Phil Everly and his brother Don helped shape the sound of rock 'n' roll.
By: Legacy Staff
4 years ago
The Everly Brothers helped shape the sound of rock 'n' roll and won the hearts of millions in the process.
With their unique rockabilly sound and perfectly matched voices, brothers Don and Phil burst onto the scene in 1957 with "Bye Bye Love." They followed up with "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Cathy's Clown," "When Will I Be Loved," and many more.
Though in perfect harmony musically, personally the two brothers were very different, according to writer Joel Selvin. "When they were out on the road together, Don was a raucous, outgoing, life-of-the-party type, while his brother was a quiet, cordial and soft-spoken gentleman."
In the early 1970s, tensions between the two came to a head, with Don telling a reporter he was tired of being an Everly Brother. During a show at Knott's Berry Farm, Phil smashed his guitar and walked off while Don finished the show. The brothers would not play together for more than a decade.
When Phil Everly died Jan. 3, 2014, at the age of 74, tributes from fans and fellow musicians flooded the Internet. Paul Simon said, "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."
But perhaps the most touching tribute came from his brother Don.
“We had a very difficult life together, we did,” the 77-year-old said of the fractured relationship with his younger brother. “I always assumed I would go first, because I was the oldest. It was a shock to find out he was so ill.”
“I think about him every day. I always thought about him every day, even when we were not speaking to each other.”