Forever No. 1: The Everly Brothers’ ‘Cathy’s Clown’ - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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Forever No. 1: The Everly Brothers’ ‘Cathy’s Clown’

According to Fred Bronson’s Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, the Everly Brothers had tried out eight songs already by the time they started on “Cathy’s Clown,” but didn’t feel any of them were right for their Warner debut. Then, at home in Nashville, Don was struck by inspiration, which he would later explain came from…

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Forever No. 1: The Everly Brothers’ ‘Cathy’s Clown’

According to Fred Bronson’s Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, the Everly Brothers had tried out eight songs already by the time they started on “Cathy’s Clown,” but didn’t feel any of them were right for their Warner debut. Then, at home in Nashville, Don was struck by inspiration, which he would later explain came from memories of a failed relationship with an old high-school girlfriend (named Catherine Castle Craven Coe). He called Phil to help him finish off the song that would eventually become “Cathy’s Clown,” their first single on Warner. (Though Phil, who died of pulmonary disease in 2014, was a credited co-writer on the song’s original release, Don filed a complaint against his late brother’s heirs in 2017 alleging that he had written the song entirely on his own; earlier this year, a Tennessee federal judge declared him the song’s sole author.)While “Cathy’s Clown” carries with it many of the hallmarks of the melodic, gentle rock hits that had made the Everly Brothers stars in the late ’50s, three elements set it apart in their catalog: the structure, the rhythm and — even for the Everlys — the harmonies. The structure was unusual in that it led with its chorus, a mighty, heart-walloping refrain that towers over the rest of the song. There are verses, technically speaking, sandwiched in between, but by comparison they’re low-key, hushed and feel somewhat rushed, as if they’re just filler in between chorus hits. (Essentially, that’s what they are: You’d be forgiven if you’d heard “Cathy’s Clown” 100 times and still could only sing along to the refrain.)And a large part of why the chorus is so much more memorable than the verses is because of their respective rhythms. The song kicks off with an almost martial-sounding clomp, punctuated by the mini-drum rolls (doubled through tape loop) of renowned session musician Buddy Harman — which briefly cuts out at the end of each four-measure phrase, making the song’s sectional transitions even more conspicuous. It’s a jarring choice of beat for a breakup torch song that most artists would play as a traditional ballad — Don claimed in his 2017 suit that he was inspired by the noise of “mules going down the path” from the 1958 Disney short Grand Canyon, which was set to composer Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite” — and it makes the two lovelorn singers sound as if they’re marching straight to the firing squad in their misery. For the verses, the rhythm section takes a lighter, jazzier touch, as if offering much-needed respite from the death parade of the song’s chorus.But the reason “Cathy’s Clown” works at all, let alone as a hit pop song, is because of those harmonies. The intertwining twang of Don and Phil had long been the duo’s calling card, but their first Warner release took it to an entirely new level. The “Cathy’s Clown” chorus begins with Don and Phil singing in unison for the first four unisyllabic words — “Don’t want your loooove…” — before Don’s vocal breaks free on “love,” yo-yo-ing up and down the scale as Phil’s voice soars and sustains above him, before landing in perfect harmony with his brother for the closing “…a-ny-more.” It’s an absolute show-stopper, and it repeats through the various phrases of the chorus (“Don’t want your kiiiiiiisses… that’s for sure…”) to arresting effect each time. Though the rhythm and lyrics (“I die each tiiime… I hear this sound”) are fatalistic, the vocals are so sublime that the song ends up far more devastating than draggy.The devastation proved irresistible for American audiences of the early ’60s, who made “Cathy’s Clown” the biggest hit of the Everly Brothers’ career. The song zipped to No. 1 in just its sixth week on the Hot 100 (dated May 23, 1960), replacing Elvis Presley’s “Stuck on You,” and stayed there for five weeks total — ending up as the No. 3 single on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 for 1960 — before giving way to Connie Francis’ “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool.” The Everlys thrived on Warner for the following year, landing four additional top 10 hits (“When Will I Be Loved,” “So Sad [To Watch Good Love Go Bad],” “Ebony Eyes” and “Walk Right Back”), before the duo enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in late 1961, stalling their career. They had some success upon returning in 1962, including the No. 9 hit “That’s Old Fashioned (That’s The Way Love Should Be),” but were further slowed by publishing disputes and substance abuse — as well as the incoming British Invasion, which left their sound quickly outmoded — and never threatened the Hot 100’s apex again.The second wind that the Everlys provided Warner turned out to be all that it needed. Soon after the chart takeover of “Cathy’s Clown,” the label hit pay dirt with one of their comedy acts: Bob Newhart, whose The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart live album became one of the surprise runaway successes of 1960, topping the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks and even winning the 1961 Grammy for album of the year. By 1963, Warner had added comedy phenom Allan Sherman and hitmaking folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary to their roster, and the label even had the juice to purchase music icon Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records on its downslope — resuscitating both label and artist in the process. Thus began the expansion of Warner from just a record label to the conglomerate currently known as Warner Music Group, one of the Big Three record companies currently serving as pillars for the entire music industry.The legacy of “Cathy’s Clown” goes far beyond Warner, however. The song has been covered by a variety of artists — most notably, country superstar Reba McEntire, who scored a No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 1989 with her version of the song. (Just the next year, British singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding paid tribute to the song with his “Cathy’s New Clown.”) In 2013, the Everlys’ original was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, for its enduring impact on popular music. That impact has been cited by subsequent hitmaking duos like Simon & Garfunkel, but also by the very band who helped end the Everly Brothers’ stateside pop supremacy: The Beatles, who once toyed with calling themselves “The Foreverly Brothers,” and who patterned the harmonies in U.S. debut single “Please Please Me” after those of “Cathy’s Clown.”

