Ask someone in their twenties who the "Everly Brothers" are and you may get a puzzled look from them. For sure they are not as well known to the younger generations as "The Beatles," "The Bee Gees," "The Beach Boys" and "Simon & Garfunkel," but there's no denying their impact on those great acts as well as others. In fact, "The Beatles," who once referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers," based the vocal arrangement of "Please Please Me" upon The Everly Brothers' hit, "Cathy's Clown." It was the duo's vocal harmonies in particular that had a strong influence on the rock groups of the 1960s. And although the Everly Brothers were very successful in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, their careers never seemed to create the type of "mania" that made legends of some of the acts mentioned earlier. Don and Phil Everly began their careers as part of their musician father's group "The Everly Family." Isaac Milford Everly, Ike — as he was called — had a show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s with his wife Margaret Embry Everly and two young sons. Singing on the show gave the brothers their first exposure to the music industry. After moving to Knoxville, TN, the brothers caught the attention of Country star "Chet Atkins." As the brothers transitioned out of the family act and into a duo, Chet Atkins became an early champion of the Everly Brothers. Despite his affiliation with RCA Records, it was Atkins who arranged a chance for the Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. However, their first and only single for the label, "Keep A Lovin' Me," was a flop, and they were quickly dropped from Columbia. Still an advocate, Atkins encouraged the Everly Brothers to continue, and introduced them to Wesley Rose of Acuff-Rose music publishers. Impressed with the duo's songwriting talents, Rose told them that if they signed to Acuff-Rose as songwriters, he would also get them a recording deal. The duo signed to Acuff-Rose in late 1956, and by early 1957, Rose had introduced them to Archie Bleyer, who was looking for artists for his Cadence Records label. Their first Cadence single, "Bye Bye Love," which had been rejected by 30 other acts, reached No. 2 on the pop charts behind Elvis Presley's "Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear," hitting No. 1 on the Country and No. 5 on the R&B charts. The song, written by the husband and wife team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, became the Everly Brothers' first million-seller. Working with the Bryants, the duo had hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, the biggest being "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Bird Dog," and "Problems," all penned by the Bryants. The Everlys also found success as songwriters, especially with Don's "(Till) I Kissed You," which hit No. 4 on the United States Pop charts. The brothers toured extensively with "Buddy Holly" during 1957 and 1958. According to Holly biographer Philip Norman, they were responsible for the change in style for Holly and "The Crickets" from Levi's and T-shirts to the Everlys' sharp Ivy League suits. The Everlys were very close to Buddy Holly, and Phil Everly was one of Buddy Holly's pallbearers at his funeral in February 1959, although Don did not attend. He later said, "I couldn't go to the funeral. I couldn't go anywhere. I just took to my bed." After three years on the Cadence label, the Everlys signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1960, for a reported 10-year, multi-million-dollar deal. They continued to have hits and their first for Warner Brothers was, 1960's "Cathy's Clown" (written by Don and Phil), which sold eight million copies, making it the duo's biggest-selling record. "Cathy's Clown" was also number 1 in the United Kingdom, the first release in the U.K. by Warner Brothers. Records. Other successful Warner singles followed in the United States, such as "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" (1960, Pop No. 7), "Walk Right Back" (1961, Pop No. 7), "Crying In The Rain" (1962, Pop No. 6), and "That's Old Fashioned" (1962, Pop No. 9, their last Top 10 hit). In the U.K., they were arguably more successful with top-10 hits until 1965, including "Lucille/So Sad" (1960, No. 4), "Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes (1961, No. 1), "Temptation" (1961, No. 1), "Cryin' In The Rain" (1962, No. 6) and "The Price Of Love" (1965, No. 2). In total they placed 18 singles into the U.K. Top 40 with Warner Brothers in the 1960s. By 1962, the Everly Brothers had earned a staggering $35 million from record sales. Everything seemed to being going well, until the Everlys fell out with their manager Wesley Rose, who also administered the Acuff-Rose music publishing company. As a result, for a period in the early 1960s, the Everlys were shut off from Acuff-Rose songwriters. Unfortunately, these included Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who had written the majority of the Everlys' hits. With proven sources of hit material unavailable, from 1961 through early 1964, the Everlys recorded a mix of covers and songs by other writers in order to avoid paying royalties to Acuff-Rose. They also used the collective pseudonym "Jimmy Howard" as writer and/or arranger on two tracks, a move that was ultimately unsuccessful, as Acuff-Rose legally assumed the copyrights to these songs once the ruse was discovered. About this same time, they also set up their own record label, Calliope Records, to release independent solo projects. Only one single recorded by Don under the pseudonym "Adrian Kimberly," charted. Phil, meanwhile formed a group called the "Keestone Family Singers" which also featured "Glen Campbell" and "Carole King." Their lone single, "Melodrama," failed to chart, and by the end of 1962, Calliope Records was out of business. The brothers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in November 1961 (rather than being drafted into the Army for two years of active service) which also took them out of the spotlight for six months. One of their few performances during their Marine Corps service was an on-leave appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," performing "Jezebel" and "Crying In The Rain." Following their release from active duty, they resumed their career, but United States chart success was a distant memory. Of the 27 singles the Everly Brothers released on Warner Brothers from 1963 through 1970, only three made the Hot 100, and none peaked higher than No. 31. Album sales were also down. Their dispute with Acuff-Rose lasted until 1964, whereupon the brothers once again began writing some of their own material, as well as working with the Bryants again. By then, the brothers' personal lives had gone through serious upheavals. Both were addicted to speed. Don's condition was worse, since he was taking the then unregulated drug Ritalin which led to deeper trouble. Don's addiction lasted three years until he was finally hospitalized for a nervous breakdown and to cure his addiction to Ritalin. They embarked on a UK tour, but Don was unable to complete it and returned to the United States, leaving Phil to carry on with Joey Page, their bass player, taking his place. By the end of the 1960s with their career waning, the Everly Brothers returned to an emphasis on their country-rock roots, and their 1968 album "Roots" is touted by some critics as, "one of the finest early country-rock albums." Their contract with Warner Brothers expired after ten years and in 1970, they were the summer replacement hosts for "Johnny Cash's" television show. The Everly Brothers resumed performing in 1971, and signed a contract with RCA Victor Records, for whom they issued two albums in 1972 and 1973. The duo then decided to take time off from performing; announcing that their final performance together would be on July 14, 1973, at "Knott's Berry Farm" in California. But, high tensions between the two began to surface during the show when the brothers began to argue on stage because Don was so drunk he couldn't remember the lyrics. Finally, Phil threw his guitar on the ground smashing it, saying: "I'm through being an Everly Brother," and stormed off the stage, while Don went on performing the rest of the numbers by himself. Don ended up telling the crowd "The Everly Brothers died ten years ago." The brothers refused to do joint interviews and posed for photographs together only by appointment. Their contract called for not only separate dressing rooms but also separate stage entrances. "I don't know," Phil Everly said. "You're up there nose-to-nose at the microphone and pretty soon, he starts breathing your air." Reportedly, they did not speak to each other for almost a decade, except at their father's funeral in 1975. The brothers got back together in 1983. Their reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 23, 1983, was arranged by English guitarist Albert Lee (who was also the concert's musical director). This concert spawned a well-received live LP and video. The brothers then returned to the studio as a duo for the first time in over a decade, resulting in the album "EB '84," produced by Dave Edmunds. The lead single, "On The Wings Of A Nightingale,' was written by longtime admirer and former Beatle, Paul McCartney, and was a bonafide success (Top 10 Adult Contemporary) returning them to the United States Hot 100 and U.K. charts. The brothers joined "Simon & Garfunkel" as the featured act in Simon & Garfunkel's "Old Friends" reunion tour of 2003 and 2004. As a tribute to the Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel opened their own show and had the Everlys come out in the middle. Over their career, The Everly Brothers had 35 Billboard Top-100 singles, 26 in the top 40. They hold the record for the most Top-100 singles by any duo, and trail only "Hall & Oates" for the most Top-40 singles by a duo. In the U.K., they had 30 charted singles; 29 in the top 40, 13 top 10 and 4 at No. 1 between 1957 and 1984. They had 12 top-40 albums between 1960 and 2009. In 1986, the Everlys were among the first 10 artists inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." During the ceremony, they were introduced by "Neil Young," who observed that every musical group he belonged to had tried and failed to copy the Everly Brothers' harmonies. In addition, the brothers have been awarded the "Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award," inducted into the "Country Music Hall of Fame," the "Vocal Group Hall of Fame," been recognized by the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame," and have a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame." Unfortunately for Everly Brothers fans, one half of the singing duo was silenced when Phil Everly died at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, just two weeks prior to his 75th birthday. The cause of his death was complications attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a combination of emphysema and bronchitis), brought on by a lifetime of smoking. It seems sadly ironic, that Phil Everly's most popular single as a solo artist reads like an epitaph; "The Air That I Breathe."