January 19th, 1939 to January 3rd, 2014
January 19th, 1939 to January 3rd, 2014
"Phil Everly dies at 74; half of vocal duo the Everly Brothers"
The Everlys charted nearly three dozen hits in the late '50s and early '60s, among them 'Bye Bye Love' and 'When Will I Be Loved.' Their harmonies influenced the Beatles and Beach Boys.
January 3rd, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Phil Everly, who with his brother, Don, made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless younger-generation rock, folk and country singers, has died. He was 74.
Everly died Friday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Patti Everly, told The Times.
"We are absolutely heartbroken," she said, noting that the disease was the result of a lifetime of cigarette smoking. "He fought long and hard."
During the height of their popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Everly Brothers charted nearly three dozen hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, among them "Cathy's Clown," "Wake Up Little Susie," "Bye Bye Love," "When Will I Be Loved" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream." They were among the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it got off the ground in 1986.
"They had that sibling sound," said Linda Ronstadt, who scored one of the biggest hits of her career in 1975 with her recording of "When Will I Be Loved," which Phil Everly wrote. "The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound [with family] that you never get with someone who's not blood related to you. And they were both such good singers — they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock 'n' roll sound."
Robert Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, said Friday, "When you talk about harmony singing in the popular music of the postwar period, the first place you start is the Everly Brothers.... You could say they were the vocal link between all the 1950s great doo-wop groups and what would come in the 1960s with the Beach Boys and the Beatles. They showed the Beach Boys and the Beatles how to sing harmony and incorporate that into a pop music form that was irresistible."
"What beautiful music Phil and Don Everly gave us," Chris Hillman, founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, told The Times on Friday. "I owe them so much, and they truly inspired Gram Parsons and myself in our early adventures together."
Vince Gill, the 20-time Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, said in an interview with The Times on Friday: "I honestly believe I've spent the last 40 years, on every record I've been part of for somebody else, trying to be an Everly. On every harmony part I've sung, I was trying to make it as seamless as Phil did when he sang with Don. They had an unfair advantage — they were brothers — but I've spent my whole life chasing that beautiful, beautiful blend."
That blend consisted of Don's lower voice typically handling the melody line and Phil adding flawless harmony a few notes above.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel started their singing career as an Everlys-inspired duo, calling themselves Tom & Jerry. On Simon & Garfunkel's multiple Grammy-winning 1970 album "Bridge Over Troubled Water," they covered the Everlys' first hit, "Bye Bye Love."
"When Artie & I were kids," Paul Simon wrote in Rolling Stone in 2004, "we got our rock & roll chops from the Everlys."
In 1976, Paul McCartney name-checked them in his post-Beatles hit single "Let 'Em In."
But their sibling rivalry was as intensely contentious as their sibling harmonies were celestially sweet. They often fought off stage, and sometimes on, and in 1973 famously called it quits in the midst of a performance at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Both had struggled with substance abuse issues during the '60s, and when Don showed up to the show drunk, Phil smashed his guitar and walked out, ending their professional relationship.
For years they didn't speak to each other, but after a decade pursuing separate solo career paths, they decide to reunite and played widely acclaimed concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1983, resulting in their first charting album in a dozen years, "The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert."
The following year, McCartney wrote the Everlys a hit single, "On the Wings of a Nightingale," for "EB 84," their first studio album in more than a decade.
They recorded two more studio albums during the 1980s — taking on songs by esteemed rock songwriters such as Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler — before going their separate ways once again. They remained estranged for much of the last two decades.
"Don and I are infamous for our split," Phil told Time magazine in 1986, "but we're closer than most brothers. Harmony singing requires that you enlarge yourself, not use any kind of suppression. Harmony is the ultimate love."
When they played a few shows in the '90s, the tension was still in play.
"We give each other a lot of space," Don Everly told The Times in 1999 when they played a couple of shows in the Southland. "We say hello, we sometimes have a meal together.... Everything is different about us, except when we sing together. I'm a liberal Democrat, he's pretty conservative."
Philip Everly was born Jan. 19, 1939, in Chicago, about two weeks before older brother Don turned 2. The children of two musicians, Ike and Margaret Everly, Phil and Don early on began singing on their parents' radio show in Iowa.
The family moved through the South and Midwest, landing radio shows in different cities until the rise of television began to supplant radio as the preferred medium for entertainment.
The brothers credited Ike with teaching them all they knew about music. Ike Everly was an accomplished guitarist who reportedly influenced country guitar legends, including Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, and facilitated his sons' recording career by introducing them to famed guitarist and talent scout Atkins when they were in their early teens.
