© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Their seamless harmonies inspired a generation of musicians, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but off stage the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, had a relationship that was anything but harmonious. Their complex relationship is examined in ‘The Elderly Brothers’ a Tantramar Theatre musical production starring Drew Moore (left) as Don Everly, Barb Bowes as Phil Everly’s wife Patti, and Rocky Ripley as Phil Everly. The play starts April 1 at the Amherst Golf Club.
AMHERST – When they hit the stage in the late 50s, the Everly Brothers sound was like nothing ever heard before, influencing the sound of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel and countless others.
“Without the Everly Brothers the Beatles wouldn’t have been the Beatles as we know them,” said Rocky Ripley, who plays Phil Everly in staging of ‘The Elderly Brothers’ featuring Ripley as Phil Everly, Barb Bowes as Phil’s wife Patti, and Drew Moore as Don Everly.
“There would still be the Beatles but the harmonies might not have been the same,” added Ripley.
The production looks back at the life of the Everly Brothers, the good, the bad and the ugly, and features 25 Everly Brothers songs.
“It’s a lot of music but it’s also the telling of the story about the trial and tribulations of the Everly Brothers, of how they split up and came together,” said Ripley.
Those trials and tribulations included bouts with both drugs and alcohols.
“They had played together since they were born and I think they were tired of each other,” said Ripley.
The younger brother, Phil, died Jan. 3, 2014, at the age of 74. Don is currently 77 year’s old.
“Don was the lead singer and the better guitar player but he was kind of jealous of Phil because everybody loved Phil’s voice,” said Ripley.
Besides their many classics such as Bye Bye Love and Wake Up Little Susie, the musical also features less well-known songs from their later catalogue.
“There’s songs that stand out for me that I wasn’t really familiar with,” said Ripley. “Later songs like Wing of a Nightingale, a song written by Paul McCartney and recorded by them after they reunited, is probably a favourite of mine.”
Bob Ackles, who plays bass guitar in the production, has his own favourite.
“Why Worry, written by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is a favourite of mine,” said Ackles. “But I’ve heard then since I was a kid and always loved them.”
The play runs April 4 to 6, and April 10 to 12 at the Amherst Golf Club.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and show time is 8 p.m.
For more information call the Tantramar Theatre box office at 667-7002.