I've just come across a double album of the Everly brothers recordings and it ttook me straight back to the mid-fifties when I was fourteen. Nothing in my subsequent life has had the lasting impression on me that those early Everly tracks had; not Bach, Italian opera, jazz, blues, certainly not Elvis, the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, not even
Buddy Holly or Ray Charles. Yes, you could say I was an impressionable teenager, 'a confused kid, as Rod Steiger says in 'On the Waterfront', but looking at it now, approaching my 'eighties (Oh, God) I can see that, ten years after the war (what war? - ask your grandpa) there was a seismic shift in western culture. Forget Clark Gable and Katherine Hepburn posturing in a hall bigger than most people's house today, forget lyrics like Cole Porter's 'What a swell night this is for romance. You can hear dear Mother Nature murmuring low, "Let youself go!". Think James Dean and the mumbling Marlon Brando, think rock 'n roll, the heir to American blues. Think three chord changes, think kids making their own music, films focussed on the working class, not the middle class. Sinatra gives way to Bob Dylan...I just want to say that I was in at the beginning; Everlies, Buddy Holly Chuck Berry and the rest and I feel proud and privileged to be able to saw that.
James Collins. 5.5.20