Country Music Hall of Fame
-- inducted 2001
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
-- inducted 1986
Everly Brothers were one of the top acts in rock-and-roll
It all started in Kentucky, U.S.A.
Isaac Donald and Phillip Everly were raised in a musical
family, steeped in one of the oldest musical traditions in America.
The atmosphere of the coal mining towns of Kentucky
and the songs, which are the voice of the culture, formed the Everly
Brothers' sound which has endured for more than thirty years. Don
and Phil are the sons of Ike and Margaret Everly, who, like their
parents before them, were folk and country singers from central
Kentucky. Their late father was one of the few "authentic"
guitarists in American music. The influence of his thumb picking style
can be heard in the music of players such as Merle Travis, Chet Atkins
and Mark Knopfler.
Soon after Don was born, Ike decided to leave the
coal region and move to Chicago to pursue a career in music and find a
better life for his young family. After he had established himself as
a professional entertainer, Phil was born, and Ike decided to take a
job in Iowa, where he could raise his boys in a healthier rural
environment. He joined KMA, a powerful radio station in Shenandoah,
Iowa, where he was a staff artist until 1951. It was during this time
that Don and Phil began working with their mother and father on radio
and on stage.
In 1953 the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee,
where they worked on WROL radio, performing two shows per day and
getting paid $90 per week. When the money ran out, Ike got in touch
with Chet Atkins in Nashville. It wasn't long before Chet had one of
Don's songs, "Thou Shalt Not Steal," recorded by Kitty
Wells. It was a hit and the decision was made to split up the family
act and send the brothers to Nashville.
The going was rough for the first two years. Ike
worked as a barber and Margaret as a beautician to help support the
boys while they made the rounds of the record companies.
Don and Phil suffered repeated rejections by record
executives who didn't know what to do with them. Finally, in February
1957, the Everly Brothers signed with Cadence Records, released
"Bye Bye Love," sold more than two million records, and
began a career that established them as the most influential duo in
the history of recorded music. As Bob Dylan said regarding Don and
Phil, "We owe these guys everything. They started it all."
In June of 1957 they made their first appearance as
regulars on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. They brought more than
their innovative acoustic guitar rhythm and vocal blends to the stage
of the old Ryman Auditorium. That night, Don and Phil were the first
act to use drums on the Grand Ole Opry and to this day are given
credit for introducing and developing the use of drums in Nashville.
The traditional country audience loved them, but right from the
beginning, the uniqueness of their sound made them popular on an
international scale with a wide spectrum of fans. Over the years their
blend of country, rock & roll, bluegrass and rockabilly has
remained popular with pop, rock, country and R & B listeners
Their phenomenal output over the next five years
included: "I Wonder If I Care As Much,"
"Claudette," "Bird Dog," "Devoted To
You," "Problems," "Take A Message To Mary,"
"('Til) I Kissed You," "Let It Be Me," "When
Will I Be Loved," "Cathy's Clown," "So Sad (To
Watch Good Love Go Bad)," "Wake Up Little Susie,"
"All They Have To Do Is
Dream," "Walk Right Back,"
"Ebony Eyes," "Temptation," "Crying In The
Rain," and many more. For most of these titles Don and Phil
received a gold record award.
In 1961 Don and Phil were called upon to fulfill
their military service obligations. They decided to enlist in the
Marine Reserve and left the world of stardom to endure the rigors of
basic training. To this day the Everly Brothers consider their
training as Marines to be a pivotal positive experience in their
Through the 60's they continued to write, perform
and record. Among their significant singles were "Gone, Gone,
Gone," "The Price Of Love," "Love Is Strange"
and "Bowling Green." In 1970 Don and Phil had their own
highly-rated T.V. show, "Johnny Cash Presents The Everly
Brothers." The show gave them the opportunity to bring their
father out of retirement to perform with them before a national
Many artists and groups were influenced by Don and
Phil Everly. To name but a few: Simon and
The Bellamy Brothers, Peter and Gordon,
The Mamas & The Papas, The Searchers, The
Hollies, ELO, The Lovin' Spoonful, Linda
Ronstadt, Bryan Ferry, Queen, Status Quo, The
Stills Nash and Young, The Byrds and... The Beatles. Graham Nash:
"The Everlys definitely influenced me. They were the main
inspiration for me and almost everyone in rock 'n roll owes a great
deal to them."
