Bye Bye Love: R.I.P. Don Everly

Phil and Don Everly, Doing What They Did Best - photo by Pete Cronin/Redferns

Phil and Don Everly, Doing What They Did Best – photo by Pete Cronin/Redferns

WC can’t add much to the excellent tributes and obituaries from Rolling Stone and the New York Times. The guy had a voice like an angel, and despite heavy drinking, drugs and decades of smoking, he never lost that pitch-perfect sound. Or the skills that created those amazing parallel thirds harmonies with his brother, Phil.

WC saw them in Chicago at the Opera House in 1972, shortly before the infamous on-stage breakup in 1973. They argued on stage, but their music was simply astonishing. Waddy Wachtel and Warren Zevon were in their band then. A wonderful show. It was also WC’s first real date with The Cat Thief, but that’s another story.

Their close harmonies had and continue to have immense influence on popular music. The Beach Boys, the Beatles, the BeeGees, the Hollies, the Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel and many, many more have acknowledged their debt to the Everly Brothers. If you listen carefully to the Beatles’ “Please Please Me,” the harmony arrangements are modeled after those in the Everly Brothers “Cathy’s Clown.” Simon & Garfunkel were even more explicit: their live cover of the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” in New York’s Central Park has the Everly Brothers on harmony.

The Everly Brothers also helped popularize the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote many of the Everly Brothers’ early hits. Reportedly, the Bryant-written “Bye Bye Love” was rejected by 30 different artists before the Everly Brothers covered it and made it a smash hit.

Thanks for the decades on wonderful music, Don Everly. WC doesn’t expect there will ever be another one like you.

R.I.P. Isaac Donald Everly, 1937-2014.

One thought on “Bye Bye Love: R.I.P. Don Everly

  1. Thank you for this post. Another loss. I had completely missed hearing of Don Everly’s death. Definitely had their music in the house when I was younger


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