Retro Dee Reveals: My Teenage Relapse

Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.

Hi folks. Retro Dee here with a special edition of “Retro Dee Reveals”!

This post is sort of a mix of a personal story and a confession. But don’t worry, it’s relevant, I promise.

On my blog, I’ve decided to write reviews on the CDs that I’ve purchased of all my favorite music from the 50’s and early 60’s. I figured it would be a good addition to my site, because it can help other people decide which compilations to purchase. After all, there are a LOT of compilations out there from the Oldies era.

My first two posts were about an Elvis CD and a Various Artists compilation of top hits from the 50’s. Both reviews were a blast to write and I think my readers liked them. I figured I’d do one review per month.

For my next review, I decided to review a 2 CD set compilation of The Everly Brothers. Easy enough. Or so I thought…

See, there are 42 songs on that set. And when I went about writing the review, I realized that I only knew 18 of them.

I read the titles off to myself, in disbelief. Not only did I not know many of the songs, I had never even heard of them.

How? How could I have missed so many songs? I’m a big Everly Brothers fan! I love Don and Phil! I got the CD a year ago, so why hadn’t I listened to all the songs yet?

As I pondered this, my mind drifted off to the photo of the boys by a pool in their skivvies. Man, bathing trunks in those days were TIGHT!

And lo and behold– there was the answer to why I didn’t know 24 of their recordings.

As I rifled through my 50 or so photos of Don and Phil on my hard drive (not to mention the I don’t know how many pictures of them I pinned on Pinterest)  I realized that I had reverted into a teenage fan girl.

It started with one or two photos, then before I knew it, I had a gallery large enough to cover the walls in my bedroom all the way up to the vaulted ceilings (were I to ever print them out, that is). Collecting pictures of celebrity boys is what any red-blooded American girl would do at around age 14. Except I’m not 14.

And let’s not forget, Don and Phil were young strapping lads a long time ago. A long, long, long time ago.

I must admit that I began to second-guess my sanity. What is a 30+ year old woman doing drooling over boys who were in their prime nearly 60 years ago? Well, I’ll tell you what I was NOT doing: listening to their CD. I’d gotten so obsessed with their photos and good looks (Phil is my favorite, he’s the perfect blend of a bad boy and the boy next door) that I’d neglected the most important thing: the music itself.

I figure I might as well come clean about this. I was living a second teenage-hood by drooling over The Everly Brothers. I knew their parents’ names, I knew their birth dates and where they were born. I knew that they were in the military and I knew all the times they were married. I knew stats like their hair color and height and other details that we won’t get into here. For over a year, I sat there satisfied knowing only their biggest hits and re-listening to those same songs over and over again. I’d pass by their CD on my desk daily, pausing to admire their cute little faces on the cover. But never did it occur to me to listen to the set in its entirety. Never did it occur to me to hear more of their actual work.

So I put the pictures of Don and Phil away. I took their CD set out and listened to it for three days straight. I played all 24 songs over and over until I could recognize them by title and even sing a few lines. I forced myself to see the Everlys as musicians and not sex symbols. After all, not only are they are legends, they are also one of the most influential acts of all time.

When I finally had enough information to write my review, I got on with it. But not before taking another peek at more photos. Why let them go to waste?

Rock those tight pants, Phil!

The Everly Brothers, Don (at piano) and Phil (standing) circa early 1960’s. They were the influence for many groups in the 60’s and 70’s. 

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