1973: The Everly Brothers Break Up On Stage At Knott's Berry Farm

By | July 12, 2020

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Phil Everly and Don Everly in 1972, on set of LWT TV show (Photo by Tony Russell/Redferns)

As one of the most crucial American pop acts of the 20th century, the Everly Brothers bridged the gap between rock and country music. Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, Don and Phil Everly performed an early mix of country, rock and roll, and pop that influenced artists as varied as Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and Simon and Garfunkel. As hard as it is to be in a band with someone, it’s even harder when that someone is your brother.

Following years of in fighting, label switcheroos, and secret drug addictions, the brothers decided to break up. They agreed that their two night stand at Knott's Berry Farm on July 14, 1973 would be their last gig. Rather than end up as a quiet goodbye to their fans, this show became one of the most spectacular flame outs in rock history.

Don and Phil Everly were performers from birth

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source: rock and roll hall of fame

As boys, the Everly brothers toured the country with their parents, performing as members of a family band. They attended school like everyone else, but they were destined to be performers. In 1955, when the brothers were still in their teens, they moved to Nashville and were hired as songwriters for Roy Acuff's publishing company, Acuff-Rose. After some initial success, the brothers recorded a single for Columbia, but it was their version of “Bye Bye Love” in 1957 that made them stars. The song went to number two in the United States and charted across the globe. Their sound, a mix of burgeoning rock music with soothing country vocals was exactly what the world was waiting for.