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The Everly Brothers: 12 Essential Tracks

Look back at Phil Everly’s beautiful career in a playlist of his key work

Phil Everly on the ABC Television Network dance show 'American Bandstand.'


Phil Everly’s death from pulmonary disease yesterday confirmed the sad fact that the Everly Brothers will never sing again. Phil and Don Everly, born in 1939 and 1937, respectively, were the sons of country-western duo Ike and Margaret Everly, and began playing on country radio by the time they were seven. The Brothers recorded 15 Top Ten hits between 1957 and 1962, producing a mind-blowing blend of Appalachian harmonies and rock & roll that influenced the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and the Rolling Stones. We mined our playlists and consulted session legend Waddy Wachtel, who joined the Everly band in 1972, to create a career-spanning list of the band’s greatest recordings, from massive hits to under appreciated deep-cuts.

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“On the Wings of a Nightingale” (1984)

After a decade of inactivity, the band reunited to perform a comeback TV special in London before recording EB 84 with producer Dave Edmunds. He enlisted Everly fanatic Paul McCartney to write this strummy throwback rocker. "Dave said it was the hardest phone call he ever made, because McCartney is always being asked for something," Don Everly told RS in 1986. "Paul said if he could come up with anything, he'd give a call. Dave forgot about it, but about six weeks later, the phone rang and it was McCartney. He said. 'I Think I've got one." 

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