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Phil Everly
Everly In 1958
Everly In 1958
Background information
Birth namePhillip Everly
Born(1939-01-19)January 19, 1939
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 3, 2014(2014-01-03) (aged 74)
Burbank, California, U.S.
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1951–2007
Formerly of The Everly Brothers

Phillip Everly [1] (January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014) was an American musician, who was one half of the duo The Everly Brothers alongside his older brother Don.

Early life

Phil was born in Chicago in 1939 to Isaac Milford "Ike" Everly, Jr. (1908–1975), a guitar player, and Margaret Embry Everly (1919–2021). [2]

The Everly family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1953, where the brothers attended West High School. In 1955, the family moved to Madison, Tennessee, while the brothers moved to Nashville. Don had graduated from high school in 1955, and Phil attended Peabody Demonstration School, [3] from which he graduated in 1957.


The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers Career started in 1951. They signed to Cadence Records In 1957. Their first hit was " Bye Bye Love", which had been rejected by 30 other acts.

Phil (left) with Don in 1958

"Bye Bye Love" went to no. 2 on the pop chart, behind Elvis Presley's " (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", and No. 1 on the country and No. 5 on the R&B charts. The song, by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, became the Everly Brothers' first million-seller. [4]

The Everly brothers in 1970

The Everly Brothers are remembered for other major charting hits such as " Cathy's Clown" and " All I Have To Do Is Dream".

After the duo split following conflicts between the two brothers, Phil and Don pursued solo careers from 1973 to 1983. The brothers reunited at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 23, 1983, which ended their ten-year-long hiatus. The event was initiated by Phil and Don alongside Terry Slater, with Pete Wingfield as musical director. This concert was recorded for a live LP and video broadcast on cable television in mid-January 1984. The brothers returned to the studio as a duo for the first time in over a decade, recording the album EB '84, produced by Dave Edmunds.

The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. They were the first duo and non-solo act to have been inducted. [5] That same year, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [6]

The Everly Brothers Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Their final charting single was 1986's "Born Yesterday". A 1981 live BBC recording of "All I Have to Do Is Dream", which featured Cliff Richard and Phil sharing vocals, was a UK Top 20 hit in 1994.

Paul McCartney has stated that the Everly Brothers were a major influence on the Beatles: [7]

“They were one of the major influences on the Beatles. When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don.”

Solo work

Phil sang backup for Roy Wood's 1975 album Mustard and two songs for Warren Zevon's 1976 self-titled album.

While Zevon was part of Phil Everly's back-up band, Phil also suggested the title and subject matter for Zevon's breakthrough hit single " Werewolves of London". [8]

Phil recorded more frequently, but with no chart success until the 1980s. He wrote "Don't Say You Don't Love Me No More", for the 1978 Clint Eastwood comedy film, Every Which Way But Loose, in which he performed it as a duet with the film's co-star Sondra Locke. Phil also wrote "One Too Many Women In Your Life" for the 1980 sequel, Any Which Way You Can, and played in the band which backed Locke. [9]

In 1983, Phil had UK success as a solo artist with the album Phil Everly, recorded mainly in London. Musicians on the LP included Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, Rockpile and Dire Straits drummer Terry Williams, and keyboard player Pete Wingfield. The track "She Means Nothing to Me", written and composed by John David Williams and featuring Cliff Richard as co-lead vocalist, was a UK Top 10 hit, and "Louise", written and composed by Ian Gomm, reached the Top 50 in 1983. [10] [11]

In 1990, Phil recorded a duet with the Dutch singer René Shuman. "On Top of the World" was written and composed by Phil, who appeared in the music video they recorded in Los Angeles. The selection appeared on Shuman's album, Set the Clock on Rock.

Everly stopped performing in 2007.

Personal life

Everly was married to Jacqueline Alice Ertel from 1963 to 1970, Patricia Mickey from 1972 to 1978, and Patrice Arnold from 1999 until his death.

