R.I.P. Phil Everly


Don Everly: “We did what we liked and followed our instincts. Rock ‘n’ roll did survive, and we were right about that. Country did survive, and we were right about that. You can mix the two but people said we couldn’t.”

One of my all-time favorites. I had their greatest hits on cassette tape back in high school. I continue to listen to them regularly, my current obsession being “Radio and TV”.

“All I Have To Do Is Dream”, 1960. The HAIR. That country-boy rockabilly pompadour, sexy as hell.

Here they are in 1986 with Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins. Gorgeous.

My friend Trav has a beautiful post up.

Here they are on American Bandstand, performing “Gone Gone Gone” and “Cathy’s Clown”.

Performing “Bye Bye Love” on the Merv Griffin Show in 1966. Interview following, where everyone speaks in awe about mini skirts, while smoking cigarettes.

Their harmonies are pure. Perfect. The blend of “rock” (that new-fangled thing) and country was controversial at the time. What the hell were they? Country singers? Rockabilly? Where did you place them?

Well, you place them in the damn Pantheon, that’s where you place them.

Bob Dylan once said, “We owe these guys everything.”

R.I.P., Mr. Everly.


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24 Responses to R.I.P. Phil Everly

  1. Ali Arikan says:

    “(E)veryone speaks in awe about mini skirts, while smoking cigarettes.”

    Practically my idea of heaven.

    • sheila says:

      I know, right?? And Merv tries to get them to say the girls are so pretty, and they both demur because they’re married men, and their wives are watching. Heartcrack.

  2. I was cranking up a lot of Everlys last night, from the big hits to some lesser known sides, and I got choked up listening to this one, a song from one of their early 70s albums, written by John Sebastian, “Stories We Could Tell.” It’s sort of an inside baseball song about being a touring musician, but the sentiment is kind of universal…and those harmonies.

    “and if you ever wonder why you ride this carousel
    you did for the stories you could tell”


  3. Dg says:

    And of course Keith had plenty to say about the influences of these gentlemen in his book… Mostly to due with the unique guitar stylings that he picked up on. One thing always leads to another in music.

    • sheila says:

      Ooh good call – I’m gonna go drum up some quotes.

      • sheila says:

        “The Everly Brothers come out, and there’s a soft light, the band plays very quietly, and their voices, that beautiful, beautiful refrain – almost mystical. ‘Dream, dream, dream …,’ slipping in and out of unison and harmony. Loads of bluegrass in those boys. The best rhythm guitar playing I ever heard was from Don Everly. Nobody ever thinks about that, but their rhythm guitar playing is perfect. And beautifully placed and set up with the voices.” – Keith Richards

  4. Extremely sad news to wake up to today. Figured you’d have me beat and have three more posts up after it! (lol)…Anyway, my small take is here:


    Happy New Year incidentally!

  5. Have you ever heard the “Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds Sing The Everly Brothers” EP that was included as a 7″ with the Rockpile “Seconds of Pleasure” album? Good stuff! (Of course, Edmunds went on to produce the EB in the 80s)


  6. Dg says:

    Love that thanks for getting.

  7. Melissa Sutherland says:

    Thanks for the clips and words. Great, as usual.

  8. bybee says:

    What Matt Blankman said about Dave Edmunds/Rockpile! Crying In The Rain.

  9. Regina Bartkoff says:

    Oh No! I didn’t know. Where the hell have I been? Thanks for the beautiful post and I know what I’ll be listening to all day.

    • sheila says:

      Regina – I know, so sad (to watch good love go bad?). I listened to them all day yesterday. “Radio and TV” is a favorite, and “Nashville Blues” always gets me too. So much footage of them on Youtube, which was a lot of fun as well.

  10. Fiddlin Bill says:

    The Everlys come from the Louvins is where. Go back from there and you get the Blue Sky Boys (Bill and Earl Bolick), and then the Delmores. And about 1 and 1/2 steps towards now you get the Beatles.

  11. Fiddlin Bill says:

    My wife, who knows a lot more details than I do, says the Everlys even covered some of the Louvin ouvre, which wouldn’t be surprising, and would be smart, as Ira and Charlie did some great stuff.

    • sheila says:

      An Internet friend of mine is a studio musician based in Nashville and he played on one of Charlie’s solo albums – he has some great stories about the guy.

  12. Eanna Brophy says:

    Phil Everly’s death reminds me of a story told me by Colm Keane who interviewed many former rock’n’roll folk for an Irish Radio (RTE). Among them were members of the Crickets, who told Colm that when they started they still dressed in the same kind of clothes their parents wore … until they met the much more sharply dressed Everlys, who kindly told them, “We know a shop where you can get clothes that don’t look like that.” I love that … it sums up a whole era.

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