Top Ten Brothers In Popular Music
The Jonas Brothers’ upcoming tour got me thinking about family and music. In particular, it got me thinking about brothers and music. After extensive research, I discovered that there have been a number of brothers who have either formed bands or made it in the music business independently of one another. Below is a list of ten sets of brothers who have proved musical talent must be in the genes.
To be fair, I made sure that the brothers have each made significant contributions to the world of pop and/or rock music. I didn’t take the cheap way out and pick a legendary musician and his tone deaf brother. That’s why Michael Jackson and his brothers are not on this list (not that they are tone deaf). The brothers’ contributions to the world of music needed to be balanced.
Duane and Greg Allman
Duane Allman was born in 1946. His brother Greg entered the world the following year. The duo formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Anchored by Duane’s virtuoso guitar skills and Greg’s expressive vocals, the group became the South’s answer to the Grateful Dead. In 1971, Duane died in a motorcycle accident. He was just 24. Despite being so young Duane had amassed an impressive resume that not only included work with his own band but with several prominent artists including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Eric Clapton (via Derek and the Dominos). Greg continued on with the Allman Brothers Band and later launched a successful solo career. He was also married to Cher for four years in the 1970s.
Scott and Seth Avett
The Avett Brothers have been playing music together for years, ever since Seth’s high school band “Margo” merged with Scott’s college group, “Nemo.” Scott and Seth released their first record together, an EP called The Avett Bros., in 2000. Their first studio album, Country Was, came out in 2002. The siblings are known for their unique blend of folk, pop, and bluegrass. Scott is the oldest. He was born in 1976 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Seth was born in 1980 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brothers have an older sister named Bonnie.
Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill
Everyone in the Kings of Leon has the last named “Followill.” While they are all related, only three are brothers: Caleb, Nathan, and Jared. The fourth “Followill” is Matthew. He’s the brothers’ cousins. Caleb, Nathan, and Jared’s father was a traveling preacher for the United Pentecostal Church. When he preached, the boys usually joined the band and banged on some sort of drum. After the brothers’ parents divorced they began to pursue a career in music. The Followills released their first album as Kings of Leon, called Youth & Young Manhood, in 2003. They released their sixth studio album, Mechanical Bull, in 2013.
Noel and Liam Gallagher
Music lore says that in 1991 Noel watched his younger brother Liam’s band, Oasis, perform at a club and was impressed just enough that he asked to join. His coming aboard had some provisions: he’d be the band’s leader, they would play his compositions, and everyone would commit to making it big. Liam and his band mates agreed to Noel’s demands. The rest as they say is history. Of course, while Oasis was championing Britpop, and fighting Blur for supremacy on the UK charts, the brothers were involved in a sibling rivalry that would rival Cain and Abel. One of their most famous clashes involved Liam backing out of a gig at the last minute then heckling his brother from the balcony. Oasis broke up in 2009.
Barry, Robin, Maurice, and Andy Gibb
Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb formed the Bee Gees in 1958. When it was all said and done, the trio had sold more than 220 million albums. Those sales figures put them among the world’s bestselling music acts. Andy Gibb was not in the Bee Gees but rose to fame in the late 1970s as a teen idol. He died in 1988 after years of heavy drug use. Even though the Bee Gees have been around for half a century, their two main periods of success were in the late 1960s as a rock act and then in the late 1970s as a disco machine. Regardless of genre, the brothers have written some of the greatest pop songs of all-time including “Love You Inside Out,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and “More Than a Woman.”
The Jonas Brothers
The Nick, Joe, and Kevin begin the second leg of their 2013 Live Tour on Sept. 20. On that night, Jonas Brothers tickets will be collected in Toronto. The final date on their schedule is Nov. 6 when Seattle welcomes the Jonas Brothers to the Paramount Theatre. The trek is supporting the band’s upcoming fifth studio album, V. The record, produced by Nick Jonas, is set to drop this fall. Unlike The Chemical Brothers, the Jonas brothers are actual siblings. Kevin is the oldest (born 1987) followed by Joe (1989) and then Nick (1992). The Grammy nominated trio has sold more than eight million albums during their career. In 2010, they performed “Drive My Car” at the White House.
Jonas Brothers – “2013 Live Tour” Itinerary
>>Oct. 11 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theater
>>Oct. 12 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theater
>>Oct. 13 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Toms River, NJ @ Pine Belt Arena
>>Oct. 15 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Albany, NY @ The Palace Theater
>>Oct. 16 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Montreal, Quebec @ Metropolis
>>Oct. 18 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Boston, MA @ Orpheum
>>Oct. 19 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Hampton, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino
>>Oct. 20 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Westbury, NY @ Theater at Westbury
>>Oct. 21 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
>>Oct. 23 – Jonas Brothers tickets for New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
>>Oct. 24 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion
>>Oct. 25 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Charleston, WV @ The Clay Center
>>Oct. 26 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Greensburg, PA @ Palace Theater
>>Oct. 28 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
>>Oct. 30 – Jonas Brothers tickets for St. Paul, MN @ Myth
>>Oct. 31 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Kansas City, MO @ Midland at AMC
>>Nov. 01 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Denver, CO @ Bellco Theatre
>>Nov. 05 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
>>Nov. 06 – Jonas Brothers tickets for Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
Reid and Neil Perry
Reid was born in 1988 and Neil in 1990. When they were really young they served as roadies for a band fronted by their sister, Kimberly (1983). Then when they were eight and ten they formed their own band and opened for her. Finally, the brothers teamed with their big sis to create a little country music trio called The Band Perry. Their self-titled debut album dropped in 2010. It peaked at number two on the country charts. Three years later, they put out Pioneer. The album went all the way to number one. As of 2013, they’ve sent three singles to the top of the charts: “If I Die Young,” “All Your Life,” and “Better Dig Two.”
Eddie and Alex Van Halen
Their band is quintessentially American but Alex and Eddie Van Halen were born in the Netherlands. The Van Halens moved to Pasadena in 1962 when Alex was nine and Eddie was seven. The brothers that would one day form half of the rock band Van Halen, started out as classical pianists. When they grew bored of tickling the ivories they picked up the guitar and the drums but not as you’d expect. Alex started learning the guitar while Eddie tried to master the skins. Things changed when Eddie heard Alex nail the drum solo from “Wipe Out.” Upset that his older brother was better at the drums then he was, Eddie picked up the guitar. The musical brothers formed their first band while still in elementary school. They formed Van Halen in 1972.
Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan has major ties to two men that many would categorize as the two greatest guitarists of all-time. In 1969, Vaughan opened for The Jimi Hendrix Experience—in fact Hendrix borrowed and then destroyed Jimmie’s Wah-wah pedal. His other tie to a guitar legend is a little more direct. He’s the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Had Stevie Ray not died in 1990 he may have gone on to be the greatest guitarist of all-time. As it stands now, he’s “one of” the greatest guitarists of all-time. By the way, Jimmie Vaughan is no slouch when it comes to wailing on the axe. Big Jim and Martha Vaughan must have done something right because they raised two amazing guitarists.
Angus & Malcolm Young
Angus Young is not only a guitar god but he’s the most recognizable member of AC/DC. Everyone who has ever done some serious air guitar has imitated Angus. However, Malcom Young is just as integral to AC/DC as his little brother; he’s considered the brains behind the operation. Ranked as one of the greatest rhythm guitarist of all-time, Malcolm helped develop the band’s sound, created many of its most famous riffs, and co-wrote some of the group’s most memorable material. AC/DC has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Their 1980 offering, Back in Black, is the fourth bestselling album in the history of humanity.
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