It was 57 years ago Saturday (March 1st, 1957) that the Everly Brothers recorded their first Top Ten hit, "Bye Bye Love." The song peaked at Number Two later in 1957, and was the first of 26 Top 40 hits the duo would score over the next 10 years. Over the remainder of the decade the Everlys went on to inspire a legion of up and coming rock musicians, including the Beatles, the Hollies, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, among countless others.
"By Bye Love" was originally written for Elvis Presley by husband and wife team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, but he turned it down. The Bryants went on to write the Everlys' greatest 1950s hits, including their first two Number Ones, "Wake Up Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream," and many more classic songs Don and Phil Everly recorded for Cadence Records.
During the sessions for the song, which was produced by Archie Bleyer, Don began strumming the song's distinctive guitar intro in frustration at the brothers' blowing a take. Bleyer realized how great a hook it was, and tacked it on to the beginning of the track.
Over the years, the song has been covered by such acts as Simon & Garfunkel, Ray Charles, George Harrison -- and was briefly tackled by the Beatles during their January 1969 Let It Be sessions. "Bye Bye Love" still remains a highlight of the Everly Brothers' live shows.
During Simon & Garfunkel's 2003-2004 Old Friends reunion tour, Don & Phil were the duo's special guests and performed a nightly mini-set with Simon & Garfunkel, which Art Garfunkel felt showcased the sound of each duo coming full circle: "The Everlys were one of a select bunch of possibilities, and I responded strongly to that. And we reached out for them, knowing that they've somewhat retired, and they said 'yes.' So that's how it happened. It's a nice mixture of pink and red, the Everlys and Simon & Gar -- magenta and fuchsia."
Phil Everly died on January 3rd, 2014 in Burbank, California from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- a combination of emphysema and bronchitis. Everly, who was a longtime smoker, was 74.
Photo Courtesy of Everly.Net