Friday, February 3, 2017


As you may or may not know, I sell records for a living. It's been over ten years since the shop shut its doors, but I continued to make a living selling online, over at your least favorite places like Amazon and eBay, as well as Discogs and a Facebook group I created with my cousin and business partner, called AM/PM Records. (If you'd like to sell your vinyl to me, please don't hesitate to contact me.)

But that's not why I'm here.

I've learned a few things after all these years. It is almost impossible to sell records by Richard Thompson, Mott The Hoople and the Everly Brothers, three of my favorite artists. From what I've been told, people are so turned off by Richard Thompson's voice, they can't get passed it to experience the amazing songwriting and guitar wizardry. Okay. Fair enough, I guess. Mott was two different bands, so it's possible everyone owns "All The Young Dudes" and couldn't care less about anything else. But the Everly Brothers? This bothers me most.

Phil and Don have a deep catalogue that began in the 50's and continued with real quality, right until the end. Their voices remained pure and perfect right through their last performance together. Their records were mostly solid affairs, unlike so many artists of the 50's and 60's, including some big names like the Rolling Stones and The Hollies, who often filled up space with weak originals and covers of the day. This is not to say the Brothers never made a bad record. There were a few. But Phil and Don should not be defined by "Wake Up Little Susie" or "Cathy's Clown," or really any of their hits. The Everlys did much more and yet, stayed current when necessary, got daring occasionally and always boggled your mind with harmonies that were not of this Earth.

I could sell a copy of their 1968 cult classic "Roots," and once in a while, if I price an original Cadence record cheap, it will move with some added pressure. But generally, these amazing records seem to poison my stock.

I just don't get it!

Well, we've done a Mott The Hoople mix, and maybe there will be an RT mix in the future. But today, here are some of my favorite Everlys tunes.

I think their version of "Money" truly rocks.

"It Only Costs A Dime" was a b-side, but can also be found on the terrific "In Our Image" album. And the intro should be familiar to all Elvis Costello fans.

"Green River," not the CCR tune, "Mandolin Wind," the Rod Stewart tune and "I'm Tired Of Singing My Song In Las Vegas," are from the boys criminally underrated cosmic country record, "Stories We Could Tell" on RCA. ("Pass The Chicken & Listen" on RCA, is also great, and needs to be reissued with a better album cover and title.)

There are three from the pop classic, "Two Yanks In England," a record mostly written by Clarke-Nash-Hicks, speaking of The Hollies.

There are a few hits tossed in for consistency, including the closer, "On The Wings Of A Nightingale," a perfect pop gem, penned by Sir Paul McCartney.

Dig it.


Gone, Gone, Gone
Don't Run & Hide
Empty Boxes
It Only Costs A Dime
Bowling Green
Love Her
Mandolin Wind
Ventura Boulevard
Green River
Stick With Me Baby
I'm Tired Of Singing My Song In Las Vegas
I've Been Wrong Before
Sleepless Nights
Have You Ever Loved Somebody
On The Wings Of A Nightingale

The Zipperlys


draftervoi said...

Richard Thompson? I'm baffled; he's a perfectly fine voice. By the way....have you heard the current band the Cactus Blossoms? They're channelling a vintage-sounding Everlys duet sound...they're worth checking out if you like the Everlys (Which I do, too!).

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to Richard Thompson for over 30 years and never once considered him to have a bad singing voice. Seriously, it never occurred to me that someone might not like him because of his voice. Well, what does the general music community know. The Everlys? I read an article just yesterday that quoted Dylan who said "We owe those guys everything - they started it all". I think that some people have a mindset that the Brothers only recorded pop ditties like Cathy's Clown, et al, and have not really explored their catalog. Like you Sal, I just can't see how a music lover could not listen to these guys and be excited about what they were hearing. Listening to your mix as I'm writing this. Dig it? You bet. Randy

Bill said...

Looks like a great mix Sal. Can't wait to download and listen tonight.

I don't get the Richard Thompson thing either. He continues to produce excellent records, full of great songs, great playing, and great singing. My wife hates his singing, but for me his songs wouldn't be the same without that voice.

Sal Nunziato said...

I bought the Cactus Blossoms and really liked it. As for RT's voice, I certainly have no problem with it.

Biffles said...

I love RT's voice, plus who cares if it's a tad reedy when he plays the guitar so well?

But then I love Mott the Hoople, so what do I know?

Look forward to listening to this later...

Shriner said...

In all honesty, I never got into RT because of his singing either. Same thing for Ron Sexsmith. I can appreciate the song craft, but they just don't do anything for me.


I dig the mix!

Much (most?) of my "knowledge" of the brothers Everly comes from Burning Wood so I certainly don't understand why they could ever be a buzz kill at the record shop.

Then again, I always liked Richard Thompson ... what do I know?! :-)

Thanks Sal.

Stay warm!

Mr. Baez said...

I've been listening to the Everly Brothers ever since my older sisters brought home a 45 of "Cathy's Clown" from Wallach's Music City on Hollywood Blvd when I was 8 years old. Phil and Don set the harmony bar that all strive for. Thank you very much for this mix. And happy to see that you are in the weekend music-mix business again.

dogbreath said...

