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Phil Everly: Half of the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Duo

It’s a measure of the greatness of Phil Everly, who died on Jan. 3 at age 74 in Burbank, Calif., that you hear him and his older brother Don practically every time you turn on a classic rock radio station, even when the DJ isn’t actually playing “Bye Bye Love,” “All I Have to Do is Dream” or another of their many hits from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Everly BrothersWhat you hear, over and over, is the sound of the Everly Brothers – those distinctively crisp, close-knit harmonies, with Phil on the higher end, laid over jangling country-style guitar and a rock beat – being imitated by scores of other greats. The Beatles, notably, patterned the vocal harmonies in “Please Please Me” on the Everlys’ hit “Cathy’s Clown.”

“I learned that every syllable can shine,” As Art Garfunkel once put it to Rolling Stone. “They were Kentucky guys with beautiful, perfect-pitch harmonies and great diction. All those vowels and consonants, those s’s and t’s, every one of them killed me.”

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Here are 10 facts about Phil Everly and his influential career:

 

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Photo of Phil (left) and Don (right): Bruno of Hollywood, circa 1958, via Wikipedia

 

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