The Daily Pulse:

R.I.P. Phil Everly

We got the news today that Phil Everly, the younger of the two Everly Brothers, died this week in California, at the age of 74.

The West High alums lived here in Knoxville for just two or three years, but it was a key time in their career, when they separated their act from their parents' family act, and when they discovered rock'n'roll.

When the Everlys played at the Tennessee Theatre about 15 years ago, they shared a few memories, about discovering rock'n'roll via a Bo Diddley record discovered at a record store on Cumberland Avenue, and how when they began applying it to their own music, ca. 1954, it angered their sponsor, whose name was Cas Walker. Dejected, they left WROL's studio in the old Mechanics Bank Building on Gay Street (which about one year earlier, had witnessed the first television broadcast in East Tennessee history) and walked down the sidewalk to the Tennessee Theatre, where they consoled themselves watching the romantic travelogue Three Coins in the Fountain. In Nashville, they linked up with another former Knoxvillian named Chet Atkins (they'd met him at Chilhowee Park a few months before), and got something going that had a disarmingly huge effect on popular music.

Our old colleague Lee Gardner wrote this profile of the Everlys and their time in Knoxville before I even started working for Metro Pulse full time, but I've never presumed to top it.


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