Throwback Thursday is a weekly theme by social media users to post past photos of themselves. In that spirit I’m posting a 1960 picture of the Everly Brothers. Phil is on the left and his brother Don is on the right. I hadn’t thought about them in a long time, until I recently learned that Phil passed away.
I wasn’t even a teen-ager when they burst onto the music scene in 1957. But I remember them. And their songs. “All I have to do is dream” spoke to many of us who had a crush on someone but were too shy to tell them. I still like the music of that day. As Cal Thomas said, “the lyrics were understandable and the sentiments memorable.”
I didn’t realize how many musicians were influenced by the Everly Brothers. The Beach boys. Bob Dylan. Neil Young. Crosby, Stills & Nash. And the Rolling Stones. Even the Beatles said the Everlys were a major influence on their music. Paul McCarthy called Phil one of his “great heroes.”
As I think back, three thoughts come to my mind.
(1) The music of the Everly brothers, as well as others of that era, spoke of a moral code that has long since vanished in the field of entertainment and music. “Wake Up Little Susie” tells the story of a couple who fell asleep watching a movie. He wakes up at 4:00 clock and song says….
The movie wasn’t so hot, it didn’t have much of a plot
We fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot
Wake up little Susie
Whatta we gonna tell your mama
Whatta we gonna tell your pa
Whatta we gonna tell our friends when they say “ooh-la-la”
Much of the music and morals by today’s musicians don’t seem to care about reputation.
(2) The Everly’s music contained lyrics that you’re not ashamed to share with your grandchildren. While some songs of that day were sexually suggestive, it was so subtle that most of us didn’t know it! The lyrics were not crude, coarse or vulgar. Our day of gangsta rap and sexually explicit lyrics makes the Everly’s era a far distant memory.
(3) I’m also reminded that our culture, even the entertainment industry, believed that people (a man and a woman) got married! Instead of living together. In the Everly’s song, “That’s Old Fashioned, Don and Phil crooned:
We hold hands in the movie show, so they say that we’re old fashioned
Or we stroll beneath the silvery moon
And we carve our initials in the old oak tree
That’s old fashioned, that’s the way love should be
It’s a modern changing world, everything is moving fast
But when it comes to love I like what they did in the past
I’m the kind who loves only one, so the boys say I’m old fashioned
Let them laugh, honey I don’t mind
I’ve made plans for a wedding day for you and me
That’s old fashioned, that’s the way love should be.
Unfortunately, Phil didn’t live what he sang about. He was married three times. And struggled with drug abuse.
But America has changed. The “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” days are gone. The basic moral standard that most people agreed upon has disappeared. Our leaders, entertainers, and the media “call evil good, and good evil.” They “put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” And have “put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:20)
Besides posting old pictures, maybe Throwback Thursday would be a good time to return to the forgotten values of a bygone day. Recommit to the moral code, not of the 1950’s, but of God’s Word. And reconsider some of our entertainment choices.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman