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Cathy's Clown by The Everly Brothers

Album: Best Of The Everly BrothersReleased: 1960Charted:
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  • This is about a guy who Cathy dumped. He tries to be strong, but everyone knows him as "Cathy's Clown" because she treated him so bad.
  • This was the first single ever released on the Warner Brothers label in the United Kingdom. The Everly Brothers signed with them after three successful years with Cadence Records. The deal was reputed to be the first million-dollar contract in music history.
  • This was the first single to simultaneously top the UK and US charts.
  • Reba McEntire had a Country #1 hit 1989 with her version, in which she changed the lyrics from first person to third person. ("She don't want your lovin' anymore. She don't want your kisses, that's for sure. Why do you let them put you down. And let 'em call you Cathy's Clown?")
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Comments: 20

On July 9th 1960, the Everly Brothers performed "Cathy's Clown" on the ABC-TV program 'Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show'...
At the time the song was at position #5 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
(See next post below for additional chart info).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On June 16th 1965, the Everly Brothers performed "Cathy's Clown" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
Five years earlier on April 18th, 1960 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #94; and on May 23rd it peaked at #1 (for 5 weeks) and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 9 of those 17 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
And on June 7th it also reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
The record's B-side, "Always It's You", also made the Top 100, it stayed on the chart for 6 weeks, peaking at #56...
Elvis' "Stuck On You" had been #1 for 4 weeks on the Top 100 before the Everly's reached #1, and Elvis then spent the next 3 weeks at #2...
As already stated this was their first release on the Warner Bros. Records label; the brothers first fifteen charted records on the Top 100 were on the Cadence Records label and that included three #1s; "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have To Do Is Dream", and "Bird Dog."
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Being a long-time fan of The Everlys, I was saddened to hear of Phil's death 2 days ago (Jan. 3, 2014). They had quite an impressive career. In the past few days, many TV shows have shown tributes to Phil & the duo's significance to the music world. A big thank you to Barry of Sauquoit, NY for the details of The Everly's hits. R.I.P. Phil Everly.Rotunda - Tulsa, Ok
R.I.P.
Phil Everly, who passed away January 3rd, 2014 in Burbank, CA at the age of 74.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
@Kevin from Syracuse:

I was listening to this song recently and could hear how it influenced several Beatles songs. So I think you're absolutely correct about that.
Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Where was this tune recorded?NAshville? And was Bob Porter the engineer?Steve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
According to Roger White's excellent biography, Walk Right Back, "Cathy's Clown" was written about a high school girlfriend of Don's, and the melody, particularly the drumbeat, was inspired by "The Grand Canyon Suite". Both Don and Phil worked on it (the bulk of the writing was Don's), but, because Phil had been given credit on some earlier songs he hadn't helped write, he signed away his rights for "Cathy's Clown" to Don.Jean - Owensboro, Ky
John Lennon said that "Please Please Me" was inspired by the Everly Brother's tight harmonies in "Cathy's Clown."Kevin - Syracuse, Ut
From the viewpoint cognitive psychology, CC may be the sickest song ever written, even by the standards of its time. "I've gotta stand tall. You know a man can't crawl. But when he knows you're telling lies... And he hears 'em passin' by, He's not a man at all." The radio seemed to be programing us all to be love addicts =and= love avoidants in 1960. Gotta have her one minute; gotta hate her the next. TG Dylan, the Beatles and the Stones came along to wake (some of) us up to all the cultural brainwashing.Not Moses - Hollywood, Ca
According to Bilboard's Year-End Top 100 Songs of 1960 chart, Cathy's Clown was the Number One Record for the Year 1960. Copy & paste: http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1960.htmBarry - Sauquoit, Ny
Or is it the singer who sees a Cathy's new boyfriend, likely under the illusion he's in something great, but unaware of his fate and unwilling to take the advice so many of us should in such times.Mike - Calgary, Ab
The vocal echo on the record is very important
in creating a hypnotic effect along with the
top harmony note which hangs, while the second voice underneath it cascades off of it..
(dont want yer "lov uh uh a uh uvvve...") The other posters comment about the strange drumbeat- this part completely hypnotic as well!
wonderful stuff
Steve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
I heard this song yesterday (among other times) in a diner and I had to ask my mom who is 57 wha/who this song is/by. I listened to it many times since yesterday. It's got a sock hop beat and I wasn't there for all that... I am only 30. Great song.Keith Nicholas - Union, Nj
I heard this song yesterday (among other times) in a diner and I had to ask my mom who is 57 wha/who this song is/by. I listened to it many times since yesterday. It's got a sock hop beat and I wasn't there for all that... I am only 30. Great song.Keith Nicholas - Union, Nj
I know and talk often with the real Cathy from Muehlenburg Co.It is a great story she tells about this song and why it was written for her.Brian - Paducah, Ky
I liked this song and it reminds me of a child singing the song in a junkyard with vintage cars from The 1940s to the mid-1950s & the chorus part sounds like a Japanese Funeral March and it's a kind of song that can be played in those "end of the world" movies. But it reminds me of a scene in my local community where a street is littered with vintage cars from the 1950s and in the intersection is a 1952 Henney-Packard Funeral Car & there is this black girl dubbed as "Mary Jo Cleveland" shown with curled bangs, braids with red bows, and dressed with black shoes and white socks & a one piece swimsuit & a black leather motorcycle jacket. And the song continues until the nuclear war survivor meets Ms. Cleveland in the intersection & she is supposed to be The Grim Reaper. The song, Cathy's Clown is one of The Everly Bros. best songs and both claim credit for the song. The first one from The WB Record Label.
Marcus Brainard, Columbus, Ohio
Marcus - Columbus, Oh
Eddie is wrong. Reba McEntire's version as recorded in 1989.Matthew - Dalton, Pa
A great hit from the Everly Brothers, I always liked the way they sing, a perfect harmony between their voices, a very beautiful songTeresa - Mechelen, Belgium
Don was listening to some classical music at home and heard "The Grand Canyon Suite" which has the distinctive drum part and two chord progression which Don liked and stole for "Cathy's Clown". Once that was established, Don said the words and rest of the song just flowed out of him. He finished it in about 15 minutes and called up Phil to come over and listen. "I just wrote our next million seller," he told his brother...and he was right.Terry - Willmar, Mn
Country singer Reba McIntire recorded this some time in the early '90's.Eddie - Lachine, Mi