Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream"

Thursday, July 10: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

"Bye Bye Love" galvanized not one but three creative teams. Don and Phil Everly were floundering prior to this first hit single. "Bye Bye Love" was also the biggest hit to date for husband-and- wife songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Last but not least, the pairing of the Bryants with the Everlys yielded a string of rock and roll pearls. The record's enormous success-Top Five on Billboard's country, pop, and R&B charts-followed a series of hurdles. Cadence, the Everlys' label, had rejected them once before but was giving the brothers a second chance. The Bryants' tune had been rejected by numerous artists before the Everlys got hold of it. Perhaps Don Everly's own guitar introduction made a difference; the brothers' close vocal harmonies were certainly new to a non-country audience. Not even a cover version by Webb Pierce-at that time the kiss of death for a country song's original recording-could slow the Everlys' million sales, as "Bye Bye Love" leapt across musical borderlines. The brothers went from tent shows to The Ed Sullivan Show; the era's top vocal duo was off and running.

The Everlys' third hit was their first ballad single.  If their voices were enchanting on up- tempo songs, they could melt glass with their sustained tones on slow ones. Material the caliber of "All I Have to Do Is Dream" didn't hurt, either. Written by Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, "All I Have To Do Is Dream" was one of the Everly Brothers' biggest sellers in the U.S. It topped Billboard's pop chart for over a month. Chet Atkins' filigreed guitar weaves in and out of the brothers' wistful singing. Phil Everly first heard the song performed by its composer on a demo recording and just knew it was a hit: It was just one of those songs. But it's hard to imagine anyone else tackling "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in the wake of the Everlys' performance. It helped their heart-throb image and, in retrospect, summons up a repressed eraís suppressed desires. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneers the Everly Brothers during the 19th Annual Music Masters® series this October. Don and Phil Everly were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of the first class of inductees in 1986. Two-time Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell will serve as musical director for the tribute concert, which will take place on Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theatre. For more information, click here. 


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