60 Years Ago: The Everly Brothers Earn First No. 1 Single With ‘Bye Bye Love’
Sixty years ago today, on July 15, 1957, the Everly Brothers, made up of Don and Phil Everly, kicked off their music career with a No. 1 hit, “Bye Bye Love.” The song was the debut single from their self-titled freshman album.
Written by husband-and-wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, “Bye Bye Love” had been pitched to — and rejected by — more than 30 artists before the Everly Brothers agreed to record it. It landed at No. 2 on the pop charts and No. 1 on both the country and R&B charts, becoming one of the most successful singles of the year.
Following the Everly Brothers’ recording of “Bye Bye Love,” Simon & Garfunkel included the song on 1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, after Paul Simon recalled listening to it as a child. Several other artists also recorded “Bye Bye Love” after the success of Simon & Garfunkel’s cover, including Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Connie Francis, Ray Stevens and George Harrison, the latter of whom re-wrote part of the song before including it on his 1974 album Dark Horse.
“Bye Bye Love” began a string of successes for the Everly Brothers, including their following single, “Wake Up Little Susie,” which was also written by the Bryants. The song is featured on several of their compilation albums, including The Best of the Everly Brothers in 1959, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 in 1977 and Heartaches and Harmonies in 1994. In 2014, Rodney Crowell performed “Bye Bye Love” with longtime Everly Brothers band member and legendary guitarist Albert Lee at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Music Masters Series.
“Bye Bye Love” is available for download on iTunes.