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Don Everly

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Don Everly
Everly In 1958
Everly In 1958
Background information
Birth nameIsaac Donald Everly
Born(1937-02-01)February 1, 1937
Brownie, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedAugust 21, 2021(2021-08-21) (aged 84)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1951–2018
Formerly ofThe Everly Brothers

Isaac Donald Everly (February 1, 1937 – August 21, 2021) was an American musician. Everly was one-half of the singing duo The Everly Brothers alongside his younger brother Phil.

Early life


Don was born in Brownie, Kentucky in 1937 to Isaac Milford "Ike" Everly, Jr. (1908–1975), a guitar player, and Margaret Embry Everly (1919–2021).[1]

The Everly family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1953, where the brothers attended West High School. In 1955, the family moved to Madison, Tennessee, while the brothers moved to Nashville. Don graduated from high school in 1955.[2]



The Everly Brothers

The Everly brothers performing in 1970

The Everly Brothers' career started in 1951. They signed to Cadence Records In 1957. Their first hit was "Bye Bye Love", a song that had been rejected by 30 other acts.

"Bye Bye Love" went to no. 2 on the pop charts, behind Elvis Presley's "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", and No. 1 on the country and No. 5 on the R&B charts. The song, by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, became the Everly Brothers' first million-seller.[3]

The Everly Brothers are remembered for other major hits such as "Cathy's Clown" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream".

After the duo split following conflicts between the two brothers, Phil and Don pursued solo careers from 1973 to 1983. The brothers reunited at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 23, 1983, ending their ten-year-long hiatus. The event was initiated by Phil and Don alongside Terry Slater, with Wingfield as musical director. This concert was recorded for a live LP and video broadcast on cable television in mid-January 1984. The brothers returned to the studio as a duo for the first time in over a decade, recording the album EB '84, produced by Dave Edmunds.

The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. They were the first duo and non-solo act to have been inducted.[4] That same year, they received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.[5]

Their final charting single was 1986's "Born Yesterday". A 1981 live BBC recording of "All I Have to Do Is Dream", which featured Cliff Richard and Phil sharing vocals, was a UK Top 20 hit in 1994.

Paul McCartney has stated that the Everly Brothers were a major influence on the Beatles:[6]

“They were one of the major influences on the Beatles. When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don.”

Solo work

The Everly Brothers Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Don found some success on the US country charts in the mid- to late-1970s, in Nashville with his band, Dead Cowboys, and playing with Albert Lee.

Don also performed solo at an annual country music festival in London in mid-1976. His appearance was well received, and he was given "thunderous applause", even though critics noted that the performance was uneven. Don recorded "Everytime You Leave" with Emmylou Harris on her 1979 album Blue Kentucky Girl.

Everly attended the Annual Music Masters as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame paid homage to the Everly Brothers on October 25, 2014. Don took the State Theater stage and performed the Everlys' classic hit "Bye Bye Love".

Don stopped performing in 2018. His final performance was a guest appearance with Paul Simon on Simon's 2018 farewell tour in Nashville. Don and Simon performed “Bye Bye Love”, with Simon on Phil Everly's original tenor harmony.

Personal life


Everly was married to Mary Sue Ingraham from 1957 to 1961, Venetia Stevenson from 1962 to 1970, and Adela Garza from 1997, until his death.

Don had five children, including Edan. Don graduated from West High School in 1955.[2]

Don Everly publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election in January of that year. This marked the first time he had ever publicly supported a political candidate. Don stated that after his brother Phil's death, he felt free to express his views more openly, noting that the brothers' opposing views had made it impossible for them to lend active support to political candidates.[7]



Don Everly died in Nashville on August 21, 2021, aged 84, from undisclosed causes. His brother Phil had died in 2014.[8] The Everly family matriarch, Margaret Embry Everly, died four months later in December, aged 102.[1]



The Everly Brothers





The Everly Brothers In 1965
Title Details
Don Everly
Sunset Towers
  • Release date: August 1974
  • Label: Ode Records
Brother Jukebox


Year Single Peak chart
US Country US
1970 "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" Don Everly
1974 "Warmin' Up the Band" 110 Sunset Towers
1976 "Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again" 50 Brother Jukebox
1977 "Love at Last Sight"
"Since You Broke My Heart" 84
"Brother Jukebox" 96
1981 "Let's Put Our Hearts Together"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ a b Trigger (2021-12-21). "More Than a Mother: Everly Brothers Matriarch Dies at 102". Saving Country Music. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  2. ^ a b "The Everly Brothers in Knoxville - The Knoxville Focus". Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (n.d.). "Show 9 - Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 1]". UNT Digital Library. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  4. ^ "The Everly Brothers | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". www.rockhall.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  5. ^ "This Day In 1986: The Everly Brothers get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame | Rhino". www.rhino.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  6. ^ Grow, Kory (2014-01-08). "McCartney Calls Phil Everly a 'Hero'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  7. ^ Peterson, Mike (28 January 2016). "Don Everly backs Hillary Clinton". KMAland.com. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  8. ^ Smith, R. J. (2021-08-22). "Don Everly, of harmonizing rock 'n' roll pioneers the Everly Brothers, dies at 84". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-01-21.

See also