They Were Known as the Most Important Duo in the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll — Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers Dies at 74

Jan 4, 2014  •  Post A Comment

“Phil Everly, 74, 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,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

The story continues, “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.’ “

Don Everly is 76.

According to CNN’s obituary, “Rolling Stone [magazine] labeled the Everly Brothers “the most important vocal duo in rock,” having influenced the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and many other acts. Along the way, they notched 35 Top 100 songs — more than any other vocal pair.”

The obituary in The New York Times included this: “Paul Simon, whose song ‘Graceland’ includes vocals by Phil and Don Everly, said in an email [today, Saturday morning, Jan. 4, 2014]: ‘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 are in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The New York Times obituary added this: “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.’ “

We found the following video on YouTube: “The Everly Brothers performing Cathy’s Clown … accompanied with the Crickets. Recorded live on the Alma Cogan Show in the UK during 1961.”

As you look at the video, Phil is on your left.

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