Phil Everly, the younger of the Everly Brothers, who influenced some of the greatest voices in rock'n'roll music, from Bob Dylan to the Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel, has passed away. He was 74.
Everly died Friday evening from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, his wife, Patti Everly, told the L.A. Times. The disease was caused by cigarette smoking, she said.
Phil, with his brother Don, recorded over 20 top 40 hits in their long career together. The one filled with stops and starts, fights and forgiveness, but always sealed with the harmonies that made them one of the most revered recording duos in history. As members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, the two have been recognized for the brilliance of "Wake Up Little Susie," or "Bye Bye Love," or "All I Have to Do Is Dream," or "Cathy’s Clown." The group has more hits than you shake a stick it. The Everly Brothers have also been credited by some of the greatest rock musicians in history as direct influences on their careers:
The Everlys dealt in the entire emotional spectrum with an authenticity that appealed to proto rockers like the Beatles and Bob Dylan, who gladly pass the credit for the sea changes they made in rock to the ruggedly handsome brothers. The Beatles, the quartet whose pitch-perfect harmonies set the pop music world aflame, once referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers." And Dylan, pop culture's poet laureate, once said, "We owe these guys everything. They started it all."
Their effect on music can still be felt to this very day. This year, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones recorded Foreverly, a tribute to the Everly Brothers' Songs Our Daddy Taught Us LP.