Vince Gill Remembers Phil Everly: 'That's the Guy I Was Trying to Be'
The events of the past month has definitely left Vince Gill feeling a little nostalgic. The Jan. 3 passing of Phil Everly took the singer back in time, as he recalled some of the iconic music that he made with his brother Don. He said their music definitely made an influence on him.
“I was taken with was how seamless the two of those brothers sang together,” he told Billboard in a recent interview. “That’s my favorite sound of two voices ever. I’ve never heard two voices that were more compelling or angelic. They never lost their sound of being innocent. They always had a youthful place where it always landed. I realized that every session I ever did, everybody I ever sang with, when they asked me to sing with them -- that’s the guy I was trying to be.”
R.I.P. Phil Everly
For one record, Gill got to be “that guy,” as Phil made one of his final recorded performances on “Sweet Little Corrina,” a cut from his 2006 box set "These Days." Vince said that he counts that as one of his greatest career blessings.
“It was one of those things that I thought could never possibly happen. I just assumed that Phil would only sing with Don. That’s the only way you ever expected to hear them was together. I was beyond flattered that he said yes. It really meant the world to me.”
Just a few weeks earlier, the world mourned the loss of another Country Music Hall of Fame member that Gill also got to work with on a few occasions: Ray Price. He says he doesn’t take moments like that lightly.
“There’s a feeling of gratitude more than anything else -- just being grateful that I got that opportunity. I pinch myself. I know at times I’m jaded, but not when I’m around people that were some of my heroes. I can’t believe they actually wanted me to do something with them. That is never anything other than a surprise to me.”
Over the past few years, Gill has definitely paid it forward, producing projects by acts such as LeAnn Rimes, Sonya Isaacs and Ashley Monroe -- whose "Like A Rose" disc was selected by The 615 as the top country album of 2013. He’s been working in the studio with another special vocalist: his daughter, Jenny.
“It’s been fun watching her shine. It doesn’t have anything to do with me being a musician, but I get to see her as her dad. That’s when it’s good, when you just get to be the father. I helped her make the record, produced, and have a lot of heart and soul in every note of the record. I was going to leave no stone unturned for her, but she’s got it going on. She’s a killer singer, writes great tunes, and has some incredible instincts. She’s got a great future, and I know she does. She’s chomping at the bit. I’m trying to help her when she needs it, but I want her to own it and figure it out, and she is!”
Gill and Paul Franklin spoke to Billboard about their tour behind the "Bakersfield" album, as well as a new expanded version of the album that teams the duo with Cracker Barrel. Look for that conversation on Monday (Jan. 20) in The 615.