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Phil Everly, half of pioneer rock duo, dies at 74

Don and Phil Everly performed in July 1964. In their heyday between 1957 and 1962, they had 19 top 40 hits.
Don and Phil Everly performed in July 1964. In their heyday between 1957 and 1962, they had 19 top 40 hits.Credit: Associated Press/File

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LOS ANGELES — Phil Everly — who with his brother, Don, formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock ‘n’ roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan — died Friday. He was 74.

Mr. Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital, said his son, Jason Everly.

Phil and Don Everly helped draw the blueprint of rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1950s and 1960s with a high harmony that captured the yearning and angst of a nation of teenage baby boomers looking for a way to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day.

The Beatles, early in their career, once referred to themselves as “the English Everly Brothers.” And Bob Dylan once said: “We owe these guys everything. They started it all.”

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