The Everly Brothers were a legendary music duo of the late 50’s. Their mark was made through a country-based style that produced ballad type songs of romance and perpetual love. The Everly Brothers played side-by-side accompanying their repertoire on steel-stung guitar and teaching the proverbial world to sing in perfect harmony. Today as Phil Everly passed away we reflect on the legacy he left behind and how the duo’s contribution shaped the course of modern rock music as it is today.
For the most part of their personal and professional lives Phil and Don Everly had a close relationship that was reflected in their brotherly love and trademark harmony. Throughout their repertoire they passed parts between themselves with Phil singing tenor and Don the baritone part. This signatory feature alongside Dons solo sections raised the Everly Brothers profile and influenced rock bands into the next decade and beyond.
Everly Sweet Success
‘Bye Bye Love’, ‘Cathy’s Clown’ and ‘Wake Up Little Suzie’ were just three of the Everly Brothers numerous hit singles. Their clean-cut looks and perfect harmony together with their charismatic chord-based ballads was a recipe for sweet success.
‘Bye Bye Love’ is a classic example of a 50’s song that was enjoyed by the masses for its simplistic 3-chord pattern and repeat lyrics:
G D G D G D A7 D
‘’Bye Bye Love, Bye ByeHapp-in-ess, Hell-o Lon-lin-ess, I Think I’m Gonn-a Cry’’
Many artists have since performed cover versions including George Harrison’s version which was considered the height of bad taste in 1974. He added electric guitar, digital piano and bass and bongo parts and the process totally ‘over egged the cake’. Today ‘Bye Bye Love’ can be found as part of the standard repertoire for rudimentary digital piano players throughout the globe.
Stopped In Their Tracks
Bands of the 60s were heavily influenced by the sounds emulating from the Everly Brothers. Certainly UK rock bands The Hollies and the The Beatles both identify with the Everly influence and would be the first to salute the stalwart 50’s duo. The brothers single ‘Cathy’s Clown’ was a direct influence on The Beatles who took the ‘’Here he comes—–‘’ length of phrasing and elongated lyrics and composed ‘Please Please Me’ on the back of Phil and Dons success only to take the 60s music stage by storm soon after.
The Dynamic Duo
The Everly Brothers were there at the cusp of rock and roll. They both witnessed and were part of a unique movement as their music traversed more and more towards the unstoppable new trend. With their brotherly charm and musical dexterity we all live happy Everly after with the unique contribution made by this dynamic duo.