A Tribute to the Everly Brothers, June 28
If you were alive and young in the 1950s and early 1960s, Elvis may have been king of rock and roll, but the Everly Brothers—Don and Phil—and their music and songs went straight to the top of the charts right along with him.
The duo had hits like “Wake Up Little Suzy,” “Cathy’s Clown,” “All I Have To Is Dream,” “Bye Bye, Love,” “Bird Dog” and a host of others which every teenager worth his name memorized. They had a look—part country, part rock and roll and part pop, two young guys from the south, a little pre-Conway Twitty, pompadoured hair, guitars, the whole package.
And they’re back, in a fashion, on June 28 in Georgetown.
Newmyer Tribute Productions will present a Tribute to the Everly Brothers at Gypsy Sally’s on K Street in Georgetown Saturday with doors opening at 5 p.m. It’s a tribute, featuring some of the area’s top award-winning groups and musicians, including David and Ginger Kitchen, Jelly Roll Mortals, Dede Wyland and Bill Williams, Ruthie Logsdon, Greg Hardin and Bill Starks (of Ruthie and the Wranglers), Buck Stone and Michelle Murray, Willie Barry, the Hummingbirds, Louie Newmyer, Andy Rutherford, Jimi Lethbridge, Amy Sullivan, Bill Baker, Derek Brock and the Lofgren Brothers (Tom, Mike and Mark).
Ron Newmyer, the producer from BandHouse Gigs, is known for producing an array of tribute concerts over the years at a variety of venues, including Strathmore, the Hamilton, the Fillmore and the Barns at Wolf Trap, including tributes to the music of Woodstock, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel and the English Invasion.
“The Everly Brothers had an enormous influence on other groups that followed,” Newmyer said. “The Beatles, for one, really were impressed by their harmonies, and that’s what the Everly Brothers were about. They weren’t exactly rockers. They were part rock, part country and pop. They had enormous success with their songs, and that’s saying something since they recorded when Elvis was king."
“It’s especially fitting now that we had a tribute to them, since Phil Everly died in January,” Newmyer said. “People are going to get a chance to hear all the popular songs like 'Suzy' and 'Dream,' but they’re also going to hear songs that they’ve probably never heard before.”
One of the top performers in the tribute concert will be Ruthie Logsdon along with her fellow players from Ruthie and the Wranglers, Greg Hardin and Bill Starks. If you haven’t heard or seen Logsdon at some point during the last 25 years, you don’t’ get out much. “We’ve played everywhere we can play,” she said. “Festivals, county fairs, clubs, and all kinds of venues in the area.” It’s paid off, too—Ruth and her fellow musicians—who now write most of their own songs, have won dozens of Wammies—from the Washington Area Music Association, and are considered by many to be one of the top examples of fast-paced, rock-a-billy, twangy, infectious music makers.
“We don’t do too many slow sings,” Logdon said. “We’re naturally upbeat.”
“I used to be the girl that hung out with musicians, and I’d say, yeah, I’d like to sing, sure, hey, guys, I can sing, kind of thing, I was kind of shy,” she said. But she’s gone far beyond that. Listen to the Wranglers, her natural way with both a twangy, slow ballad, or upbeat, authentic countrified hillbilly music, you can see why the group makes for a popular show.
“When we play, all of us, there’s just such joy and energy in doing it,” she said. “It never gets old. We’re always writing. We’re always playing. It takes a lot of work. You’re always touring. You’re going from radio station to radio station.”
While Logdon is also a graphic artist, most of her friends are musicians. “That’s the world I live in,” she said.
“The thing about the Everly Brothers is that it’s the harmonies," she said. "They’re just unforgettable. They’re so beautiful.” For the tribute Saturday, Lodson said, “We’re going to do some songs people may not be familiar with, duets and the like. We’ll be doing 'Gone, Gone Gone,' 'Long Time Gone' and 'Over So Many Years.' "
Ruthie and the Wranglers celebrated 25 years of Wrangler Twang a week before at Gypsy Sally’s.