Header Ads

PHIL EVERLY died January 3rd at the age of 74

PHIL EVERLY died January 3rd at the age of 74 


 
The younger brother of the Everly Brothers, died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  From the very beginning of the 'Everly Brothers' fame, when the two small boys made their very first public performance in the old City Auditorium in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and more regularly on KMA Radio Station in Shenandoah, Iowa (they also sang on KFNF in Shenandoah frequently) with their dad Ike and their mom Margaret, the Everly Brothers created a harmony singing duet unbeatable by anyone's standards.  Phil was born on January 19, 1939, in Chicago, the son of a coal mining father, Ike Everly, an accomplished guitarist and singer, who managed to find his way out of the Kentucky coal mines to better his life, and his families life by playing old-time country music.  His guitar stylings were the precursor to both Chet Atkins and Merle Travis.  Once they found their way to Shenandoah, Iowa, both brothers were always very proud to say they 'grew up' in Iowa, and they did.  They would find themselves singing old-time mountain songs between radio commercials for rat poison and Foster's Corn & Callus removers.  Phil was 5 years old when he got to Shenandoah, and didn't leave there until he was 17.  When they finally left Shenandoah, 'live' radio music was already going out of style, and father Ike began working as a carpenter, hanging wall board.  Both Phil and Don helped him.  On a hiatus, just to see if there was any chance in music at all, the brothers saved up their meager dollars and decided to visit Nashville for a week.  They made their way through audition after audition, even standing outside the Ryman Auditorium to sing for anyone who would listen, to no avail.  They finally found their way to the office of Chet Atkins, then working for RCA records, who said later..."I found the Everly boys to be polite, without an accent, and of very high intelligence from those I normally interviewed.  I sent them to Cadence Records."  The Everly's huge hit "Bye Bye Love" written by Bordeaux Bryant who wrote the music and his wife Felice who wrote the words, had already been turned down by well over 30 other recording artists, including Elvis Presley.  They followed this hit song, almost immediately with "Wake Up Little Susie" which immediately rose to #1 on the music charts.  They followed the same road as all super-stars, performing, singing, interviewing, playing, traveling.  By 1962, the Everly's had earned 35-million dollars from record sales.  By the end of the 60's they released "Roots" a return to the music they loved, and the same music taught to them by their dad.  In 1973, with both suffering health and stress problems from those many years of touring, they broke up 'during' a concert at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.  Phil threw his guitar down, which 'exploded' on the stage, and walked off in the middle of singing "Cathy's Clown," leaving a stunned Don to tell a stunned audience the duo was finished.  They re-united in 1983, for a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was a fresh and new as they had ever been, but they never returned to the brilliance and remarkable 'never to hear again' brother harmony they created in Shenandoah, Iowa, when their father Ike was backing them on guitar. For two little boys that grew up in Iowa, Don Everly said it best in an interview today..."I was listening to one of my favorite songs, that Phil wrote, and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got news of his passing.  I took that as a special spiritual message frm Phil saying good bye.  Our love was and will always be deeper than any any earthly diffewrences we might have had.  I loved my brother very much.  I always thought I'd be the one to go first.  The world might be mourning for an Everly Brother, but I am mourning my brother, Phil Everly." We inducted the Everly Brothers into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.  When we began placing photographs of inductees in the Pioneer Music Musem, their's was the very first one.  They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2001.
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

No comments