NASHVILLE (Tenn.) Don Everly, one half of the pioneering Everly Brothers, who's harmonizing country music hits had a profound impact on a generation of rock n rolling music, has passed away. He was 84.
According to Linda Edell Howard, Everly's attorney and family spokesperson, Everly died Saturday at his Nashville home. Phil Everly, his brother, died January 2014 at the age of 74.
According to a family statement, Don lived by the feelings he felt inside his heart. Don expressed gratitude for his ability to live the life he wanted, sharing his love with Adela, his soulmate and wife, and the music that made him an everly brother. Don never failed to express his gratitude for his fans.
The duo of Don & Phil, who drew on their rural roots in the 1960s with their strummed instruments and high-pitched harmonies, embodied teenage energy and restlessness through their poignant songs, many written by Felice and Boudleaux. They had 19 hits in the top 40, including Let It Be Me and All I Have To Do Is Dream. Many artists, from Simon & Garfunkel to the Beatles, cited them as a major influence.
Jerry Lee Lewis said that the Everly Brothers are an integral part of American music. My friend Don's passing has made me reflect on a lifetime of great friends, amazing music, and fond memories. Although I have a lot to say about Don and Phil, I will only reflect on today.
The postwar generation of babyboomers was attracted to songs like Bye Bye Love, and Wake Up Little Susie. Their simple harmony hid deeper meanings than the pop music of the time.
After 16 years of hits, the two fell out in 1973. They reunited in 1983 and sealed it with a hug.
Despite their declining hit record count in the 1980s, they still managed to tour successfully in Europe and the U.S.
They were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame on September 26, 1986.
Kyle Young, CEO of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum said that Don Everly was a singer, songwriter, and an innovator in the guitar. In 2001, the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted the brothers.
Don Everly was the son of Ike Everly and Margaret Everly who were country and folk music singers. Phil Everly was the son of the couple. The Everlys settled in Chicago after Ike became tired of working in the coal mines.
The brothers started singing country music on the radio in 1945 with their family's Shenandoah, Iowa station.
Their breakthrough moment was when they moved to Nashville in mid-1950s, and signed a recording deal with Cadence Records in New York.
The dramatic breakup occurred at a Knotts Berry farm concert in California. Phil Everly fell to his guitar and walked away, prompting Don Everly, the Everly Brothers' founder, to tell the crowd that he died 10 years ago.
The brothers' disputes even reached court when Don Everly sued Phil Everly's heirs in 2017 for copyright to three of their songs including Cathys Clown.
Don stated that Phil's 2014 death caused him to feel a spiritual message from brother.
Don Everly stated in a statement that in 2014, "Our love was deeper than any earthly differences"
They also pursued solo singing careers while they were apart. Phil was also in Clint Eastwood's 1978 movie Every Which Way but Loose. Don performed in local nightclubs, played guitar, and sang background vocals during recording sessions.
In a 1986 interview with the Associated Press, Don Everly stated that he and his brother were successful due to their refusal to follow trends. We did what we loved and followed our instincts. We were correct about rock n' roll surviving. We were correct about the survival of country. It is possible to mix them, but many people claimed that it was impossible.
Their influence on popular music continues to be felt decades later. Green Days Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Days and Norah Jones, released an ode to the Everlys in 2013 on their album Foreverly.
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