Monday, August 23, 2021

Don Everly Remembered..'Bye Bye Love' To Rock Royalty

Don Everly (1937 - 2021)

Don Everly — whose divine harmony with sibling Phil Everly in the Everly Brothers helped shape the course of rock and roll — died Saturday in Nashville at age 84.

The Tennessean reports Everly's passing was announced on the duo's official Instagram account, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame, which inducted the Everly Brothers in 2001. The duo was also part of the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

In a statement, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young called Everly "one of the most talented and impactful artists in popular music history."

Classics such as “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up, Little Susie” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” epitomize the vocal blend of Everly and his younger brother, Phil, who died in 2014. As his brother’s tenor soared, Everly was the anchor, singing the main melody on the bulk of their songs.

Their sound soon found a rapt audience with the release of “Bye Bye Love” in 1957 – and it ignited the imaginations of teenagers who would later become The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. 

“Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I have ever heard," reads a quote from Paul Simon engraved at Knoxville's Everly Brothers Park.


Born February 1, 1937 in Brownie, Kentucky, Isaac Donald Everly and his brother grew up immersed in country music. They first hit the airwaves before they were out of elementary school, singing with their country-performing parents on their father’s radio show in Shenandoah, Iowa, in 1945.

After a two-year stint in Knoxville, Tenn. the family moved to Nashville, where the brothers soon found attention as a duo. Among their earliest boosters was Chet Atkins, who led them to a publishing deal with Acuff-Rose and a recording contract with Cadence Records in 1957.

A lone release with Columbia Records, “Keep a-Lovin' Me,” had flopped a year prior, but that wasn’t the case with “Bye Bye Love.”

Success came swiftly: “Love” topped the country charts and reached No. 2 overall, and just three months after its release, the Everly Brothers were made members of the Grand Ole Opry.

“I felt at home at the Opry," Everly told The Tennessean in 1998. "Because when we walked down the streets of New York City with a guitar case, people would yell at you back in those days and look to see if you had shoes on."

“Love” was penned by married Nashville songwriting duo Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, and it soon became clear that the Everlys were a perfect match for their material.

In 1973, the duo's original run came to an infamous end when Phil Everly walked off stage in the middle of a performance. From the stage, Don Everly declared "The Everly Brothers died 10 years ago."

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