January 19, 1939 was the birthday of Phil Everly, the younger of the Everly Brothers. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and, along with his brother Phil (b. February 1, 1937), they became pioneers of Country Rock.
The duo was raised in a musical family, first appearing on radio singing along with their father Ike and mother Margaret as “The Everly Family” in the 1940s. When the brothers were still in high school they gained the attention of prominent Nashville musicians like Chet Atkins, who began to promote them for national attention.
They began writing and recording their own music in 1956 and their first hit song came in 1957 with Bye Bye Love, written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The song hit No. 1 in the spring of 1957 and additional hits would follow through 1958, many of them written by the Bryants, including Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do Is Dream and Problems. In 1960 they signed with Warner Bros. Records and recorded Cathy’s Clown, written by the brothers themselves, which was their biggest selling single.
Don and Phil enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1961 and, as a consequence, their output dropped off, though additional hit singles continued through 1962 with That’s Old Fashioned (That’s the Way Love Should Be) being their last top 10 hit.
Phil died on January 3, 2014, while elder brother Don passed away on August 21, 2021.
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