By Matthew Leimkuehler
Why does Adria Petty love the Everly Brothers?
It's a family tradition, of course.
The eldest daughter of late rock legend Tom Petty, Adria Petty first heard the Brothers as a kid who once learned to strum a guitar from her father. Like many who continue to champion America's time-tested artists through family bonds, her dad handed down a lasting love for the music that raised him.
"My dad was really adamant about Buddy Holly and Everly [Brothers] being the origin of rock for him," said Adria Petty, a filmmaker and music curator. "He sort-of attempted to teach me to play guitar. Playing every day and listening to '[All I Do Is] Dream.' As a kid you can recognize it so easily—how beautiful that music was.
"Now, Adria Petty wants to ensure a new wave of listeners discover the unmatched harmonies and undeniable storytelling captured by one of rock and country music's formative hitmaking acts. She partnered with the Everly estate to compile "Hey Doll Baby," a collection of remastered Everly tunes that dig beyond a rinse-and-repeat greatest hit collection to showcase the deep reaches of Phil and Don Everly's influence.
"Me and my dad were so crazy about them that I wanted to see what I could do to help preserve the legacy," she said. A family matter Many could claim to be raised by a father who adored the Everly Brothers, of course. But only one of those dads was Tom Petty. And Adria Petty didn't only hear the Brothers in her dad's stereo speakers. She met Phil Everly during her elementary years in Southern California.
"The world is so small when it comes to these artists and their families," Adria Petty said. "When I was growing up, my first through sixth grade years I spent with Chris Everly in my class, Phil's son.
"The only time my dad ever came to pick me up from school was when he realized Phil would be there. He'd be standing there as if he'd been parent of the year his whole life. Like, 'Yeah, I wonder when Adria will come out." She continued, jokingly: "But he's hoping I would never come out because he wanted to stand there and talk to Phil Everly."
'It makes you feel good'
Decades later, Adria Petty dove into "Hey Doll Baby" with support from Phil Everly's widow Patti and Don Everly, prior to his death in 2021.
Alongside Phil Everly's son Jason Everly, she built an album that spins like a hand-crafted playlist—or, as Adria Petty described it, an "origin story" that doesn't rely on another repackaging of hit recordings.
She spent about a year-and-a-half on the project, digging through archived videos, photographs and liner notes that demanded preservation "because these guys are important, "Adria Petty said."[They're] important players. Important singers. Important songwriters. Incredible arrangers."
"The music still serves to elevate the room and raise the vibration and make you feel good—make you feel all the things that great music can do," she said. "It stands the test of time. There's real importance behind unifying and connecting with this music ... just for the simple fact that it makes you feel good."
An Everly gateway
With songs from "Muskrat" to "Gone, Gone, Gone" and a cover of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" the collection spans a genre-blurring influence of rockabilly, country and rock 'n' roll from the Everly Brothers—one in a handful of artists to earn inducted into the Rock and Roll and Country Music Hall of Fame. The elite group of musicians to reach both includes Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Brenda Lee.
Alongside "Cathy's Clown" and title track "Hey Doll Baby," Adria Petty enlisted a haunting rendition of "Love Hurts" and an Everly take on Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" that she described as "super influential" on her late father's song-building.
"There's something to the arrangement of some of these covers that has a purity to it that really originated with them," she said." In terms of being an influence on popular culture and how people are arranging rock music or approaching a texture that they're adding to rock music ...that's in here."
And for Adria Petty—who named her daughter Everly—the album could provide a springboard for lifelong listeners in the making.
"I hope [people] just start digging into the catalog," she said. "There's a big, beautiful catalog there. This record, if you put it on, you listen the whole thing through and just turn it back on again. ... it puts you in a different state of mind than the one that's out there in the world right now."
'Hey Doll Baby' tracklist Side one 1. Hey Doll Baby 2. When Will I Be Loved 3. Muskrat 4. Gone, Gone, Gone 5. Walk Right Back 6. (‘Til) I Kissed You 7. That’s Just Too Much 8. Baby What You Want Me To Do Side two 1. Cathy’s Clown 2. Devoted To You 3. Maybellene 4. So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) 5. Made To Love 6. Sigh, Cry, Almost Die 7.I Walk The Line 8. Love Hurts 9. So Fine