Don Everly, a rock pioneer with his brother Phil and their duo the Everly Brothers, died at the age of 84 in Nashville, Tennessee.
His passing was announced yesterday, Sunday August 22, by the Country Music Hall of Fame, for whom Don Everly was “one of the most talented and impactful artists in the history of popular music. “.
Don had survived his brother Phil, who died in 2014 at the age of 75, with whom he marked country music influencing a whole generation of band in the 1960s. At the head, the Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who at the beginning of their careers were nicknamed the “Foreverly Brothers”.
Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys and the Byrds also owe them this way of singing in harmony.
Many artists have paid tribute to him. Among them, Carole King, Roy Orbison Jr, or Julian Lennon who declared in a tweet: “RIP Don of the” Everly Brothers “, who with his brother Phil wrote some of the most memorable songs of all time”.
In 1957, the two brothers recorded their first album, singing together country music melodies from their native Kentucky mixed with rock. They broke the same year, at 18, with “Bye Bye Love”.
Their influence “exceeds even their fame”, had written Paul Simon in the magazine Rolling Stone, describing the duo of “most important in the history of rock”.
Their music indeed radiates across the Atlantic. In 1962 Claude François, takes again one of their titles “Made to Love”. He changes the lyrics, and the title becomes “Belles, Belles, Belles”.
But the Beatles’ supremacy in the 1960s got the better of the Everly Brothers, who fell into drugs and alcohol and clash more and more often off stage.
In 1973, the duo broke up in the middle of a concert in Southern California. It took ten years for the group to reform in 1983, during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The brothers produced two albums in the 1980s and played a few concerts in the 1990s, but remaining strangers to each other.
“We’re completely different, except when we sing together,” Don Everly told the Los Angeles Times in 1999: “I’m a liberal Democrat, he’s pretty conservative.”