By Harriet Ernstons-Evans
The unique story of a pair of brothers who rose from humble beginnings to become international stars will be brought to the stage for the first time.
Fans of the Everly Brothers are in for a treat as their hits Bye Bye Love, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Cathy’s Clown and many more are featured in the new Walk Right Back show – alongside the incredible story of the pair themselves.
And Shropshire audiences don’t have long to wait, as the show is coming to Oakengates Theatre on Wednesday, May 16.
To achieve the sibling harmony the Everlys were noted for, the lead roles are played by brothers Luke and Aaron Wilson who discovered their love for the singers when their dad asked them to perform a song for his birthday.
And to give the show a twist, it is told not through the eyes of brothers Don and Phil but from the perspective of the songwriting husband and wife team who wrote many of their early records, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.
Speaking just ahead of the national tour starting, Trevor Payne – director and creative consultant who many will know from hit-show That’ll Be The Day – said: “The Everly Brothers were so popular in this country and their story has never been told. It’s a really interesting story about two brothers whose father was a musician, they sang on the radio at 5am when the farmers were getting up to milk their cows.
“They were persuaded to go to Nashville and Bye Bye Love was the first song they recorded, it was turned down by 37 artists including Elvis Presley but they sold two million records and it launched their career.
“They became American stars and within a year they were world stars.
“I think the story is an interesting one no matter who you are, we found it fascinating when we read their biographies. I think the show is entertaining even if you’re not familiar with the music. Somebody described it to me as the story of rock ‘n’ roll itself; it’s an interesting story and the back catalogue is incredible.”
But the story wasn’t all positive – by the mid 70s a bitter feud saw the brothers stop talking for ten years. A reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London relaunched their careers, which continued until younger brother Phil died four years ago.
The pair hold the record for the most Top 100 singles by any duo, inspiring Simon and Garfunkel as well as Lennon and McCartney.
And the changes in the music industry since mean no recent duo has come close to emulating their success.
Trevor said: “In the 50s and 60s, music was a unifying thing in this country. We all watched Top Of The Pops, it was like a religion. That doesn’t happen anymore, there are such diverse demands on our leisure time now.
“Cathy’s Clown sold 2.5million records, people just don’t do that anymore.
“The Everlys had 29 hits which secured their place in pop history. They are revered and respected as the first and best harmony duo so I have no reservations in saying the show is going to be a success.”
Visit the Oakengates Theatre website or call the box office on 01952 382382 to book tickets costing £22 for the 7.30pm performance.