Phil Everly of Everly Brothers Dead at 74

They had a huge influence on early rock
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2014 5:25 AM CST

Phil Everly is dead at age 74 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the obituaries are paying homage to just how much he and brother Don influenced the early days of rock and roll as the Everly Brothers. Songs such as "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Bye Bye Love," "Cathy’s Clown," and "When Will I Be Loved" became "rock standards" and their harmonies swayed everyone from the Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Mamas & the Papas, recounts Rolling Stone. It notes that Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones recently put out a tribute album.

  • Bob Dylan: "We owe these guys everything," he once said. "They started it all." And the Beatles sometimes referred to themselves as the "English Everly Brothers," notes Time.
  • 'Troubled princes': "You could argue that while Elvis Presley was the king of rock 'n' roll, Phil and Don Everly were its troubled princes," write Chris Talbott and Robert Jablon at AP. "They sang dark songs hidden behind deceptively pleasing harmonies and were perfect interpreters of the twitchy hearts of millions of baby boomer teens coming of age in the 1950s and '60s looking to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day."
  • Early days: Phil was born Jan. 19, 1939, about two years after his brother, and they got their start singing on their parents' Iowa radio show, reports the Los Angeles Times. The family moved to Nashville in 1955, and the brothers hit No. 2 the following year with "Bye Bye Love." Their career spanned five decades and included 19 top 40 hits in their heyday. The brothers split in 1973 but reunited a decade later.
  • The UK Telegraph rounds up video of some of their biggest hits.
(More Phil Everly stories.)

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