View Full Version : Phil Everly, Half of a Pioneer Rock Duo That Inspired Generations, Dies at 74

January 7th, 2014, 12:47 PM

I am not sure how I missed this other day.

The Everly Brothers were Rock and Roll giants both in terms of the body of their work, and with respect to the influence they had on other vocally intensive groups such as the Beatles, Hollies, Simon and Garfunkle, The Beach Boys, CSN, and others including notable country stars.

In his critically acclaimed book, Wild Things, Graham Nash in particular is effusive in his praise for them, both as an influence and in in terms of their generosity in providing opportunites for young emerging musicians.

55 years after the release of their first album their music is as timeless and relevent today as it was when it was released.

Rest in Peace.

Phil Everly, Half of a Pioneer Rock Duo That Inspired Generations, Dies at 74

By JON PARELES (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/jon_pareles/index.html)

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 (http://everlybrothers.net/) said he died in a hospital near his home in Southern California. His son Jason said the cause of death was complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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?,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI0ll5SexV0) which was written by Phil Everly, the brothers were consistent hitmakers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They won over country, pop and even R&B listeners with a combination of 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 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 and the Monroe 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 (http://www.kmaland.com/) — 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” 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 ABC 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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXkXY_BEd4Y). 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.” (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15iy6b_vince-gill-phil-everly-brothers-sweet-little-corrina_shortfilms)

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. “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.” (http://www.reverbnation.com/edaneverly/song/6073571-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 go way back far as I can remember hearing music. Those harmonies live on forever,” Mr. Armstrong posted on Twitter.
“I always thought I’d be the one to go first,” Don Everly wrote in a statement to the Associated Press. “The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I’m mourning my brother Phil.”

January 7th, 2014, 03:59 PM
I was very aware of their beautiful harmonies, but I didn't realize what a profound influence they had on other great musicians.

January 7th, 2014, 04:58 PM
Indeed. Here are tributes from among those he influenced, played with,or otherwise touched, including Iggy Pop, Billy Joe Armstrong, and Brain May from Queen. This comes from a couple of different news sources.

Don Everly, Associated Press: "I loved my brother very much. I always thought I'd be the one to go first. I was listening to one of my favorite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing. I took that as a special spiritual message from Phil saying good-bye. Our love was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had. The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I'm mourning my brother Phil Everly. My wife Adela and I are touched by all the tributes we're seeing for Phil and we thank you for allowing us to grieve in private at this incredibly difficult time."

Paul Simon: "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. I loved them both. 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."

Brian May (via brianmay.com (http://brianmay.com/brian/brianssb/brianssbjan14a.html#04)): " I feel like a huge piece of my youth just melted away. I loved, loved those guys, and still do. From the Everly Brothers I learned to play rhythm guitar (a lot of people don't have that experience these days), and I learned every note of both parts they sang - normally Phil taking the top part and Don the lower.

"From this I learned how two-part harmonies work - how different emotions are evoked using different sequences of intervals, how to find the moments that chill your spine, and avoid the 'easy' too-sweet harmonies that would make it sound trite. I know for sure that The Beatles learned a lot from the Everlies too - they too had a powerful innate understanding of how these things could be made to work (I knew it the first time I heard 'Love Me Do' on the radio - and compare the wonderful diverging harmonies of Please Please Me with the Everlies' Cathy's Clown)."

Iggy Pop (via facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iggypop/posts/571132512963236)): "God bless Phil Everly. The Everlys were the real deal when it comes to American music. I saw them in the 60s at the 20 Grand in Detroit, and they seriously rocked the huge house, with just two Gibson Jumbos, and their voices. And man, did these guys have cool haircuts. I bought 'Songs our Daddy Taught Us' on download recently and there's a whole life lesson in there. It's brothers like the Everlys, that make the music scene of today worth bothering with. I am in their debt like so many others, for they have enriched my life. Iggy"

Billie Joe Armstrong (via twitter): "The Everly Brothers go way back far as I can remember hearing music. Those harmonies live on forever. We're gonna miss you Phil. Gratitude."

Norah Jones: "The Everlys had a huge influence on all kinds of musicians. 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."

Carole King (via twitter): "So sad to lose Phil Everly. Deeest condolences to his family."

M Ward (via twitter): "r.i.p. phil everly. made the world a better place"

Albert Lee (via the BBC): "There was nothing like it. It was a combination of their country upbringing and when they became teenagers they fell in love with rock and roll,"

Brian Wilson (via twitter): "My heart is so saddened by the passing of Phil Everly. I could never get enough of the Everly Bros voices. Love & Mercy to family & friends."

Billy Bragg, (via Facebook): "Sorry to hear of the death of Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers This album of classic American folk ballads [Songs Our Daddy Taught Us] is one of my most treasured records, providing the missing link between two of my favourite artists - the Louvin Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel. Beware modern imitations!!"

Rob Lowe, (via twitter): "Hearing Phil Everly's harmonies was transcendent. Wrote "Love Hurts" as a TEENAGER! Goodbye to a master."

Nancy Sinatra, (via twitter): "Phil Everly is gone. Touring with Phil and Don was one of the thrills of my life. I love you Phillip – Godspeed

"Rest in peace Phil Everly. You guys brought us a lot of pleasure back in the day," rock and country singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels tweeted.

"They had that sibling sound," said singer Linda Ronstadt, who recorded one of the biggest hits of her career in 1975 with her interpretation of Everly's "When Will I Be Loved."

"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," she told the Los Angeles Times.

And than there is this ...

There likely would have been no British Invasion without them. Graham Nash of the Hollies (and later, of course, CSN), cited the night in 1960 that he met the Everlys after a show in Manchester, along with partner Allan Clarke, as "a night that changed my life... I decided that whatever music I was going to make in the future, I wanted it to affect people the same way the Everly Brothers' music affected me." Sometimes the influence was very literal and practical.

The Beatles were said to have struggled over the vocal arrangement of their breakthrough UK single, "Please Please Me," until, Paul McCartney said, "I did the trick of remaining on the high note while the melody [sung by John Lennon] cascaded down from it” — a gambit modeled on what they'd heard the Everlys do in "Cathy's Clown."

"They should be remembered as the guys who invented modern rock & roll," said the late Warren Zevon, who once served as Phil's arranger and band member

Indeed, they're among a handful of acts to claim membership in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Nashville's like-minded country hall; Neil Young did the introductory honors when the Everlys were among the very first class inducted into the rock institution

Hard to beat that kind of praise.

January 7th, 2014, 05:16 PM

January 7th, 2014, 05:18 PM
... an eddhead fave ...


Let It Be Me also rocks