RIP Phil Everly

Phil Everly is dead. He was 74.

I love the Everly Brothers. Phil and his elder brother, Don, created some of the sweetest hits back in thr 1950s and early ’60s. Their sweet harmonies and steel-string guitar playing influenced acts ranging from The Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers along with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino are my favourite artistes from the early days of rock’n’roll. Here are some of my favourite songs performed by the Everly Brothers.

Wake Up Little Susie 

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Cathy’s Clown

Bye Bye Love

Till I Kissed You

Walk Right Back

Problems

Bird Dog

When Will I Be Loved

Crying In The Rain

Devoted To You

Let It Be Me

Time says:

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 Rolling Stone says:

Rock & roll lost one of its supreme harmony singers when Phil Everly, half of the Everly Brothers, died today at the age of 74. According to a report attributed to his wife Patti Everly, the cause was complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Everly was a longtime smoker.

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, including songs that went on to become rock standards: Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Cathy’s Clown, When Will I Be Loved.

The brothers’ close-knit harmonies were also a major influence on rock & roll, impacting on the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas & the Papas, and many others, and they were among the first acts induccted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

“The Everly Brothers’ impact exceeds even their fame,” wrote Paul Simon in Rolling Stone in 2004. “They were a big influence on John Lennon and Paul McCartney and, of course, on Simon & Garfunkel. When Artie & I were kids we got our rock & roll chops from the Everlys.” That influence continues to this day: Last fall, Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones recently released an Everly Brothers tribute album.

What other publications are saying:

Rock & roll lost one of its supreme harmony singers when Phil Everly, half of the Everly Brothers, died today at the age of 74. According to a report attributed to his wife Patti Everly, the cause was complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Everly was a longtime smoker.

In all, the Everly Brothers’ career spanned five decades, although they performed separately from 1973 to 1983. At the peak of their success, between 1957 and 1962, they had 19 top 40 hits.

The pair broke up amid recriminations in 1973 after 16 years of hits. 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 together in the 1980s.

In 1986 they were among the first acts to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Simon and Garfunkel toured with the Everlys in 2003.

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.

His brother, Don, two years older than him,  is 76 years old.

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