Atkins connected them with Wesley Rose of Nashville's famed Acuff-Rose Publishing, and Rose offered to get them a recording contract if they would sign to Acuff-Rose as songwriters. Rose introduced them to Archie Bleyer, who signed them to his New York-based Cadence Records label, and it wasn't long before the hits began to flow.
"The Everlys took the country brother duet tradition one step farther," historian Colin Escott wrote in the 2012 second edition of the Encyclopedia of Country Music. "They added Bo Diddley riffs, teenage anxieties and sharkskin suits, but — for all that — the core of their sound remained country brother harmony."
A year after the family moved from Knoxville, Tenn., to Nashville in 1955, the Everly Brothers rocketed to No. 2 on the pop charts with "Bye Bye Love," a song by Nashville husband-wife songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the first of many songs by the Bryants that the Everlys would record, including "Wake Up Little Susie," "Bird Dog," "Problems" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream."
Those songs are now perceived as remnants of a more innocent age, but "Wake Up Little Susie" was banned from many radio stations because its story of two teenagers being out together into the wee hours was considered too racy.
"It didn't even enter our minds that anybody could object to it," Phil recalled in 1984. "But if we'd called a press conference to deny it, nobody would have shown up. They were all off listening to big bands."
Both Everly siblings also knew a thing or two about songwriting, with Phil contributing "When Will I Be Loved," and Don writing "('Til) I Kissed You," "Cathy's Clown" and "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)."
In 1960, the Everlys moved from Cadence to the 2-year-old Warner Bros. Records label for what was widely reported to be one of the most lucrative contracts in popular music. Without missing a beat, they delivered their first hit for Warner Bros. with "Cathy's Clown," which spent five weeks at No. 1, and at that point they were more popular than Elvis Presley, who'd enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Despite their personal differences, the musical magic that earned them an inaugural spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still surfaced when they sang together.
"That's the one part where being brothers makes a difference," Don said in 1999. "It's just instinct. That's the charm of what the Everly Brothers are: two guys singing as one. I want people to leave there thinking 'Whoa, it's still happening, it's still good.'"
In addition to his wife, brother and mother, Everly is survived by sons Jason and Chris, and two granddaughters.
"Phil Everly, Half of a Pioneer Rock Duo That Inspired Generations, Dies at 74"
January 4th, 2014
The New York Times
Phil Everly, whose hits with his older brother, Don, as the Everly Brothers carried the close fraternal harmonies of country tradition into pioneering rock ’n’ roll, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 74.
The group’s official website said he died in a hospital near his home in Southern California but did not give the cause. The Associated Press and The Los Angeles Times said the cause was complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after lifelong smoking.
With songs like “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Cathy’s Clown,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “When Will I Be Loved?,” the brothers were consistent hitmakers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They won over country, pop and even R&B listeners with clean-cut vocals and the rockabilly strum and twang of their guitars.
They were also models for the next generations of rock vocal harmonies for the Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, Simon and Garfunkel and many others who recorded their songs and tried to emulate their precise, ringing vocal alchemy. The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year, 1986.
The Everlys brought tradition, not rebellion, to their rock ’n’ roll. Their pop songs reached teenagers with Appalachian harmonies rooted in gospel and bluegrass. Their first full-length album, “The Everly Brothers” in 1958, held their first hits, but the follow-up that same year, “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us,” was a quiet collection of traditional and traditional-sounding songs.
They often sang in close tandem, with Phil Everly on the higher note and the brothers’ two voices virtually inseparable. That sound was part of a long lineage of country “brother acts” like the Delmore Brothers, the Monroe Brothers and the Louvin Brothers. In an interview in November, Phil Everly said: “We’d grown up together, so we’d pronounce the words the same, with the same accent. All of that comes into play when you’re singing in harmony.”
Paul Simon, whose song “Graceland” includes vocals by Phil and Don Everly, said in an email on Saturday morning: “Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll.”
The Everly Brothers’ music grew out of a childhood spent singing. Phillip Everly was born in Chicago on Jan. 19, 1939, the son of a Kentucky coal miner turned musician, Ike Everly, and his wife, Margaret. The family had left Kentucky, where Don Everly was born in 1937, for musical opportunities in Chicago. They soon moved on to Iowa, where Ike Everly found steady work playing country music on live radio. In Shenandoah, Iowa, Ike Everly got his own show — at 6 a.m. on the radio station KMA — and in 1945, “Little Donnie” and the 6-year-old “Baby Boy Phil” started harmonizing with their parents on the air. They went to school after they performed.
