This thread was spurred by the "Visualizing Harmony" thread, and by my recollection of great harmony singers and teams, and by great examples of classic harmony performances. I thought it might be fun to honor some of the great performers and performances of this art form in this little thread.
Most of my memories of great harmony performances came out of either Country or Bluegrass music. The Louvin Bros were the first to perform the kind of soaring harmony that was later popularized by Don and Phil Everly. Phil Everly set the bench mark for clean high harmony that influenced everyone from the Beatles to Crosby Stills and Nash, but it was based on the Louvin Bros' pioneering melodies and harmonies, as well as the Bluegrass tradition. A great example of the Everly Harmony is So Sad to Watch Good Love go Bad . In addition to Phil's on-target tenor harmony, the Everly sound was enhanced by a similarity in timbre between the voices.Maybe singers linked by family ties make the best harmony singers?
It would certainly seem the case with the Beach Boys, who achieved elaborate 4-part harmonies where the voices seemed to merge together like an instrumental chord.
Other harmonists that bear mentioning are David Crosby and Graham Nash, Emily Lou Harris, K D Laing and Sylvia Tyson.