The Everly Brothers performed their breakout hit, “Bye Bye Love,” on The Julius La Rosa Show in June 1957.
With their trademark harmonies and slick guitar work, Don and Phil Everly became one of the most celebrated duos in music history—across both pop and country. Over the course of their career, the duo released a number of chart-toppers, including “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Cathy’s Clown,” and more.
Before we hit “play” on The Everly Brothers’ early TV performance, let’s rewind a bit.
Don and Phil came by their talents naturally. Their parents, Ike and Margaret Everly, were country singers, who had the boys performing on their KMA radio show in Iowa in the 1940s. At the time, Don, 8, and Phil, 6, were introduced as “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil.” By 1950, the radio show was known as The Everly Family Show. In fact, to some degree, Ike is credited with influencing guitar icon Merle Travis’ flat-picking style.
The family moved to Tennessee in 1953. The boys rebranded as The Everly Brothers, with the mentorship of Chet Atkins. Their first recording, “Keep A’ Lovin’,” failed to make a splash in 1956. However, the boy released “Bye Bye Love” in March 1957.
The tune topped the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart in the summer of 1957 for seven weeks. It also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Most Played Country & Western chart for seven weeks.
In addition, “Bye Bye Love” crossed over to the pop charts, eventually peaking at No. 2.
Penned by husband-and-wife songwriting duo Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, “Bye Bye Love” has been recorded by a who’s who of A-listers over the years, including The Beatles, Ray Charles, Simon & Garfunkel, and more.
On June 22, 1957, The Everly Brothers performed the network TV debut of “Bye Bye Love” on NBC’s The Julius La Rosa Show. After Don, 20, and Phil, 18, briefly introduced themselves, La Rosa quipped that “Pat Boone was old enough to be their grandfather.” Boone was 23 at the time.
With that, the boys stood up and delivered a stirring rendition of their crossover smash. A week later, The Everly Brothers performed “Bye Bye Love” on The Ed Sullivan Show live from New York.
Rolling Stone ranked “Bye Bye Love” 210th on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted The Everly Brothers in 1986. The Country Music Hall of Fame added the duo in 2001.
Watch The Everly Brothers perform “Bye Bye Love” below.