The Zipperlys? Ho ho. I've unzipped with pleasure (as I usually do) and freely confess to having liked the Everlys for more decades than I care to remember. When the next door neighbour's son left for the army, not only did he leave me a stack of Elvis records but also several Everlys 45s & LPs. And I've been digging the boys ever since. As for Mr Thompson, I've had no issues with his voice - or fabulous guitar playing - since his days with the Fairports. Cheers for the fab mix!

Eric said...


Charlie Messing said...

Thank you once again, Sal! Love the Everlys. I still have 45s of Bye Bye Love and Wake Up Little Susie. "Maybe Tomorrow" is mesmerizing still. Someday I'll pick up the reunion LPs again. Some artists that are gone have people keeping them in the public eye (Doors, Beatles, Elvis, Aerosmith) and some don't - like Mott - but they're up the list from Artful Dodger, Joe Jackson, and many others. Bowie goes up, Ronson goes down. Who tells kids now about the Hollies or the Pretty Things? (Little Richard and Bo Diddley? Chuck Berry is still on Top...) I saw a CD box of the Brothers' first five LPs - I may get it. There are blues people who think of BB King and Clapton as roots! Music and quality are rarely the issue. The winds of history leave few behind...and the answer is blowing in the wind.

a walk in the woods said...

One of the great concert pleasures of my life was seeing the Simon & Garfunkel tour in late 2003 where they had Phil & Don perform a short set in the middle of S&G's set. So cool to get to see them in concert.

I don't actually have much Everlys music - other than the sooo-good "Empty Boxes" and a few others - so this will be fun to hear.

Sal Nunziato said...

The Everlys record, "Stories We Could Tell" is really a bit of a maasterpiece. If it was Gram Parsons, it'd be on everyone's Top 40. The band, too. Spooner Oldham, John Sebastian, Ry Cooder, Warren Zevon, Delaney Bramlett, Clarence White, Buddy Emmons, Barry Beckett, Jim Gordon.

Ken D said...

Always been an early Everlys fan and liked the later reunion material, But now you're convincing me I missed a lot of great stuff in between. Definitely want to investigate "Stories We Could Tell." Thanks.

draftervoi said...

Hey...for people who like tracking down little rock n' roll oddities, there's an outtake of the Everly's doing Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul." What makes it interesting to me is that it is produced by Jack Nitzsche...right about the time he was producing a track on Neil Young's first LP, "I've Loved Her So Long." The same back-up singers are on both songs, so they have a similar sound-scape. And I'm with Sal on "Stories We Could Tell," great song and album. I learned about that song when Petty covered it on a King Biscuit broadcast in 1980 (that version was later released on Pack Up The Plantation). I also saw the Everlys on the 2003 Simon & Garfunkel tour...

William said...

I could listen to The Everlys "poor Jenny" for hours. Just love that song. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


Where can we find the Everly's doing "Mr. Soul"? I'd love to hear it.

Captain Al

kodak ghost said...

Have always loved RT ( and the voice) from very early days booking him ( and Linda) into folk clubs.
Everlys are ethereal. No one has done close harmony quite so effortlessly ( though you can bet on just how much work it took!).

As to voices that I can't handle ( but songs that are excellent) I'm afraid Elvis Costello for me falls into that category. I do keep trying!

Great couple of mixes recently. (Wilco and Everlys) many thanks.

buzzbabyjesus said...

This is great. Thanks! Where is "T For Texas"?

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's not Richard's voice, it's something else. His first couple albums, from "Henry The Human Fly" through "Come Down Like Silver" are are among my favorites. Then Sufism happened, and he and Linda split. Since then something is missing, and I no longer "hear" him.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to echo all the thanks for posting this mix. I'm an Everlys fan (and not just of the obvious hits), but some of these songs were definitely new to me. I get the sense that their labels didn't do a very good job reissuing or repackaging their material (back when people were still buying CDs). Rhino put out a 4-disc box set, but no one's going to buy that unless they're already a fan. I don't imagine that Don and Phil's bad relationship helped things any.

Richard Thompson may not have mass appeal, but his fans are pretty loyal. Sure, in a just world he'd be selling out stadiums, but I'm very glad to be able to see him in clubs and small theaters. Call me selfish if you like.


The Grim Reefer said...

Thank you for this. The Everlys brought the "High Lonesome" harmonies of bluegrass/country to RocknRoll/Pop without compromising the integrity of either. Your song selection is superb, and as we both know...only scratches the surface.

Jonathan F. King said...

Where's "The Price of Love"? I appreciate "Gone Gone Gone," especially in the leadoff spot, but TPOL for me marked their real comeback. The Brits knew; they always know.

A walk in the woods said...

Some great recommendations in the comments - I'm seeking out even more Everlys now.

draftervoi said...

Hey, Captain Al! You can hear the Everly Brothers version of Mr. Soul on YouTube at:

It's on a Bear Family box set (not cheap!) but also on one of those Ace Records "producers compilations" "Hard Workin' Man: The Jack Nitzsche Story, Vol 2"

I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

As always, a great compilation, Sal.

One of my favorites isn't on it for a change;
"Don't Forget To Cry."

"You said your tears would build a brand-new river
If we were through, if ever we were through
But now somebody new has caught your eye
Goodbye baby, don't forget to cry."

Keep up the great work!
- Stinky