At the close of the year and the dawning of another, I'm celebrating my third 2021 contributor credit for Vintage Rock in the December 2021/January 2022 issue. It features "Forever Everly," a four-page article that resulted from my pitch to the magazine, juxtaposing two Everly homecoming events in their respective contexts. I'm grateful to editor Steve Harnell and writer Julie Burns for welcoming my enthusiasm for this subject, which delivers recognition to this history and related preservation initiatives to their international readership.
"Forever Everly" revisits Don and Phil Everly's 1986 homecoming in their former hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa and Edan Everly's return in September, nearly one month after his father Don's death. I contributed and curated content including new interviews and photos never before published. Other contributors include my twin sister Sheryl Davis and three individuals with significant ties to the Everly history in Shenandoah: Bill Hillman, Jerry Spies and Joe Laughlin.
My other 2021 Vintage Rock credits include the following:
Ever since Sheryl and I visited Shenandoah in October 2016 and met with Founder Bill Hillman at the start of our work with the Everly Brothers Childhood Home Foundation, one of our primary goals has been to cultivate family involvement. When Edan committed to performing in Shenandoah, we were excited for the next steps in building this relationship. Then, the unthinkable happened: Don passed away in August and Margaret, the matriarch of the Everly family, passed away earlier this month.
The article title, "Forever Everly," now takes on a more poignant tone than it did when it was first sent to the publisher, as it commemorates the past, but also looks to the future. What happens next? This question has certainly been on my mind and heart. And to the point that I recently had a dream that I was talking with Don about his legacy and the importance of the coming months. It's a conversation I wish I'd had with him in life, but instead, it manifested as a dream pondering that singular question.
The ongoing pandemic has impacted our events, tourism traffic, patron donations and the ability to move forward on projects due to a lack of funding, resources and logistics. I anticipate 2022 will be just as formidable as the past two years, but with a strengthened relationship with Edan and family, we have the ability to meet this challenge together if we can harness the resolve of an alliance of organizations and individuals impassioned to take action and invest. "Forever Everly" is memorializing, contemplating and encouraging as a charge to continue the work. Will we answer the call?
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