More sad news in the rock and roll world as Don Everly, the other half of the iconic Everly brothers passes on to the great beyond. He died at a prime age of 84 at his home in Nashville, Tennessee in the early hours of Saturday. Till now, no cause of death has been disclosed to the public.
His demise, which happened seven years after his bandmate and brother Phil died, was confirmed by the Los Angeles Times through a spokesperson for the family. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, his family wrote, “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.”
Several tributes to him have been pouring in on social media, as fans and friends expressed heart-felt wishes about his accomplishment, a clear show of how much impact he has made in the world of music. With over 20 albums released, the Everly brothers are one of the most successful music icons.
Keep reading below for more information.
Born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, on February 1, 1937, to Isaac Milford Everly and Margaret Embry Everly. Don was the older half of the late duo, and they were heavily influenced by their father who was a guitar player.
In 1953, Don and his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he attended West High School with his brothers. Then in 1955, the family broke apart to live in different cities. The Everly brothers moved to Nashville, Tennessee, while the rest of the family moved to Madison, Tennessee. In that same year, Don graduated from high school, and Phil continued his education at Peabody Demonstration School, Nashville, from which he graduated in 1957. Having completed their basic education, then turned their focus to music.
During their stay in Knoxville, the Everly brothers met with now late Chet Atkins— Atkins was the manager of the RCA Victor studios located in the heart of Nashville. He was impressed by their music and advised them to become a duo. The brothers became a duo, and decided to move to Nashville.
Atkins then arranged for the Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records. Their first record with the Columbia label titled “Keep-a-Lovin’ Me,” written and composed by Don, was a major flop. This prompted the label to drop the duo and move on to other prominent music acts.
The Road To Stardom
Atkins was relentless and strove to make the duo music stars in the industry. He introduced them to Wesley Rose, of Acuff-Rose music publishers.
Rose gave them a conditional deal, where he promised he would get them a recording deal if they signed to the music publishing house as songwriters.
They made the decision to join him in late 1956 and helped write songs for several music acts. The next year, Rose introduced them to Archie Bleyer, who was looking for young artists for his Cadence Records.
The Everly’s signed and released a record that same year. Their first song with cadence records “Bye Bye Love” was rejected by 30 other acts before they recorded it.
It was a smashing success as the record reached No. 2 on the pop charts, behind Elvis Presley‘s “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”, and No. 1 on the country and No. 5 on the R&B charts. This was their first taste of stardom, and the brothers kept on soaring.
Their next song was “Wake Up Little Susie,” which hit the top of the charts again. They had 13 top 10 hits, with “All I Have to Do is Dream” and “Cathy’s Clown” also reaching No. 1; all these hits came within six years of starting their music career.
Many more hits came after that, and the brothers remained a music force to be reckoned with even when they separated due to personal issues. They went on to release solo recordings after the split, then got back together in 1983. They continued to perform periodically until Phil’s demise in 2014.
Legacy And Final Years
Don and his brother highly influenced the music of the next rock generation.
Top acts such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, and Simon & Garfunkel followed in their close harmony singing and acoustic guitar playing style to the delight of the fans.
In 2015 they were ranked the top spot on Rolling Stone list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Don was also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019, earning the iconic riff award. He is survived by his mother, Margaret, his wife Adela, his son, Edan, and his daughters Venetia, Stacy and Erin.