Cathy's Clown

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For the song by You Am I, see Cathy's Clown (You Am I song).
"Cathy's Clown"
Single by The Everly Brothers
B-side "Always It's You"
Released April 1960
Format Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM
Genre Pop
Length 2:22
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Don Everly and Phil Everly
Producer(s) Wesley Rose
Certification Gold (RIAA)
The Everly Brothers singles chronology
"Let It Be Me"
"Cathy's Clown"
"When Will I Be Loved"

"Cathy's Clown" is a popular song, written and recorded by The Everly Brothers, in which the singer informs Cathy that he "don't want your love anymore."


The musicians included the Everlys on guitars, Floyd Cramer on piano, Floyd Chance on bass and Buddy Harman on drums. The distinctive drum sound was achieved by recording the drums with a tape loop, making it sound as if there were two drummers. [1]


"Cathy's Clown" was The Everly Brothers' first single for Warner Bros., after spending three years on Archie Bleyer's Cadence label. It sold eight million copies worldwide, spending five weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and one week on the R&B charts.[2] It spent seven weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart in May and June 1960.[3] It would become the Everly Brothers' biggest hit single and their third and final US Number One. Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song of the year for 1960.[4]

In 2004, the song was ranked 149th on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


"Cathy's Clown" was inspired by Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite;[5] it was a major influence on The Beatles, who—having "once toyed with calling themselves The Foreverly Brothers"—would three years later re-create the song's vocal arrangement in their first US single Please Please Me.[5][6]

"Cathy's Clown" is mentioned in the opening line of Elliott Smith's song "Waltz 2 (XO)", the title track of his 1998 album XO.[7]

Jan & Dean did a cover of "Cathy's Clown" for their album Filet of Soul, but Liberty Records denied both set lists which include the song. Liberty later came out with their own set list and released it shortly after Jan Berry's crash near Deadman's Curve which did not include Cathy's Clown. Jan & Dean's cover of "Cathy's Clown" is still currently unreleased.

The Meat Puppets released a cover version of Cathy's Clown as a split 7' single with "Hey Baby, Que Paso" (a Texas Tornadoes cover) serving as the A-side. It's a staple in the band's set lists as of 2013. [8]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1960-61) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles 1
Preceded by
"Stuck on You" by Elvis Presley
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 17, 1960 – June 20, 1960 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Everybody's Somebody's Fool" by Connie Francis
Preceded by
"Doggin' Around" by Jackie Wilson
Billboard Hot R&B Sides number-one single
June 13, 1960
Succeeded by
"A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)" by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton
Preceded by
"Do You Mind?" by Anthony Newley
UK number-one single
May 5, 1960 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Three Steps to Heaven" by Eddie Cochran

Reba McEntire cover version[edit]

"Cathy's Clown"
Single by Reba
from the album Sweet Sixteen
B-side "Walk On"
Released April 1989
Genre Country
Length 3:08
Label MCA
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen
Reba McEntire
Reba singles chronology
"New Fool at an Old Game"
"Cathy's Clown"
"'Til Love Comes Again"

"Cathy's Clown" was covered by country music artist Reba McEntire for her album Sweet Sixteen. In 1989, McEntire's version became her thirteenth number-one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Unlike the original, McEntire sang the song in the third person, thus making the narrator another woman observing the storyline.[9]

Bruce Boxleitner appears in the video as the "clown." The video was set in an Old West motif.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[10] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[11] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[12] 11
US Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 15
Preceded by
"What's Going On in Your World"
by George Strait
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

July 29, 1989
Succeeded by
"Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That"
by Dolly Parton
Preceded by
"In a Letter to You"
by Eddy Raven
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

July 31, 1989


  1. ^
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 194. 
  3. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 50. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  4. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1960
  5. ^ a b Savage, Mark. "The Everly Brothers: 'That sibling sound'". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  6. ^ MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). p. 62. ISBN 1-84413-828-3. 
  7. ^ "Elliott Smith "Waltz 2 (XO)" lyrics". Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Sweet Sixteen overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  10. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 6409." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. July 31, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Reba McEntire – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Reba McEntire.
  12. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1989". RPM. December 23, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Best of 1989: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]