The Everly family moved on to radio shows in Indiana and Tennessee. In 1955 the teenage brothers settled in Nashville, where they were hired as songwriters before starting the Everly Brothers’ recording career.
They had a blockbuster in 1957: “Bye Bye Love,” a song written by the husband-and-wife team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. It reached No. 1 on the country chart, No. 2 on the pop chart and No. 5 on the rhythm and blues chart, selling over a million copies. They followed it with another Bryants song, “Wake Up Little Susie,” that was a No. 1 pop hit and another million-seller. For the next few years, they were rarely without a Top 10 pop hit. Among them were “All I Have to Do Is Dream” in 1957, “Bird Dog” and “Devoted to You” in 1958, “(Till) I Kissed You” in 1959, and, in 1960 “Let It Be Me,” “Cathy’s Clown” (written by Don and Phil Everly) and “When Will I Be Loved.”
Their hitmaking streak ended in the United States in the early 1960s, lasting slightly longer in Britain. But they continued to tour and make albums, notably the 1968 “Roots,” a thoughtful foray into country-rock that included a snippet of a 1952 Everly family radio show. They had a summer variety series on CBS in 1970.
But the brothers were growing estranged. In 1973, at a concert in California, Phil Everly smashed his guitar and walked offstage, and Don Everly announced the duo’s breakup. They recorded solo albums for the next decade before reuniting in 1983, with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London that was filmed as a documentary. They returned to the studio for a 1984 album, “EB84,” that was produced by the British pub-rocker Dave Edmunds and included a song written for the Everlys by Paul McCartney; they made two more studio albums in the 1980s.
Among musicians the Everlys had generations of admirers. The Beatles included Everly Brothers songs in their live sets and modeled the vocal harmonies of “Please Please Me” on “Cathy’s Clown.” The Beach Boys recorded the Everlys song “Devoted to You.” Linda Ronstadt had a Top 10 hit with “When Will I Be Loved” in 1975. On his four-album set “These Days” in 2006, the country songwriter Vince Gill recorded a duet with Phil Everly, “Sweet Little Corinna,” that paid homage to the early Everlys sound.
Simon and Garfunkel included “Bye Bye Love” on their “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album, and years later brought together the Everly Brothers to be their opening act for their 2003 “Old Friends” tour. The brothers reportedly had not spoken to each other for three years before that.
“Personally I loved them both,” Mr. Simon wrote. “Phil was outgoing, gregarious and very funny. Don is quiet and introspective. When Simon and Garfunkel toured with the Everlys in 2003, Art and I would take the opportunity to learn about the roots of Rock and Roll from these two great historians. It was a pleasure to spend time in their company.”
The Everly Brothers played their last headlining tour in 2005 in Britain. They were also heard together on a 2010 album by Don’s son, Edan Everly, in a dark song about child stardom called “Old Hollywood.”
Phil Everly is survived by his brother and by their mother, Margaret Everly; his wife, Patti; his sons, Jason and Chris; and two granddaughters.
In 2013, younger musicians released two albums of Everly Brothers songs: “What the Brothers Sang” by Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie Prince Billy (the indie rocker Will Oldham), and “Foreverly” by Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, a remake of every song on “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.”
The Everly Brothers are “such a mainstay,” Mr. Armstrong said in November. “You either consciously grew up with them, or you subconsciously grew up with the Everly Brothers.”
"Phil Everly, Half of Pioneer Rock Duo, Dies at 74"
January 3rd, 2014
Phil Everly, who with his brother Don formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock ‘n’ roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, died Friday. He was 74.
Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital, said his son Jason Everly.
Phil and Don Everly helped draw the blueprint of rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1950s and 1960s with a high harmony that captured the yearning and angst of a nation of teenage baby boomers looking for a way to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day.
The Beatles, early in their career, once referred to themselves as “the English Everly Brothers.” And Bob Dylan once said, “We owe these guys everything. They started it all.”
The Everlys’ hit records included the then-titilating “Wake Up Little Susie” and the universally identifiable “Bye Bye Love,” each featuring their twined voices with lyrics that mirrored the fatalism of country music and a rocking backbeat that more upbeat pop. These sounds and ideas would be warped by their devotees into a new kind of music that would ricochet around the world.
In all, their career spanned five decades, although they performed separately from 1973 to 1983. In their heyday between 1957 and 1962, they had 19 top 40 hits.
