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Bye Bye Phil

Published: 5 Mar 14, 07:47pm  |  Author: DG Music

Saturday 18th January saw 200 people attend a memorial service for Phil Everly, younger of the two Everly Brothers who, in the 5 years between 1957 and 1962, had 19 Top 40 hits. Phil died in the first week of January, aged 74.

Who were the Everly Brothers?

Today, the Everlys are history, more or less unknown to anyone under 60. But everyone has heard of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkle, The Eagles, The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash; and solo artists such as Elvis Presley, Dave Edmunds and Linda Ronstadt. It’s true to say that all of these and many other artists were influenced by the the Everly brothers, whose song-writing legacy lies deep in the DNA of pop and rock music.

So what was special about the Everly Brothers' music?

Easy: Two voices singing memorable tunes in a close harmony blend which which cuts through the supporting but innovative guitar accompaniment. Listen to the Beatles first hit, Please Please Me, and then to the Everly's Bye Bye Love or Wake Up Little Susie and the influence is clear.

Bye Bye Love sold 1 million copies in 1957, is 210th in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is still performed today by artists specialising in the 50s and 60s period, like DG music’s Dai & The Ramblers or Ready, Steady Go! Or what about the song Cathy’s Clown, which was written by Don & Phil Everly, is 149th In the Rolling Stone list and became the first single to top the US and UK charts simultaneously in 1960. Not bad for a couple of 20-year-olds who as a result finished up touring with Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly.

Here is a video of them playing the song live on network TV in 1957...

Of course, as in all families, they had their moments. Like in 1973, when during a gig in Buena Park, California, Phil smashed up his guitar and stormed off stage leaving his brother to comment: “I guess the band just broke up.” But this wasn’t to last. The pair reunited in 1983 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, the resulting live album entering the UK top 50.

Phil Everly was a remarkable musician. His solo albums featured Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard. He sang on the title track of Paul Simon’s amazing and highly influential album, Graceland. And he inspired Norah Jones and Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong to recreate, track-by-track, a 1958 Everly Brothers album.

Anyone who can record a fantastic song like All I Have To Do Is Dream, which features guitar great Chet Atkins [another forgotten 50s hero] and which is still the only song ever to be number one in all of Billboard Magazines singles charts simultaneously [in 1958], deserves to be remembered.

Bye Bye Phil...


'Everly Brothers' is by Bruno of Holywood, modified by GDuwen and is in the Public Domain

About DG Music

DG Music is a professional Music Agency providing bands and musicians for private events and public performances.

The business has been operating since 2004 and is proud of the professional and friendly service it provides.

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