade]

He’s a bird

(lyrics from here)

Oh, you have to hear them sing that line “he’s a bird dog”.

Judging by the comments to that Youtube video at the time this wasn’t even country – but rockabilly. For guys you’ll only hear on really old time country stations their Rolling Stone biography stunned me:

The Everly Brothers are the most important vocal duo in rock. The enduring influence of the Everly Brothers’ close, understated yet expressive harmonies is evident in the work of such British Invasion bands as the Beatles and the Hollies and of folk-oriented acts, such as Simon and Garfunkel…

The Stone’s review of their ’72 album puts it this way:

The Everly Brothers brought harmony to rock and roll. They also brought sensitivity, the result of their having been weaned on old-time country music. They were the end of one line and beginning of another. They were also hugely influential, and everything they gave to rock was positive.

It got better. I clicked on an article by Paul Simon – who I didn’t realize is the Simon of Simon and Garfunkle until halfway through. (I know, I know) It’s #33 in a series called The Immortals – The Greatest Artists of All Time. Simon wrote that the Everlys melded country with early rock and roll perhaps even more powerfully than Elvis and this:

The Everly Brothers’ impact exceeds even their fame. They were a big influence on John Lennon and Paul McCartney — who called themselves the Foreverly Brothers early on…

Oh that’s unbelievable.

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