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Associates remember Phil Everly as innovator, amazing and 'the best'

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Fellow rockers and friends of Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, who died Jan. 3, are paying glowing tributes to him, some directly to this column.

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Jerry Naylor, who took Buddy Holly's place in the Crickets after Holly's death, told Vintage Rock 'n' Roll Examiner, “The Everly Brothers, Phil and Don, were the unmatchable foundation for Rockabilly / Rock and Roll vocal harmonizing. Their pure sound on recordings and powerfully performed live in concert stimulated Buddy Holly, The Crickets and our Liberty Years Crickets when I was the lead singer.

“Phil was a close friend and I learned much from his classic talent. He and brother, Don, also played amazing acoustic guitar brilliantly taught them by their father. Paul. McCartney often gives Phil massive credit in inspiring his career, as did the Bee Gees. Phil was a long time friend and I will greatly miss him.”

Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon also gave an exclusive statement to Vintage Rock 'n' Roll Examiner. He said, in part, “No two voices can ever vie with the Everly Brothers as a duo and no high harmony singer will ever compare to Phil. He was the best and will be sorely missed in every way.”

Andrew Sandoval, who wrote the liner notes for the Everlys' “Harmonies & Heartaches” box set, said, “I am so very sad that we have lost Phil Everly. He and Don were my favorite artists that I ever had the chance to work with. They were such innovators and so brilliant, I cannot even begin to describe the deep feelings I have for their work. And on a personal note they were just wonderful to talk with; I have many cherised memories of seeing them and knowing them.

“Phil's voice was uniquely high and sweet; the harmony to Don's lead. It is a sound that makes me cry. I learned so much just from listening.”

Billy Hinsche from the group Dino, Desi & Billy noted on Facebook “Phil Everly wrote DD&B's first single 'Since You Broke My Heart'. Rest in peace, my friend. Also on Facebook, Howard Kaylen of the Turtles wrote, "He and his brother changed music forever. They invented the Beatles. They were fathers to us all. RIP Phil."

Gary Mora, the voice of internet radio station KYA, says he was honored to act as emcee for Phil and Don Everly in the late '80s.

“During my many years as host of the 1260 KYA Oldies Road Show, I had a chance to work with countless Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame performers,” he told us. “There were two shows I emceed that stand out as my favorites. I was thrilled to work with Roy Orbison, and humbled to host a show for Don and Phil Everly. When it came to great harmony they were quite simply the very best.”

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, issued a tribute statement late Friday. "Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Phil Everly was part of one of the most prominent vocal duos of the rock era. Joined by his brother Don in the Everly Brothers, the duo’s superb and flawless harmonies influenced some of music’s most iconic acts, including the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Their profound impact on pop and rock music is still heard today, and will continue to live on in future generations. Phil Everly was a groundbreaking artist, and he leaves an indelible and timeless mark on music and our industry. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and those who were inspired by his outstanding talent."


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