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Young Thug Joined by Travis Barker & Nate Ruess During ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut: Watch

Actor Rami Malek hosted the Oct. 16 episode of SNL, where Thug made his proper debut as a musical guest debut after joining Megan Thee Stallion onstage to perform their “Don’t Stop” collab last year.For his second song, Young Thug slowed things down with a moving performance of “Love You More,” from his just-released second album,…

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Young Thug Joined by Travis Barker & Nate Ruess During ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut: Watch

Actor Rami Malek hosted the Oct. 16 episode of SNL, where Thug made his proper debut as a musical guest debut after joining Megan Thee Stallion onstage to perform their “Don’t Stop” collab last year.For his second song, Young Thug slowed things down with a moving performance of “Love You More,” from his just-released second album, Punk. In addition to Barker, the rapper was also joined by Fun. singer Nate Ruess and fellow hip-hop artist Gunna. Keeping the pink color theme intact, Thugger donned a puffy pink fur coat with a lighter shade of pants to match.Young Thug and his label YSL Records’ Billboard 200-topping collaborative album Slime Language 2 came out in April. But his latest studio release, Punk, dropped on Friday through YSL Records/300 Entertainment. The new set features guest appearances by Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Travis Scott, Future, Doja Cat and J Cole, along with late rappers Juice WRLD and Mac Miller.See Young Thug’s SNL performances below, and watch the full episode on Hulu here. The streaming service is currently offering a 30-day free trial, which you can sign up for here.

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Lil’ Kim Says Nick Cannon Is Now Her Manager

When asked about what’s next for her, Cannon’s name entered the conversation — since he’s apparently helping her make those decisions.”I just shot a movie with Nick Cannon,” she said. “Nick Cannon, people don’t even know, like he’s one of my best friends. We’ve been best friends for years … And we just shot a…

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Lil’ Kim Says Nick Cannon Is Now Her Manager

When asked about what’s next for her, Cannon’s name entered the conversation — since he’s apparently helping her make those decisions.”I just shot a movie with Nick Cannon,” she said. “Nick Cannon, people don’t even know, like he’s one of my best friends. We’ve been best friends for years … And we just shot a movie called Miracle Across 125th Street. I really did that movie for Nick, but I love doing movies.””It’s part of my next level,” she added. “Nick is convincing me. You know he’s my manager?””I did not know that,” the host replied. “Your manager has like 20 kids.””Leave my manager alone,” Lil’ Kim joked.(For the record, Cannon, who also keeps busy as a TV and radio host, is the father of seven children, four of whom were born in the last year. Earlier this month, he announced his plans to practice celibacy until 2022.)Lil’ Kim’s most recent album, 9, was released in 2019. Three of her albums — 2000’s The Notorious KIM, 2003’s La Bella Mafia and 2005’s The Naked Truth — reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.She has an upcoming memoir titled The Queen Bee that’s slated for a Nov. 2 release.Watch her discuss working with Nick Cannon in her hike-and-interview video below.

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Motley Crue’s Vince Neil Injured After Falling Off Stage at Tennessee Festival

“The truth is Vince fell and broke ribs when he fell. He can’t breathe and he’s gonna get dealt with medically,” Strum told the crowd at Monsters on the Mountain. “He was so excited to be here. He lives in Tennessee. But he was willing to stick it out and tough it out when the people…

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Motley Crue’s Vince Neil Injured After Falling Off Stage at Tennessee Festival

“The truth is Vince fell and broke ribs when he fell. He can’t breathe and he’s gonna get dealt with medically,” Strum told the crowd at Monsters on the Mountain. “He was so excited to be here. He lives in Tennessee. But he was willing to stick it out and tough it out when the people back here were telling him ‘Don’t do it.’ Let’s have one good round of applause, please, for this guy.”Neil’s band continued performing without the the vocalist, with guitarist Jeff Blando taking over singing duties, Blabbermouth reports.Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard are scheduled to embark on a long-delayed joint North American stadium tour in June 2022. The mega-trek, which will also feature Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, was originally slated to hit the road in 2020 before getting postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.Watch Neil’s fall and Strum’s announcement in the fan-captured videos below.

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