Happy Birthday, Don Everly! In celebration of Don's life and artistry, and in loving memory of his late brother Phil, I'm honored to announce a special partnership that will advance the work of The Everly Brothers Childhood Home Foundation's on behalf of Everly family heritage in Shenandoah, Iowa.
The new alliance will also allow us to pay homage to one of their dearest friends, Buddy Holly. As I mentioned in a previous article about the representation of these artists in our This Place Matters photos, a great deal adjoined these young fathers of rock and roll. While the anniversary of Buddy's tragic death looms (February 3), it doesn't cast a shadow over our announcement today, which is one of joy and celebration for their lives, their music and their friendship.
Top Photo (left to right): Phil Everly, Jimmy Velvet, Buddy Holly and Don Everly on tour in 1958 from the book "Inside the Dream: The Jimmy Velvet Story."
Through a professional connection to Peter Bradley, Jr., our Everly team in Shenandoah will be joining The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation (TBHEF) on initiatives this year which advocate the shared legacy of Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers. In 2010, Peter's father founded TBHEF along with Buddy's widow, Maria Elena Holly.
Don Everly is a TBHEF Ambassador and was presented with a special guitar by the Foundation in 2015 at the Musician's Hall of Fame in Nashville (See photos and videos). It was designated the "Love's Made a Fool of You" guitar after the song Buddy had co-written with Bob Montgomery with the Everlys in mind. Made by renowned luthier Daniel Roberts, there's a plaque inside the guitar with a fret from Buddy's original J-45.
Peter presented the late Phil Everly's son, Jason, with a custom-built 1943 Gibson J-45 Buddy Holly replica acoustic guitar with the special designation "Wishing" named after another song Buddy had co-written with Bob Montgomery especially for Don and Phil in 1958.
Peter and his family became acquainted with The Everly Brothers during their performing years and have known Don for decades. This recent photo was taken during Don's interview for the BBC Four documentary, Buddy Holly: Rave On, that was executive produced by Peter and his father in 2017 (See photo of Peter and Don in Nashville for filming).
My twin sister Sheryl and I initially contacted TBHEF in 2015 when we were in the beginning stages of our original research initiative, The Surf Speaks: Voices of a Living History. This is when we came to know Peter. Our mutual enthusiasm for a collaborative opportunity was there from the beginning.
Meanwhile, the experiences and relationships that Sheryl and I continued to build from The Surf Speaks project led to even greater opportunities with the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association, The Everly Brothers Childhood Home Foundation and beyond. In short, all that's transpired since 2015 has prepared us for the next steps in our journey as emerging preservationists. Now that our more established path intersects with TBHEF at the corner of Everly and Holly, the time is right.
I'm excited to share the news on such a special day as we wish Don every happiness and hope that we'll have the opportunity to welcome him home again in Shenandoah!
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