During the years from 1958 to 1973 numerous albums
were released. Amongst them were: "Songs
Our Daddy Taught Us," "The Fabulous Style Of The Everly Brothers,"
"It's Everly Time," "A Date With The Everly
Brothers," "The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country
Hits," "Gone Gone Gone," "Rock 'N Soul,"
"In Our Image" (including the hit "The Price Of
Love,") "Two Yanks In England," "Roots,"
"Stories We Could Tell," "Pass The Chicken And
Listen" and others. More than half a million copies were sold of
the albums "The Golden Hits Of The Everly Brothers" and
"The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers," worth far more than
a million dollars each, which made them gold.
Since 1957 the Everly Brothers have performed
in far more than 700 cities in the USA and Canada. From 1959 to 1973
they toured the world, with regular tours in Great Britain. Other
countries included in these tours were: France, Luxembourg, Holland,
Germany, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Austria,
Finland, Ireland, Taiwan, Japan, Campuchea, New Zealand, Philippines,
South Africa and South Vietnam. Their careers continued to go strong
in the early 70's but the ravages of life in the spotlight began to
wear them down. In 1973 the brothers decided to go their separate
ways. Don moved back to Nashville and Phil stayed in Los Angeles.
During their years apart the Everly Brothers pursued solo careers with
Interestingly, both worked mostly with country
music. Don recorded several albums and hit the country charts with his
recordings of "Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again" and
"Brother Jukebox." Connie Smith made hits (again) of his
compositions "('Til) I Kissed You" and "So Sad."
Meanwhile Phil also recorded albums and had a No. 1 song with Linda
Ronstadt's version of "When Will I Be Loved." For this
composition Phil won the BMI award in 1976. He was also on the country
charts himself with "Dare To Dream Again" and "Sweet
In the early 80's Don and Phil decided that enough
was enough and that they should work together again. On September 22
and 23, 1983, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, the Everly
Brothers performed two historic concerts before thunderstruck
capacity crowds. The
Concert was released as a double album
and aired around the world as an HBO cable television special.
In the years after the reunion, three significant Everly
Brothers albums were released. Their comeback album, "EB
'84," included their hit "On The Wings Of A
Nightingale," written for them by
Paul McCartney. In Holland they
received gold record awards for both the album and the single in 1988.
In 1986, the superb "Born Yesterday" was chosen by Time
Magazine as one of the top ten pop albums of the year. In 1989 they
released "Some Hearts," a self-produced innovative
collection of ten songs, which show the Everly Brothers are
refusing to rest on their laurels. They still rocked in the 90's and
continue to do so in the millennium.
In January 1986, Don and Phil were two of the
original inductees into the Rock 'N Roll Hall Of Fame. Having sold far
more than 40 million records and having created a sound that is beyond
fad and whims of the music industry, they were honored as two artists
who laid the foundation for an art form that created a cultural
revolution. A few months later the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
awarded the Brothers their very own star No. 1834 in the Walk Of Fame
on Hollywood Boulevard.
As Chet Atkins said when introducing the Everly
Brothers on his 1989 Cinemax Special, "They simply changed
music for the whole world."
Don Everly had a No. 1 song with
Reba McEntire's version of "Cathy's Clown." The composition won
him the biggest BMI Award, the 22nd Robert J. Burton Award, as
most-performed country song of 1990.
yearly "The Everly Brothers' Homecoming Music
Festival" concentrates on the distinctive vocal and instrumental
styles that grew out of and reflect the cultural heritage of the
region. Proceeds from the event go to the Everly Brothers'
Foundation, a charity that provides aid for scholarships and
The 4 CD Box Set called "Heartaches
& Harmonies," released by Rhino Records, gives a rather perfect
view on the Everly Brothers' recording career.
The Everly Brothers are --
Hit songs include --
- All I Have To Do Is Dream
- Bird Dog
- Bye Bye Love
- Cathy's Clown
- Wake Up Little Susie
- Devoted To You
- I Wonder If I Care As Much
- ('Til) I Kissed You
- That's Old Fashioned (That's The Way Love Should Be)
- This Little Girl of Mine
- Crying In The Rain
- Let It Be Me
- So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)
- Walk Right Back
- Ebony Eyes
- When Will I Be Loved
- On The Wings of a Nightingale
- Should We Tell Him
- Bird Dog
- Take A Message To Mary
A Classic Rock artist may be available for your next special event!
Genre: x Rock 1
Rock & Roll
50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s
Born: in Kentucky
Feb 1, 1937
Born: in Illinois
Jan 19, 1939
Formed: in 1954