RIP PHIL EVERLY (1939-2014)

It is said that to seek perfection in any human endeavor is a futile quest -- that people are flawed and inconsistent by nature, and although we can achieve greatness, we shouldn't hope to to attain perfection.

But I don't think that is true. Just listen to anything of the recorded work of the Everly Brothers. On any measure that we have, in precision, clarity, warmth, skill, and emotional resonance, the vocal harmonies of Phil and Don Everly are perfect. Not damn near perfect...perfect.

Breathtakingly beautiful, haunting, sweet, clever, the brothers seemed to effortlessly sing in complete sync, floating and diving, swinging and soaring, tied together not only by blood but genius musical gifts. They were born to sing, and their influence is profound. I think any one of the Beatles would tell you that their early sound was based strongly on Everly Brothers-style harmonies, and that their music would not have succeeded as it did without it. Go back and listen to "Please Please Me," "She Loves You," "I Saw Her Standing There," anything from the Beatles' '62-'65 catalogue. It's there.

My heart is very heavy tonight. Phil Everly died today of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 74. He was a lifelong smoker. I hope he knew how much his music meant to people and how very, very extrordinary he was. We were so lucky to have been able to hear something that was so lovely, so good for the spirit.

The Life and Times of the Everly Brothers documentary