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Don Everly, half of the Country Music Hall of Fame duo The Everly Brothers, passed away today (8/21) at the age of 84.

todayAugust 22, 2021

Background

Born Isaac Donald Everly on Feb. 1, 1937 in Brownie, KY, Everly first sang with his late brother Phil and mother and father, Ike and Margaret, as The Everly Family in the 1940s. As a duo, the brothers first gained attention from Nashville musicians while still attending an area high school and began writing and recording their own music in 1956. The following year, “Bye Bye Love,” written by fellow Hall of Famers Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, hit No. 1 setting off a string of hits that included “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Problems.” From 1957 through 1958, the duo toured with Buddy Holly. The Everly Brothers signed with Warner Bros. in 1960 and recorded “Cathy’s Clown,” later re-released by Reba McEntire. In 1961, both brothers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, but additional success continued with “That’s Old Fashioned (That’s The Way Love Should Be)” being their last entry in the top 10 in 1962. Between 1957 and 1962, only Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and possibly Rick Nelson outsold The Everly Brothers.

In the 1970s, the brothers began releasing solo music and officially broke up in 1973 before reuniting 10 years later. During his solo run, Don found some success on the Country charts with his band, Dead Cowboys, and recorded “Everytime You Leave” with Emmylou Harris for her 1979 Blue Kentucky Girl album. The Everly Brothers continued to perform together periodically until Phil’s death in 2014 (Chronicle 1/6/14). The pair were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class of 1986 and were named to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Don was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019 and was awarded the organization’s first Iconic Riff Award for his rhythm guitar intro to “Wake Up Little Susie.” Service details are unknown.

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