icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Brotherly love

I was thinking about the Dixon Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys, which led me to think about the many sibling acts throughout popular music, particularly (I think) in country music. A quick look on my iTunes turns up the Louvin, Stanley, Neville, Mills (yuk), Delmore, Isley (Shout!), Allman, and Everly brothers (et al!), plus the Peasall and Secret Sisters (who in fact are sisters). There’s also the Carter sisters, the Carter brothers & the Carter family; Brian, Dennis & Carl Wilson: the Beach Boys; and the McGarrigles (+ various Wainwrights), who might be the best of them all. Man, I just love families making music together. Something about those close harmonies.

The Myers Sisters have a funny little song called “Little Red Rooster,” on a compilation called The Art of Field Recording. I’d had the idea that that was all there was to them, but I just found out they were 3 or 4 elderly sisters from North Carolina/Georgia who put out at least one album: Music from Apple Pie Ridge (which I just bought). Their harmonies are so close that they sometimes sound out of tune.

I don’t have their records but: Brian Wilson’s daughters Carnie & Wendy of Wilson Phillips, the WWII-era Andrews sisters and the ones who were on Lawrence Welk—the Lennons. The Carpenters, Osmonds, Jackson 5. And OK, the Von Trapps.

Lots of bands call themselves “brothers” but are they? Not the Blues, Flying Burrito, Howlin’, Righteous, or Doobie Brothers. Twisted Sister? (I met Dee Snyder at the Sturgis Motorcycle rally a few years ago; without the hair, I had no idea who it was.)

I read that when the Bolick brothers came to a recording studio for an audition they heard the Dixon brothers & were so freaked by their intensity that they ran away. However, they went on to do OK as the Blue Sky Boys (& were a big influence on the Everly Brothers, who in turn were a big part of early pop music), so who knows.

Be the first to comment