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Phil Everly of Everly Brothers Duo Dies at 74

Phil and brother Don formed legendary crossover act.

photo by Michael Levin/Corbis

Phil Everly, the younger member of The Everly Brothers duo, died Friday (Jan. 3), in Burbank, Calif., at age 74 from complications of emphysema and bronchitis.

With older brother Don, Phil formed one of music’s legendary duos, which emphasized solid family harmony with outstanding material. Their sound reflected influences of rock, country and bluegrass, and many of their early hits in the 1950s, including “Wake up Little Susie” and “AlI l Have to Do Is Dream,” were No. 1 singles on both the country and pop charts. No less than Reba McEntire recorded a successful cover version of The Everlys’ 1960 hit “Cathy’s Clown.” 

The Everly Brothers were also credited with influencing The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Emmylou Harris and other acts. Phil notoriously stormed off the stage during an Everly Brothers concert in California in 1973, and the duo broke up at that point. They later reunited for shows, records and television appearances.

The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. They were also one of the first acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Following Phil’s passing, country artists like Charlie Daniels and The Oak Ridge Boys took to Twitter to remember the star.


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