The Everly Brothers

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The Everly Brothers (Don and Phil, born Isaac Donald Everly, February 1, 1937, and Phillip Everly, January 19, 1939) are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The brothers are the most successful U.S. rock and roll duo on the Hot 100.[citation needed] Their greatest period came between 1957 and 1965.



Don and Phil Everly are both guitarists and use a simple vocal harmony mostly based on parallel thirds. With this, each line can often stand on its own as a melody line. This is in contrast to classic harmony lines which, while working well alongside the melody, sound strange by themselves.

For virtually all the Everly Brothers recordings, Don sings the lower harmony part, while Phil takes the higher part. One rare exception is on "Devoted To You". Although Don is still low and Phil is high, they switch singing the lead and harmony back and forth. As well, Don almost always sings any lines that are sung solo (for example, the verses of "Bye Bye Love".) Among the very few exceptions to this rule is the Everlys' 1965 single "It's All Over", where Phil sings the song's solo lines.

In the late 1950s, the Everly Brothers were the rock 'n' roll youth movement's addition to close harmony vocal groups of which many were family bands. Among the Everly's famous counterparts in country music were The Delmore Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jim & Jesse (McReynolds) and The Osborne Brothers.

The duo's harmony singing had a strong influence on rock and roll groups of the 1960s. The Beatles,[1] The Beach Boys[2] and Simon & Garfunkel developed their early singing styles by performing Everly covers.


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