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The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers

Fact Sheet

Musical genre:Rock, Country  
Don (born February 1, 1937 in Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky) and Phil Everly (born January 18, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) are country-influenced rock and roll performers of the 1950s.

The sons of two Kentucky country musicians, The Everly Brothers recorded their first single, "Keep A' Lovin' Me, " in 1956, under the aegis of Chet Atkins, but did not become successful until 1957 when they began working with songwriting partners Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and the Cadence record label.

They had a hit with the single "Claudette," written by Roy Orbison. Working with the Bryants, they had a number of hits in the US and the UK, the biggest of which were "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," and "Bird Dog." In 1960, when they signed with Warner Brothers, they continued to have hits, such as 1960's "Cathy's Clown" and "The Ferris Wheel" (from 1964), but the years after 1962 saw the Everly Brothers become less commercially viable than before even as they became artistically more accomplished. Following the British Invasion, Everly Brothers recordings like "I'll See Your Light" and "It Only Costs a Dime" (both 1965) began to reflect many of the changes in popular music they had, with their earlier work, put into motion; they recorded, with members of the Hollies contributing songs such as "So Lonely" and "Don't Run and Hide," a classic album entitled Two Yanks in England (1966), at the time somewhat under-appreciated (and currently unavailable on CD) but now considered one of their best efforts. In 1967 they had a hit single, "Bowling Green," and in 1968 they recorded another album now regarded as a classic, Roots, which featured their own compositions alongside songs by Randy Newman and others. In short, their mid- and late-'60s material is considered by many critics and listeners to compare favorably to that done by the Beatles and the Byrds.

With soft, mainly acoustic guitar backing, sweet close-harmony vocals, non-threatening lyrics, and clean-cut white faces, the Everly Brothers were, in their heyday, never perceived as a threat to society, as were performers such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard; they are one of rock and roll music's most important acts because their music, while arguably containing just as much subversion and sexual tension as that of many another group, helped bridge the gap between rock and country music in a way that appealed to fans of both genres. In addition, their approach to harmony singing influenced nearly every rock and roll group of the 1960s.

The Everly Brothers have had a total of 26 Billboard Top 40 singles. In 1986 they were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. The Everly Brothers have a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. They still perform regularly as a duo around the world.