HomeEntertainmentPaul McCartney Says He Prefers the Everly Brothers to the Beatles

Paul McCartney Says He Prefers the Everly Brothers to the Beatles

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )

The interesting thing about music is that there is always a deeper layer to explore. For instance, someone influenced your favorite musician. If you look – or listen- hard enough, you’ll hear those influences. Then, you can down another layer to reveal who influenced the influential act. It just keeps going until we’re back to early humans beating hollow logs with sticks. In his recent book, Paul McCartney peeled back a layer to show readers the act that influenced the Beatles.

The Fab Four are, without a doubt, one of the biggest bands in the world. To many, they’re three of the greatest musicians to ever take the stage and Ringo Starr. You could make a strong argument for that. After all, they had several hits, toured the world to screaming fans, and changed the face of rock n roll. However, you won’t hear Paul McCartney say they were the greatest band of all time.

Remember, it was John Lennon who made the “bigger than Jesus” remark during the height of Beatlemania. It seems that Paul McCartney stayed relatively humble about their success. In his book, The Lyrics, McCartney heaped praise on the Everly Brothers.

According to Daily Mail, Paul McCartney said that the Everly Brothers were a huge influence on both him and Lennon. “To this day, I just think they’re the greatest. And they were different,” he said in his book. McCartney went on to say that everyone had heard girl groups, full bands, and barbershop quartets. However, the Everly Brothers were two hugely-successful and “good-looking” guys. Paul wrote, “We idolized them. We wanted to be them.”

Paul McCartney is Right to Praise the Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers hit their stride just in time to influence Paul McCartney and John Lennon. They were at the top of their game between the 1950s and 60s. During that time, they charted more Billboard Hot 100 singles than any other duo. The record-setters notched dozens of entries on the chart. That would be impressive for a pop duo. However, the Everly Brothers boasted a country-rock sound with tight harmonies. The country duo made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

If you go back and listen to some of The Beatles’ catalog, you can hear the country influence from the Everly Brothers. For example, check out the song “Baby’s In Black,” it’s a country waltz that heavily references the Everly sound.

However, the Fab Four had more country influences than that. They also covered several Carl Perkins tunes. “Matchbox,” “Honey Don’t,” and “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby” are all Perkins cuts. Then, there’s their cover of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally,” in which the British band takes on the classic Bakersfield sound.