As one-half of the Everly Brothers, Phil Everly helped concoct a harmony-rich, country-derived sound that heavily influenced artists from the Beatles to Billie Joe Armstrong. (Just last fall, in fact, Armstrong and Norah Jones released Foreverly, a track-for-track tribute to the duo’s 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.) The 74-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member — who died on Jan. 3 in Burbank of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — and his older brother, Don, shaped rock & roll with their many late-’50s and early- ’60s hits, including “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and “Cathy’s Clown.” Here’s a look at five trailblazing tracks from the brothers’ long, illustrious career.
5 Most Influential Songs
1. ”Bye Bye Love” (1957)
This smash scaled the country, pop, and R&B charts and inspired Simon and Garfunkel.
2. ”Cathy’s Clown” (1960)
The Beatles borrowed a vocal trick from this classic for “Please Please Me.”
3. ”When Will I Be Loved” (1960)
Linda Ronstadt wonderfully interpreted the song, written by Phil, in 1974.
4. ”I Wonder if I Care as Much” (1968)’
A haunting, finely wrought original from the midcareer covers album Roots. It’s an early — though masterful — example of country-rock fusion.
5. ”On the Wings of a Nightingale” (1984)
Paul McCartney wrote this perky, poppy single for the duo’s reunion album, EB84.