Brother Duets in Country Music, 1920-1959

The focus of my investigation for vocal duos in popular music after the advent of rock and roll is the Everly Brothers. Don and Phil Everly recorded their first hit, “Bye Bye Love,” in 1957. The song made it into top chart positions on both the pop and country charts. They were essentially part of the brother duet trend in country music which began as early as the mid-1920s and saw its greatest flowering in the 1930s.

Below is a list of the brother duet acts in country music that I have found so far. I will keep adding to the list as I chase down all of the information. Here’s a map that pinpoints the birthplaces of these duets.

Allen Brothers
Austin Allen (b. Monteagle Mountain, TN, d. 1959, Williamston, SC)
Lee Allen (b. Monteagle Mountain, TN; d. 1981, Lebanon, TN)
First recording: 1926 or 1927, Columbia
Noteworthy songs: “Bow Wow Blues,” “Skippin’ and Flyin’,” “Jake Walk Blues”
Vocal style: Austin sang lead, Lee occasionally added tenor harmony

Delmore Brothers
Alton Delmore (b. 12/25/1908, Elkmont, AL; d. 1964)
Rabon Delmore (b. 12/3/1916, Elkmont, AL; d. 1952)
First recording: 1931, Columbia
Noteworthy songs: “Brown’s Ferry Blues,” “Big River Blues”
Vocal style: Alton usually sang lead, they would often switch high and low harmony parts

Shelton Brothers
Other performing names: Lone Star Cowboys, Sunshine Boys
Bob Attlesey (b. 7/4/1909, Reilly Springs, TX; d. 1983?)
Joe Attlesey (b. 1/27/1911, Reilly Springs, TX; d. 12/26/1980)
First recording: before 1933, Bluebeard (as Lone Star Cowboys)
Noteworthy songs: “Just Because,” “Deep Elem Blues”
Vocal style:

Callahan Brothers
Homer Callahan
Walter Callahan
First rec.: 1934

Blue Sky Boys
Bill Bolick
Earl Bolick
East Hickory, NC
First recording: 1936
Vocal style: Earl sang baritone, Bill sang tenor.

Monroe Brothers
Charlie Monroe
Bill Monroe
First rec.: 1936
Vocal style: Charlie sang lead, Bill sang tenor (high) harmony

Dixon Brothers
Howard Dixon
Dorsey Dixon
Darlington, Sc


Louvin Brothers
Ira Loudermilk (b. 4/21/1924, AL; d. 6/20/1965)
Charlie Loudermilk (b. 7/7/1927, AL; d. )
Noteworthy songs: “When I Stop Dreaming,” “Cash on the Barrel Head”
First recording: between 1945 and 1949, Apollo Records
Vocal style: Ira sang tenor, noted as being fairly high; Charles sang lead (melody tenor)

Stanley Brothers
Ralph Stanley
Carter Stanley

Lilly Brothers
Everett Lilly
Mitchell Lilly



All Music Guide

Malone, Bill C. Country Music U.S.A., 2nd rev. ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.

Further updates to this list will be in the page version.



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