Some surprises are sweeter than others. One such delightful surprise came from none other than Paul McCartney, who penned a hit song for The Everly Brothers. But why did McCartney decide to gift the iconic duo a tune? Let’s dive into the story behind this unexpected musical connection.
A Generous Gesture: Paul McCartney’s Gift to The Everly Brothers
Picture this, Paul McCartney, the creative force behind numerous hits, generously decides to share his musical magic with The Everly Brothers. The story unfolds in a rather unexpected way. The year was 1986, and The Everly Brothers were planning a comeback album with producer Dave Edmunds. Aware of McCartney’s admiration for the duo, Edmunds mustered the courage to approach the legendary artist.
However, Edmunds was a tad nervous about the request. As he knew, McCartney was constantly inundated with requests for collaborations. Still, he believed that McCartney might be willing to contribute for a specific reason. He was right. McCartney agreed to help and promised to reach out if he came up with something suitable. And true to his word, about six weeks later, the phone rang, and McCartney had a song in mind. That song was none other than “On the Wings of a Nightingale.”
The Everly Brothers’ Perspective on the Swinging ’60s
While McCartney’s gesture brought forth a musical collaboration, The Everly Brothers themselves had mixed feelings about the 1960s – the era when The Beatles reigned supreme. Reflecting on that time, Don Everly expressed his sentiments. He shared, “When Phil and I started out, everyone hated rock ‘n’ roll. Then along came the ’60s, and everyone suddenly got real young, and if you were over 30, they didn’t trust you.” Interestingly, the early 1960s saw The Everly Brothers enjoying some hits before experiencing a fade into the background.
Phil Everly delved even deeper into his thoughts about the 1960s, highlighting his disconnect with the prevailing philosophy and music trends. “The ’60s weren’t my cup of tea,” he said. He viewed the era’s music as a reflection of the times, rather than a determinant of them. The Everly Brothers found themselves going against the grain during this period, facing confusion about their direction and a gradual loss of interest.
The Chart Performance of “On the Wings of a Nightingale”
Despite The Everly Brothers’ reservations about the ’60s, their collaboration with McCartney yielded the song “On the Wings of a Nightingale.” This track became a modest hit in the United States, reaching No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and staying on the chart for 12 weeks. The song was featured on the album “EB 84,” which reached No. 38 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 17 weeks.
The story extended across the ocean as well. In the United Kingdom, “On the Wings of a Nightingale” peaked at No. 41 on the charts, spending 11 weeks in total. Although the song didn’t skyrocket to the top of the charts, it served as a memorable collaboration between two rock legends.