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Tributes made as Don Everly of early rock ‘n’ roll Everly Brothers dies aged 84

Written by on 23/08/2021

Tributes are pouring in following the death of Don Everly, one half of the iconic Everly Brothers.

The musician died aged 84 at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, his lawyer and family spokeswoman Linda Edell Howard said in a statement.

His brother, Phil Everly, died in January 2014 aged 74 in Los Angeles, California.

“Don lived by what he felt in his heart,” a family statement said.

“Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams… living in love with his soulmate and wife Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother. Don always expressed how grateful he was for his fans.”

The pioneering rock ‘n’ roll duo drew inspiration from their rural roots with their strummed guitars and high, yearning harmonies in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Phil and Don Everly performing some of their hits in 1997
Image: Phil and Don Everly performing some of their hits in 1997

They began singing country music in 1945 on their family’s radio show in Iowa.

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But their career breakthrough came in the mid-1950s when they moved to Nashville and signed a record deal with New York-based Cadence Records.

Some of their biggest hits included Bye Bye Love, Let It Be Me, All I Have To Do Is Dream and Wake Up Little Susie, and world famous groups including The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel cited them as key influences.

Musician Jerry Lee Lewis said in a statement: “The Everly Brothers are integral to the fabric of American music.

“With my friend Don’s passing, I am reflective… reflective on a life full of wonderful friends, spectacular music and fond memories.

“There’s a lot I can say about Don, what he and Phil meant to me both as people and as musicians, but I am going to reflect today.”

The duo broke up due to quarrelling in 1973 after 16 years of hits, but later reunited in 1983, “sealing it with a hug”, according to Phil Everly.

In 1986, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame – the same year they had a hit pop-country record, Born Yesterday.

They were also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Paying tribute to Mr Everly, Nancy Sinatra tweeted: “We have now lost Don Everly. Touring with Phillip and Donald was literally thrilling. To have the privilege of singing with their breathtaking iconic voices was one of the great gifts of my career. Godspeed, Donald. I love you.”

Ringo Starr, The Beatles drummer, tweeted: “God bless Don and Phil the Everly brothers we loved them peace and love.”

Andy Kim wrote: “In 1976, I bumped into Don Everly got to have a few moments with him talking about songwriting, and never forgot the magic their songs and voices. Thank you Don & Phil for a lifetime of great music.”

David Wild tweeted: “Without #TheEverlyBrothers, the Beatles sound and much of Rock History seems unimaginable.”

 Sky News

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