Phil Everly and his brother Don were a testament to the power of two. They are forever enshrined among us who have ever tried to sing in harmony, and everyone else who listens to the countless bands they influenced. The Everlys’ few years of fame beginning in 1957 was before my musical time. But they were idols of many artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds and The Hollies that we teenage garage-banders covered in the 60s. Without realizing it, by impersonating them, we were actually trying to imitate the Everlys. And mostly, we failed miserably.
As an older and wiser adult, I became a disciple of the 50s pop/rock pioneers that so inspired my childhood idols. When I took up guitar in my late 20s, one of the first songs I learned was, “Bye Bye Love.” The three chords were simple enough, as were the spare but dead-on lyrics about lost romance. But something was missing. You can’t sing an Everly Brothers song as one person any more than you can simultaneously strum and chord a guitar with one hand. Every Phil needs a Don, and vice versa. So if you like harmony singing and love the Everlys, let me know. My Taylor’s in hand, and I can go high or low on “Bye Bye Love.”