The two broke up amid quarrelling in 1973 after 16 years of hits, then reunited in 1983, “sealing it with a hug,” Phil Everly said.
Although their number of hit records declined in the late 1980s, they made successful concert tours in this country and Europe.
They were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, the same year they had a hit pop-country record, “Born Yesterday.”
Don Everly was born in 1937 in Brownie, Ky., to Ike and Margaret Everly, who were folk and country music singers. Phil Everly was born to the couple on Jan. 19, 1939, in Chicago where the Everlys moved to from Brownie when Ike grew tired of working in the coal mines.
The brothers began singing country music in 1945 on their family’s radio show in Shenandoah, Iowa.
Their career breakthrough came when they moved to Nashville in the mid-1950s and signed a recording contract with New York-based Cadence Records.
Their breakup came dramatically during a concert at Knott’s Berry Farm in California. Phil Everly threw his guitar down and walked off, prompting Don Everly to tell the crowd, “The Everly Brothers died 10 years ago.”
During their breakup, they pursued solo singing careers with little fanfare. Phil also appeared in the Clint Eastwood movie “Every Which Way but Loose.” Don made a couple of records with friends in Nashville, performed in local nightclubs and played guitar and sang background vocals on recording sessions.
Don Everly said in a 1986 Associated Press interview that the two were successful because “we never followed trends. We did what we liked and followed our instincts. Rock ‘n’ roll did survive, and we were right about that. Country did survive, and we were right about that. You can mix the two but people said we couldn’t.”
In 1988, the brothers began hosting an annual homecoming benefit concert in Central City, Ky., to raise money for the area.
"Phil Everly lent perfect pitch to brothers' harmonies"
Jerry Shriver and Maria Puente
January 4th, 2014
The concept of harmony was both intrinsic to the music of the Everly Brothers and sometimes foreign to their personal relationship.
Nevertheless, Phil, who died Friday at age 74, and Don, 76, forged an endearing sound and a half-century career that saw them hit the Billboard top 40 chart 26 times, influence artists ranging from The Beatles and the Beach Boys to Linda Ronstadt, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young and Alison Krauss, and land in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Don usually sang the baritone notes and most of the lead parts while Phil handled the higher range, their voices intertwining organically, almost supernaturally, on classics such as Cathy's Clown, Wake Up Little Susie, Crying in the Rain, Bye Bye Love, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Walk Right Back and Claudette.
Phil was born in Chicago into a family of traveling musicians and lived in Iowa as a child, but the brother act he formed with Kentucky-born Don in the mid-1950s drew its inspiration from the sounds of the Appalachian Mountains.
Country and bluegrass acts such as the Delmore Brothers, Osborne Brothers and Louvin Brothers formed a template for the close-harmony sound, and the guitar-playing Everlys took it in a smoother, pop-rock direction with material written by themselves and Nashville tunesmiths, most notably Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The influence of Texan Buddy Holly, with whom they toured in the late 1950s, also can be heard in their sound (and Phil would serve as a pallbearer at Holly's funeral following his fatal plane crash in 1959).
Behind the scenes, their partnership was sometimes problematic — they battled drugs, managers and each other. At a California concert in 1973, their feuding erupted onstage and they split, barely speaking for a decade, during which time they pursued solo careers with minor success.
A reunion that began in 1983 resulted in a well-received live album and two excellent studio albums, EB '84 (which featured the Paul McCartney-written hit On the Wings of a Nightingale) and Born Yesterday.
Neil Young inducted the brothers into the Rock Hall in 1986, where they were among the inaugural class of 10 performers. The duo released their final studio album, Some Hearts, in 1988 and continued to perform and collaborate with others into the late 1990s.
Two months before Phil died in Burbank, Calif., from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after a lifetime of smoking, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and jazz-pop singer Norah Jones released an Everlys tribute album, Foreverly. Armstrong was full of admiration for the brothers.
The Everly harmonies "are so immaculate," Armstrong told USA TODAY. "And that record (the duo's second album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us) was pretty daring at the time. A lot of other rock guys were trying to go pop. Chuck Berry had a string of big hits, and the same with Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. And here the Everlys were playing these torch songs and murder ballads. For them to do something so dark and angelic was appealing to me."
After Phil's death, Jones said in a statement: "The high harmonies Phil sang were fluid and so beautiful and always sound effortless in a way that just washes over the listener. He was one of our greats and it's very sad to lose him."
The Everly Brothers [Wikipedia]
Bye Bye Love
Wake up little Susie
Bird Dog/Till I kissed you