2021 Song Draft- Round 2 Pick 2- Hinoeuma selects: ‘Cathy’s Clown’- Everly Brothers.

Everly Brothers Stereogum Image
Image Credit: Stereogum

I grew up around lots of music. My dad had his tastes, my mom had hers and I got some exposure to my grandparents music, too. There was plenty of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Gene Pitney, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, instrumental music (think Hugo Montenegro or Paul Mauriat), funny stuff like Ben Colder/Sheb Wooley, Ray Stevens or David Seville (my dad’s stuff), The Four Seasons, Motown, soul music, beach music (my mom’s stuff), big band music (my paternal grandparents) and, bluegrass, country and Latin/jazz (maternal grandparents). One song, in particular, that reminds me of my dad the most is Cathy’s Clown. When I was a kid, my dad liked to just get in the car, drive around and listen to the radio. It was, literally, No Particular Place To Go. When I became an adult, we’d still get in the car and cruise. He and I would sing Cathy’s Clown, together, with me taking Phil’s harmony. I still own my dad’s original 45. ~Vic

Written by Don, it was recorded in March and released in April 1960. It was recorded live, in a single take, with both brothers sharing a microphone. Floyd Cramer was on piano, Floyd Chance on bass and Buddy Harman on drums. An odd song, it has a chorus and bridges but, no verses. It was their first single for Warner Bros. It spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, one week on the Billboard’s R&B chart and seven weeks at #1 on UK’s Singles chart. It was their biggest selling single and their last #1 after Wake Up Little Susie and All I Have to Do Is Dream.

The song is ranked at #150 Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and it was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2013. Covers have been done by Reba McEntire and Neil Sedaka (1983) with McEntire’s version reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and Canada’s RPM Country Tracks chart in 1989. There is even a Jan and Dean version on Filet Of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings (2017).

“We owe those guys everything. They started it all.” ~Bob Dylan

Additional Reading & References:
The Everly Brothers: That Sibling Sound (BBC News/2014)
Cathy’s Clown ~ The Everly Brothers (Library of Congress/PDF)
Recording Cathy’s Clown (Steve Hoffman Music Forum)


Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show 1960


  1. Love the Everly’s- I would be hard pressed to name a favorite of theirs so many but Cathy’s CLown has to be in the running- a most excellent selection.

  2. The Everly Brothers did so much for music. Without them the Hollies, Beatles, and certainly Simon and Garfunkel would not be the same.
    It’s not much by them I don’t like. This song is one of their best.

  3. Yes I know those lyrics well. Glad you picked a song that you love and has a personal connection for you. Nobody does better harmony than those guys. Do you ever sing karaoke? Good write-up and thanks for all of the links for further exploration.

    p.s. Even though I was only a toddler at the time of the top 10 chart they show in the video I remember 8 of the 10 on the radio at the time!

    • I have sung karaoke, before. And, a very long time ago, I did an actual live recording in a booth in Myrtle Beach, SC. That was back in the day before karaoke recordings. In the case of this place, it was on the Boardwalk and they had the ability to suppress the original singer of a song via the analog tracks. You could sing using the actual music. I was big into Melissa Manchester at the time and chose Midnight Blue. I got a cassette of me singing. When I came out of the booth, the folks running the place looked at me funny. One guy just spit out “DAMN! You CAN sing!” He appeared bewildered. It startled me a bit. πŸ˜„ I didn’t quite grasp his surprise. All I could think was…”Well…yeah. Why else would I be here…” I just smiled and took my trophy cassette.

      I am a link monster. πŸ‘ΉπŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ˜Ž

      I didn’t recognize much on there. I wasn’t even alive, yet.

    • Well, I sang in school…chorus and in a trio in middle school. I also sang in my high school pageant. I have a touch of stage fright and…I had indifferent parents. I never developed the courage to further any kind of legit pursuit.

    • Ah, thanks for explaining. I feel that way about the keyboard. I got a small one as a kid and was obsessed with it, learning every song in the booklet that came with it. You would have thought my parents would have noticed…

    • Heh. Yeah. I hear ya’. I got private ballet/tap lessons πŸ™„, private tennis lessons πŸ™„, private art lessons (that, I actually enjoyed) and one private piano lesson πŸ™„ (creepy house, creepy cat & mean teacher) πŸ˜–. Can you say “mom living vicariously thru daughter?” Anything I pursued on my own? Mostly ignored unless I needed a ride somewhere.

    • In my parents case, they were more focused on themselves and each other. Instead of seeing their daughter in a pageant, seeing their daughter march, seeing their daughter GRADUATE, they preferred battling each other. There was violence. But…😁…I had grandmothers that saw everything. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•πŸ’ž

  4. Good piece. I cant hear the Beatles without thinking of the Brothers. CB does his own single thing and he did a take on ‘Till I Kissed You’ when he first started. It could easily pop up here but I think Ill stick with your choice.
    Fortunate to see them a couple times. Two top notch shows with a killer band.

  5. These two are so important to the Rock and Roll genre! As many have stated already, so many took their harmonies and made them their own. I’m not sure I could pick one of their songs as a favorite, because they are all fantastic. Round 2 is off to a great start!

  6. Pingback: Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Two-Pick Two-Cathy’s Clown-Everly Brothers (1960) « Cosmic Observation·

  7. It’s great to see the Everly Brothers in the draft, and acknowledged for their influence on generations of artists. This song makes it easy to sing along to the chorus, and feel for the subject. Great lyrics, melody and vocals. That’s a special memory, singing in the car with your dad.

  8. Great choice! They have such amazing vocal harmonies – could listen to that all day. It’s funny how the song has no verses – just the chorus and bridge. Although I feel like the bridge kind of functions like verses. Thanks for posting !

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