He had two children. Everly graduated from Peabody Demonstration School in 1957. [3]


Phil Everly died in Burbank, California on January 3, 2014, aged 74, [12] from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). [13] His brother Don died in August 2021, and the Everly family matriarch, Margaret Embry Everly, died four months later in December aged 102. [2]

Phil's widow Patti blamed her husband's death on his smoking habit, which caused him to develop COPD, and recounted Phil's spending his final years having to carry oxygen tanks with him wherever he went and taking 20 different types of medications per day. [13]

Paul McCartney posted about Everly's death on social media, stating: [7]

“Phil Everly was one of my great heroes, with his brother Don, they were one of the major influences on the Beatles. When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don. Years later, when I finally met Phil, I was completely star-struck and at the same time extremely impressed by his humility and gentleness of soul. I will always love him for giving me some of the sweetest musical memories of my life.”

Magne Furuholmen, keyboardist of a-ha talked about a-ha's connection to The Everly Brothers and why they released a cover of Crying in the Rain in 1990, in a 2010 interview:

“Our manager Terry Slater had played bass for the Everly Brothers during the ’60s and was a close personal friend of Phil Everly. He also managed them during their comeback at the Royal Albert Hall in 1984 where we met the Everlys for the first time. Next Christmas they presented a-ha with three Everly Brothers guitars made from the same tree! Being huge Beatles fans, growing up and knowing how influential the Everly Brothers had been for the early Beatles’ sound, we thought that it would be a nice tribute to cover one of their hits.”

[14] [15]

Upon Phil Everly's passing, a-ha stated on their official website that:

“«I'll do my crying in the rain»

– We were lucky enough in our lives to know Phil Everly a little, and we hope some of his dry humor and generosity have rubbed off on us all. His sweet voice will be sorely missed.

– A big branch has fallen, but together, or apart, the Everly Brothers have contributed to music that continues to inspire and fascinate new generations of music lovers all over the world.”


Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers In 1965



Title Details
Star Spangled Springer
  • Release date: June 1973
  • Label: RCA Records
Phil's Diner
Mystic Line
  • Release date: October 1975
  • Label: Pye Records
Living Alone
  • Release date: August 1979
  • Label: Elektra Records
Phil Everly
  • Release date: April 1983
  • Label: Capitol Records


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country US AC CAN Country AUS UK
1973 "God Bless Older Ladies
(For They Made Rock & Roll)"
Star Spangled Springer
" The Air That I Breathe"
1974 "Old Kentucky River" Phil's Diner
1975 "New Old Song"
"Words in Your Eyes" Mystic Line
1979 "Living Alone" Living Alone
"You Broke It"
1980 " Dare to Dream Again" 63 9
1981 "Sweet Southern Love" 52 42
1982 "Louise" 47 Phil Everly
1983 "Who's Gonna Keep Me Warm" 37 40
" She Means Nothing to Me" (with Cliff Richard) 39 9
"Sweet Pretender" 79
1992 "On Top of the World" (with René Shuman)
1994 "All I Have to Do Is Dream" (with Cliff Richard) 93 14
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ "Phil Everly". Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  2. ^ a b Trigger (2021-12-21). "More Than a Mother: Everly Brothers Matriarch Dies at 102". Saving Country Music. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  3. ^ a b "The Everly Brothers in Knoxville". Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  4. ^ Gilliland, John (n.d.). "Show 9 – Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 1]". UNT Digital Library. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  5. ^ "The Everly Brothers | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  6. ^ "This Day In 1986: The Everly Brothers get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame | Rhino". Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  7. ^ a b Grow, Kory (2014-01-08). "McCartney Calls Phil Everly a 'Hero'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  8. ^ Plasketes, George (2016-06-28). "The Secret Inspiration Behind Warren Zevon's 'Werewolves of London'". Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  9. ^ "Phil Everly obituary". The Guardian. 2014-01-05. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  10. ^ "Phil Everly – Phil Everly",, 1983, retrieved 2023-01-22
  11. ^ "Alan Cackett – Phil Everly". Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  12. ^ "Phil Everly dies aged 74". 4 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b Schmitt, Brad. "Phil Everly's widow shares the pain of his COPD death". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  14. ^ "A-ha sørger over Phil Everlys død". January 4, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  15. ^ "a-ha live". Retrieved August 6, 2023.

See also