Black Music Matters Festival

Phil Everly dies at 74

Saturday, January 4, 2014 – Phil Everly, 74, one-half of the American duo The Everlys, who were known for their harmonies, died Friday in Burbank, Cal. at 74 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Everlys were known for such hits as Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy's Clean, All I Have to Do is Dream and When Will I Be Loved?

The Everlys were big hit makers in the late 1950s and early 1960s and were popular among country and pop listeners. They had hits on their first, self-titled disc in 1958. Their follow-up album, "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us," contained a series of traditional songs. A tribute to that disc was released in November 2012 by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Norah Jones.

Among those who recorded their songs were The Beatles, Linda Ronstadt and Simon and Garfunkel.

The Everlys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Everly was born in Chicago on Jan. 19, 1939 to Ike, an aspiring musician, and Margaret Everly. The Everly family (brother Don was born two years before Phil) moved to Iowa where Ike gained work playing country music on live radio. Don and Phil started harmonizing with their parents on the air at KMA in Shenandoah, Ia. in 1945.

The family later moved to Indiana and Tennessee where they had radio shows. By 1955, the brothers moved to Nashville where they were songwriters and soon recording artists. They had a huge hit with Bye Bye Love in 1957. The Boudleaux and Felice Bryant song hit number one on the country charts, two on the pop chart and five on the rhythm ad blues chart. Wake Up Little Susie was number one on the country charts that same year for eight weeks. Other number one country hits included All I Have to Do is Dream in1958 and Bird Dog in1958.

The hits continued until the early 1960s, although they continued recording after that. The brothers had a falling out in the 1970s with Phil smashing his guitar at a California concert and leaving the stage. Don announced the duo's break-up. They eventually reunited in 1984. Their final show was in 2005 in England.

Phil Everly leaves his wife, his mother, his brother, two sons and two granddaughters.