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IN MEMORY OF PHIL EVERLY (1939 - 2014) - RIP
The Everly Brothers—Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip "Phil" Everly (January 19, 1939 -- January 3, 2014)—were American country-influenced rock and roll singers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The duo was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
The music of the Everly Brothers is acknowledged to have influenced many successful musicians, including The Beatles, who famously once referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers" (when Paul and John went hitch-hiking down south to win a talent competition) and based the vocal arrangement of "Please Please Me" upon "Cathy's Clown". Keith Richards called Don Everly "one of the finest rhythm players". Singer-songwriter Paul Simon who worked with the pair on his hit Graceland said in an email the day after Phil's death: "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 had 35 Billboard Top-100 singles, 26 in the top 40. They hold the record for the most Top-100 singles by any duo, and trail only Hall & Oates for the most Top-40 singles by a duo. In the UK, they had 30 chart singles, 29 in the top 40, 13 top 10 and 4 at No. 1 between 1957 and 1984. They had 12 top-40 albums between 1960 and 2009.
In 1986, the Everlys were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, they were introduced by Neil Young, who observed that every musical group he belonged to had tried and failed to copy the Everly Brothers' harmonies.
In 1997 the brothers were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Their pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the Everly Brothers No. 33 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Times. They are also No. 43 on the list of UK Best selling singles artists of all time.
They were also songwriters, penning "Till I Kissed You" (Don), "Cathy's Clown" (Don and Phil), and "When Will I Be Loved" (Phil). "Cathy's Clown" and "When Will I Be Loved" later became hits for Reba McEntire and Linda Ronstadt, respectively; (for the latter, the Everly Brothers sang the chorus). Also, the Norwegian band a-ha covered "Crying In The Rain" in 1990 for its fourth album, East of The Sun, West of The Moon.
On January 3, 2014, Phil Everly died at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, just two weeks prior to his 75th birthday. The cause of his death was complications attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a combination of emphysema and bronchitis), brought on by a lifetime of smoking.