Phil Everly, one half of the brother vocal duo whose sibling harmonies sweetened 1960s rock music, has died, the Los Angeles Times is reporting, quoting his wife, Patti Everly. He was 74.
He died Friday in Burbank of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, after a lifetime of smoking, his wife said.
"We are absolutely heartbroken," Patti Everly told the paper. "He fought long and hard."
A generation of teens grew up with their high, clarion voices blasting from car radios on
"The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound (with family) that you never get with someone who's not blood-related to you," she told The Times. "And they were both such good singers — they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock 'n' roll sound."
The duo was inducted into the
Phillip Everly was born on Jan. 19, 1939, in Chicago, the son of two country musicians, Ike and Margaret Everly. The family was a traveling act, and the brothers started performing together on the family radio show.
Bye Bye Love was their breakthrough hit, in 1957, and their first million-seller. Also in 1957, Wake Up Little Susie, about two teenagers falling asleep at the drive-in theater and waking after curfew, was banned in Boston for its slightly suggestive lyrics. It went to No. 1.
In addition to his wife, Everly is survived by his brother, who will be 77 in February, their mother, Margaret, sons Jason and Chris, and two granddaughters. Funeral services will be private.