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Everly Brothers Biography

Home > Music > E > Everly Brothers > Biography

Birth Place: Shenandoah, Iowa, U.S.
Years Active: 1957–1973, 1983–present
Genres: Country, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll

The Everly Brothers consisted of Don and Phil Everly: Don was born, Isaac Donald Everly on February 1, 1937 in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, and Phillip Everly was born on January 19, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois. The brothers are a country-influenced rock and roll duo who amassed great success in the late 50s and early 60s. The brothers were born into a musical environment with their father, Ike Everly being a musician and having a television show in the 1940s with their mother Margaret and themselves. The brothers got their start in the music business singing with their mom and dad on the show and traveling from state to state as The Everly Family. As the brothers got older they wanted to break away from the family group and sing on their own. By 1956 the brothers had released the single, “Keep A' Lovin' Me” for Columbia Records, which was a commercial failure, prompting the brothers to sign with Cadence Records.

Their first single for Cadence, “Bye Bye Love,” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Pop chart, #1 on the Country chart, and #5 on the R&B chart. The duo became an overnight success and went on to have a string of hits in both the U.S. and the U.K.: “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and “(Till) I Kissed You,” to name but a few. 1960 marked a label change for the duo, who signed with Warner Bros. Records and released “Cathy's Clown.” The single sold eight million copies, making it the duo's biggest-selling record. A number of hit singles followed.

Around the same time, the brothers set up their own record label, Calliope Records, to release independent projects. Don recorded a number of big-bands and began to work more as a producer; while Phil formed a group called The Keestone Family Singers and released the single “Melodrama,” which failed to chart. As 1962 drew to a close, Calliope Records closed its doors. By the mid-1960s the duo's popularity began to wane as album sales slowed down. By 1970 the brothers' contact with Warner Bros. Records was up and they signed with RCA Records, releasing two albums; one in 1972 and one in 1973 before they went their separate ways. The brothers went on to pursue solo careers with Don finding success in the country music charts in Nashville during the 70s, while Phil sang with Warren Zevon. During the late 70s and early 80s, Phil turned to scoring songs for feature films and had some success in Hollywood before his U.K. success as a solo artist.

1983 saw the brothers reunite for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The success of the concert prompted the brothers to go back into the studio and record a new album, “EB '84.” The duo went on to collaborate with other artists around this time, such as Paul McCartney and Paul Simon. The brothers’ last studio album, “Some Hearts” arrived in 1989, and since then the brothers have continually toured and collaborated with other artists. 1998 saw the brothers record the song “Cold” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's concept album, “Whistle Down the Wind.” The brothers continue to perform and collaborate with other artists.