The Everly Brothers

Two discordant personalities sang in perfect harmony

Remembering Phil Everly, the son of a Kentucky coal miner, who died on January 3, 2014, at the age of 74.

“Your sound, dear Phil, was my model of beauty and charisma when I was 14,” Art Garfunkel said in a tribute at the time. “You guided my musical development, my life. I always saw you up in Mt Rushmore, next to the other guys — a great hero of American culture.”

Harmony singing had been key in country and bluegrass, but starting with their first hit, 1957’s “Bye Bye Love,” the Everly Brothers brought the sound of deeply intertwined voices — and more than a hint of Appalachia — to rock & roll. That blend resulted in 15 Top 10 hits between 1957 and 1962. The brothers were also a major influence on rock & roll, impacting on the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas & the Papas, and many others. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

David Browne, Rolling Stone

“Every night on tour we were in the hotel rooms playing music and Don and Phil would be there with us,” said guitarist Waddy Wachtel, a member of the Everlys band in the early 1970s. “It was unbelievable. They’d start singing in the rooms and it was like the heavens would open up.”

In 1973, after a gig at Knotts Berry Farm in California, the two brothers broke up onstage in spectacular fashion, with Phil smashing his guitar down and storming off the stage.

After less than successful solo careers spanning 10 years, the Everly Brothers reunited onstage In 1983 at the London’s Royal Albert Hall.

They went on to record several studio albums in the 1980s, but rarely performed after the 1990s, and lived 2,000 miles apart — Phil in Los Angeles and Don in Nashville. Don Everly will be 83 on February 1st.

Phil and Don, 1985
Phil and Don Everly, 1985.

9 thoughts on “Two discordant personalities sang in perfect harmony

  1. Hey, Mich, thanks for the memories! Still sitting in that old log house, waiting, waiting, waiting…..If I wait long enough I will be planted next to my faithful Dog Tao, to moulder in my grave. 2 degrees outside, 58 degrees in the house, burning down my wood pile to stay warm, melting buckets of snow for water, running low on Liquor……It is all in TIME Brother! This too, shall pass……

      1. Hey Mich, I have hired my coal/woodman, to make my liquor runs, every saturday he shows up to stock my wood bin, and bring in buckets of coal, then I pay him extra bucks to go to town, as I do not like to drive anymore, and stock me up for another week. I just had a VA Physical exam, and considering how much I drink, my Liver is still intact! I am a tough old fart! When I was younger I did 100 + push-ups & sit-ups a day and lifted weights, the doctor said I had an enlarged heart, which is GOOD! Happy 2020 Dude!

      2. Thats good man youre good for a few more years I will drink to that going on ten and I am shtfaced maybe I will sleep dreamed of susan last night all I stay alive for otherwise its all for sht

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