Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Waking To A New World: The Everly Brothers: "Wake Up Little Susie"

Well no kidding your reputation is shot. Again? Again? Last thing you knew you were celebrating finally finishing your exams after weeks of late-night studying and worry, sweating your brains out as the phrase goes, gritting your teeth against the clock - and now here it is, four in the morning and yes it's with him again, you really like him but on the other hand you wish you could be stronger and get away. But when, how? He is a bit of a goof and you'll be grounded and maybe he will too...perhaps this is a good thing in a way?

All this is being thought as she yawns in the now-paling darkness under a very late moon like a slice of cantaloupe. She's not going to make herself look better because there is no reason - it's Saturday morning and she just hopes no one is at home waiting up, though when she gets there sure enough Mom is sleeping in her chair in the kitchen, Dad's in bed. How can they explain themselves to anyone? Sure the milkshake and extra fries at the drive-in were maybe a mistake, but they were hungry at the time. And usually she likes movies like those - because her favorite actor is in them - but yes this one was boring and she needed sleep...and so did he, the lunk. In a year she will get out of state to that college where she can take courses and be...well something more than a waitress, which is what she is now. He will inherit his dad's sporting goods store for sure in a decade or so; he's not going anywhere.

The Everly Brothers took their time waiting for a song after "Bye Bye Love" and this was their choice - composed in a car by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (hmm) and probably learned on the spot, their marmalade-sharp voices cajole and seem bemused at their plight more than anything else; but there is still the knowledge that there will be consequences for their hapless snooze beyond what should be allowed. This is the 50s; reputation and appearances count for all, small-town American morality still being the norm, even in bigger cities (it was banned in Boston - ah, God love you, Boston). We are back in Appalachia here, probably not far from Johnny Duncan - there's that same fearless grin in their voices - but unlike Duncan we will be hearing from the brothers again, as they teach (inadvertently) many young men how to harmonize in a new way, not to mention get *that* into a song with good cheer.

1 comment:

David Belbin said...

There aren't many partnership names more evocative than Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. They also wrote 'Bye Bye Love' and 'Love Hurts' amongst many others.

I hadn't heard this for ages and had forgotten how Led Zeppelin nicked the guitar riff for Bron-y-Aur Stomp off III, which some would say is their best album.