Sunday, January 5, 2014

Civil War Sunday- Phil Everly and the Unwritten Song

Like many, I am mourning the death of Phil Everly, one half of the singing Everly Brothers.  Their songs formed some of my childhood, and my mother owned "Wake Up Little Suzie" on a 78 rpm record.

I wanted so much to blog about the Everly Brothers and their music, but today was Civil War Sunday, and I needed to write about the Civil War - right?

Turns out I can do both.

Phil Everly owned an antebellum house outside of Nashville, Tennessee, once called the Galloway House.  Built in 1846, it needed renovation when Phil Everly bought it 14 years ago.  According to interviews Everly gave, it took 10 years for him to renovate the house.

The former Galloway House is part of a tour of Nathan Bedford Forrest sites near Nashville.

Forrest is a controversial figure in Civil War and post-Civil War history. I will leave it to my readers to find out more about the history and deeds of this man, good or ill.  One thing sources agree on, though, is that Forrest had a hot temper.

According to Everly, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest got into an argument with one Lt. Andrew Gould in June of 1863, and ended up fatally wounding the 23 year old Gould (accounts say, in self-defense).  Sorry for his actions, Forrest paid for medical care for Gould but Gould died after an almost two week fight for life. Wounded himself, Forrest recuperated in a second floor room in the  Galloway House.

In a Wall Street Journal article, Everly said "I suppose there is a song in that story someplace."

Let us remember Phil Everly by listening to some of their music.

Cathy's Clown. 

Bird Dog.

All I Have to Do is Dream

Bye Bye Love

Crying in the Rain
And, the song on my Mom's 78rpm record, Wake Up Little Suzie.  It's so hard to believe that this song was banned in several cities in the United States.

You can learn about the Civil War in ways you never expected.


  1. Not my era but reminds me of my Father. He was a big fan along with Buddy Holly. Some wonderful memories there.

  2. I come to you via the UBC! I also grew up with my mom listening to Wake Up Little Suzie and I had no idea that it was banned in several cities. Makes you think about how different the music industry is now compared to back then, think the critics and censors would pop a gasket if they were to hear the music that is made today.

  3. I had no idea that song was banned in several cities! But I never listened closely to the lyrics until now. I guess I can see why, although it seems laughable in this day and age!

  4. I'm not very familiar with the music of the 1960's - even my parents were only born in the mid/ late '60's!
    I have however, heard of the song 'Wake up little Susie" - except my Dad changed the lyrics to "wake up little Sophie" when I was younger!

  5. I had no idea Wake Up Little Susie was banned. If you listen to the lyrics it's pretty innocent. Not like Little Richard's or Chuck Berry's stuff. Sad about Phil Everly.

  6. Very interesting tie between Phil & NBF. I agree the latter was a very controversial figure. I will have to google the lyrics to Wake Up Little Susie and try to figure out the ban issue....


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.