PHIL EVERLY – Star Spangled Springer – (RCA) – 1973

what Frank is listening to #218 – PHIL EVERLY – Star Spangled Springer – (RCA) – 1973
Read the other posts for details on the Everly Brothers background.
It is safe to say the Everly Brothers were getting on teach others nerves and eventually split in 1973. (They reunited and recorded again in 1983 before embarking on world tours. I saw them in 1989)
Phil (the younger of the two bothers) was the first to come out with an album post split, this one. Don had put out a solo album in1970 when they were still together.
I have waxed lyrical in the past about 50s rockers and that time in history, say 1967-73,  when a lot of them were updating their sounds, experimenting or just playing catch up with the contemporary music.
The Every Brothers were not immune from this. The difference was the Everly's, despite trying a few things in the 60s, really didn't have far to go because their original sound was fairly contemporary and hugely influential on pop and on the emerging country rock scene. Similarities, circa 1970, can be seen in Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills and Nash, Paul McCartney, the Bee Gees, Poco and many others.
When the brothers did split, both Phil and Don really created solo music similar to each other and music which wasn't largely different to their records together. This is an incredible "derrr" factor given that the Everly Brothers were , well, err brothers.
What we have here is gentle country rock which is quite slick but has the right grooves though a few more harmonies would have helped …which begs the question how this would have sounded as a Everly Brothers album?
The album is produced by Duane Eddy who also plays some guitar as does the legendary James Burton amongst others. There is a whole host of studio musicians including Bobby Emmons on steel guitar. Interestingly some guitar, keyboards as well as all the arrangements are supplied by a little known Warren Zevon who was in the Everlys backing band at the time.
Phil wrote most of the songs solo or in conjunction with friend, Englishman Terry Slater (the Everly Brothers regular bass player, though he doesn't play on this LP)
Tracks (best in italics)
  • The Air That I Breathe – Hammond, Hazlewood – the magnificent song that everyone associates with the Hollies would have been perfect for the Everly Brothers given the Hollies owe a great debt to the Everly Brothers. The song was written by Mike Hazlewood and Albert Hammond, who recorded it in 1971. Phil covered that version and it was Phil's record that the Hollies heard, covered and had a monster hit with. The Hollies version is perfect pop whereas Phil's version is precise,controlled and sombre though not ethereal. Having said that it's still a great version.
  • Sweet Grass Country – P Everly , T. Slater – nice country pop
  • God Bless Older Ladies – P Everly – T. Slater – I've never understood why songs that reference rock and roll are usually nonrock songs – this one even has smoky jazzy horns …..duff
  • It Pleases Me To Please You – P Everly , T. Slater – with vocals from Phil's wife Patricia. To my ears this is very Paul Simon, who was riding high in the charts at the time. And quite catchy at that. 
  • Lady Anne – P Everly – T. Slater -with vocals from Phil's wife Patricia. A nice love ballad.
  • Red, White And Blue – P Everly , T. Slater – a patriotic song about the US dealing with difficult times. Not a hint of irony here.
  • Our Song – P Everly , T. Slater – love ballad – so so
  • Poisonberry Pie– P Everly – rocky with a dumb lyric but not to bad …..catchy even
  • La Divorce– P Everly – another very Paul Simon sounding track, if Simon went country – and like Simon it's very catchy …. then again Simon & Garfunkel owe a lot to the Everly Brothers anyway.
  • Snowflake Bombardier  – P Everly , T. Slater – a great title. It's catchy and the lyrics are quite evocative (though I'm not sure what it's all bout despite the fact he wants to make it "perfectly clear").
            I was born in a city
            Right in the middle of town
            The only time concrete is pretty
            Is when frozen rain falls down
            I wanna be a
            Snowflake bombardier
            Snowflake bombardier
            Let me make it perfectly clear
            Snowflake bombardier
Well worth it …. I'm keeping it.
Chart Action


nothing no where
The Air That I Breathe

Sweet Grass Country

God Bless Older Ladies

It Pleases Me To Please You

Lady Anne
Poisonberry Pie

La Divorce

Snowflake Bombardier
and attched
listen to some of the above and tell me The Beatles didn't listen to the Everly Brothers
  • Phil's first solo album, 'Star Spangled Springer', was released in late 1973, and featured assistance from Duane Eddy (who produced it), James Burton and the then little known Warren Zevon. It included the original version of 'The Air That I Breathe', later a huge hit for The Hollies, but few took any notice. All the other tracks on the album, including the critically acclaimed 'Snowflake Bombardier' were written by Phil, either solo or with his longtime friend Terry Slater, an Englishman – the two had met back in 1963 when The Everly Brothers headlined a UK tour which also included Bo Diddley, Little Richard and (at the bottom of the bill) The Rolling Stones. The band which backed several of the acts on the tour was The Flintstones, a group cast in the mould of the better known Sounds Incorporated. Slater was guitarist with The Flintstones. The result was a long friendship between Phil and Slater – the latter moved to the US in the mid-1960s, and became bass player in the combo behind Don and Phil. This trio's other members were Sonny Curtis (an early associate of Buddy Holly and a hugely influential songwriter who wrote both 'Walk Right Back', an Everly Brothers classic from the early Sixties, and 'I Fought The Law', a major hit by The Clash!) and Crickets drummer Jerry Allison… Slater later returned to England, working in the record industry and also remaining in touch with Phil.….In 1974, Slater convinced Pye Records in England to sign Phil as a solo artist, and two albums resulted: 'There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby' (US title 'Phil's Diner') was released at the end of that year, and 'Mystic Line' 
  • Musicians on STAR SPANGLED SPRINGER include: Guitars: Richard Bennett, James E. Burton, Duane Eddy, Phil Everly, Donnie Lanier, Neil LeVang,Sammy McCue, Dean Parks, Warren Zevon; Steel Guitar: Buddy Emmons, Jay Dee Maness, Sammy McCue; Bass: Reinie Press, Lyle Ritz;Drums: John P. Guerin, Earl Palmer; Keyboard: Sammy McCue, Warren Zevon; Percussion: Victor Feldman; Sax/Flute/Horn: James R. Horn.Arrangements: Warren Zevon. Producer: Duane Eddy.
Other Comments
what Frank is listening to #65 – THE EVERLY BROTHERS – Rock 'n Soul – (Warner Brothers) – 1965
what Frank is listening to #83 – THE EVERLY BROTHERS – Beat & Soul – (Warner Brothers) – 1965
what Frank is listening to #185 – THE EVERLY BROTHERS – Sing – (Warner Brothers) – 1967
(originally posted: 17/07/2011)

About Franko

Hi, I'm just a person with a love of music, a lot of records and some spare time. My opinions are comments not reviews and are mine so don't be offended if I have slighted your favourite artist. I have listened to a lot of music and I don't pretend to be impartial. You can contact me on though I would rather you left a comment. I also sell music at Cheers
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