Don Everly, who along with his brother Phil, formed the pioneering rock-country duo the Everly Brothers, has died. He was 84.
A statement from his family to the Los Angeles Times read, in part: “Don lived by what he felt in his heart, Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams … with his soulmate and wife, Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother.”
Originally performing on radio in the 1940s along with their parents as The Everly Family, the Nashville, Tennessee-raised Everly Brothers duo burst on the music scene in the 1950s. With their distinctive harmonies driven by their up-front acoustic guitar playing, they released such hits at “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Crying in the Rain,” “All I Have to Do is Dream” and their biggest-selling hit “Cathy’s Clown,” released in 1960. Their music influenced a generation of harmony-driven pop/rock icons who followed, including the Beach Boys, the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.
The brothers eventually also went on to pursue solo careers and went through a highly publicized falling out in the 1980s over songwriting credits and royalties.
The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, part of the inaugural group of artists to be so honored. Rolling Stone ranked them as the No. 1 duo of all time in 2014. In his 2010 memoir “Life,” Keith Richards called Don Everly “one of the finest rhythm players.”
Phil Everly died in 2014.