Tributes to Everly and Seeger
Tributes have poured in for two guitar toting musical giants of the 20th century, Phil Everly and Pete Seeger, who both died recently, aged 74 and 94 respectively. Both made a massive impact on popular music: Phil as half of the hugely influential and successful Everly Brothers (his brother Don being the other essential half); and Pete as a pioneering American folk singer whose social conscience influenced countless singersongwriters including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Billy Bragg. The Everly Brothers had a series of gorgeous close-harmony hits including Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Suzie and All I Have To Do Is Dream, and Pete will always be remembered for his timeless songs Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Turn Turn Turn, If I Had A Hammer, and We Shall Overcome.
Phil Everly died on January 3, following complications associated with chronic pulmonary disease, following a lifetime of heavy smoking, while Pete Seeger died peacefully in his sleep on January 27 after being admitted to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital a few days earlier.
Phil’s brother Don said: “The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I’m mourning my brother Phil Everly.’’
“It’s a terrible, terrible loss - for me, for everybody,” added guitar pioneer Duane Eddy.
“Phil Everly was one of my great heroes,” said Paul McCartney. “With his brother Don, they were one of the major influences on The Beatles. When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don.”
“I feel like a huge piece of my
Pete towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. His songs will be sung wherever people struggle.
youth just melted away. I loved those guys, and still do,” said Brian May. “I never met them. Wish I had. But they will always be my heroes. I have tears in my eyes.”
Billy Bragg commented on Seeger’s life on Twitter: “Pete towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. He travelled with Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, stood up to Joe McCarthy in the 50s, marched with Dr Martin Luther King in the 60s. His songs will be sung wherever people struggle for their rights. We shall overcome.”
BBC radio host Mark Radcliffe added: “Pete Seeger repeatedly put his career, his reputation and his personal security on the line so that he could play his significant musical part in campaigns for civil rights, environmental awareness and peace. He leaves behind a canon of songs that are both essential and true, and his contribution to folk music will be felt far into the future.” RI P Phil and Pete – you will be missed!
Pete Seeger: legendary folk pioneer
Phil Everly: hugely influential singersongwriter