|Phil Everly (1999 L.A. Times photo)|
The Everly Brothers "charted nearly three dozen hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart [and] were among the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it got off the ground in 1986," Randy Lewis writes for the Times.
They are also in the Country Music Hall of Fame, note Greg Botelho and Todd Leopold of CNN. "Their style -- a product of their blend of rock 'n' roll with Appalachian folk, bluegrass and other genres more closely aligned to their Kentucky roots -- helped them earn inductions in both."
Phil, by two years the younger brother of Don Everly, was born in Chicago, but his roots were in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, where their father, Ike Everly, was a contemporary of fellow singer-guitarist Merle Travis and Mose Rager, who taught Travis the thumb-picking style popular in the West Kentucky Coal Field. The boys sang with their father and mother, Margaret Embry Everly, on a radio show in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s, and later moved to Indiana, Knoxville and Nashville.
Ike Everly's regular trade was barbering, and one of his customers was Boudleaux Bryant, who had moved to Nashville with his wife Felice to pursue their joint songwriting career. When the brothers signed with Cadence Records in 1957, with the help of Chet Atkins, the Bryants offered them three duet songs: "Bye, Bye, Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," and "All I Have to Do Is Dream." The rest is history.
|The Everly Brothers on TV in 1972|
(Tony Russell Redferns, Getty Images)
"They had that sibling sound," Ronstadt told the Times. "The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound [with family] that you never get with someone who’s not blood related to you. And they were both such good singers -- they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock 'n' roll sound." (Read more)
"The roots of the Everly Brothers are very, very deep in the soil of American culture," Paul Simon wrote for Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time," on which they were No. 33. "The Everly Brothers' impact exceeds even their fame. They were a big influence on John Lennon and Paul McCartney — who called themselves the Foreverly Brothers early on — and, of course, on Simon and Garfunkel." Rolling Stone called them "the most important vocal duo in rock."