Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Life of Phil Everly Remembered by Loyal Fan

everly 300CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (1/4/14) The entire music world is in mourning today after the news of the death of Phil Everly yesterday at age 74.

Although Phil Everly was born in Chicago, he always called Muhlenberg County his home.

Marilyn Kirtley, who lives in Greenville, has been a fan and supporter of the Everly Brothers and their Muhlenberg roots for most of her life. She told SurfKY News that the death of Phil Everly has left her in shock.

"I was very saddened and surprised to hear of Phil's death." said Kirtley. "I knew he had been in poor health for several weeks. I was just unaware that it was this severe. Don and Phil were such a great team. We enjoyed having them here for the Everly Brothers Music Festival beginning in the late 1980s. Those memories will always be with me."

The Everly Brothers Homecoming Music Festival began in 1988 and continued each Labor Day weekend for more than a decade. The annual event drew thousands of fans each year from around the world. And because Don and Phil were loved by so many in the music field, a simple invitation from the brothers went a long way in bringing performers such as Chet Atkins, John Prine, The Kentucky Headhunters, Keith Urban and a laundry list of other superstars to Central City.

Kirtley was one of the many hard working, dedicated residents of the county who helped organize the annual event, and also wanted to make sure that people knew about Muhlenberg County's rich musical history.

"I've welcomed fans and made friends from all over the world, who share that common love of the Everly Brothers' unique sound," she said. "Last night, and this morning I've spent all my time answering emails from friends and fans from the Netherlands, England, and Australia about the sad passing of Phil. The Everly Brothers are just loved everywhere, as much as they are loved here in Muhlenberg County. They really are our sons."

Kirtley noted that the Everly musical heritage did not begin with Don and Phil.

"Don and Phil were a result of the Muhlenberg musical heritage." Kirtley said. "It goes back a long way. Their father, Ike Everly, was a thumbpicking legend here, along with Mose Rager and Merle Travis."

Kirtley said that the first time she met Don and Phil was long before the annual homecoming festival began.

"I first met Don and Phil when they were teenagers,” she said. “They were cousins of David Moore, who lived in Central City and who was a friend of my son, Rodney. The brothers were in town, and Rodney was still too young to drive so I took him to meet The Everly Brothers. They were just so nice, and this was at the peak of their popularity. This would have been in the mid to late 1950s sometime."

Kirtley recalls that her relationship with Don and Phil was rekindled when the duo agreed to participate in the yearly homecoming event.

"Originally, when several of us got together to organize the yearly homecoming concert, we also formed an Everly Brothers Fan Club." Kirtley remembered. "At first, we were informed by some individuals in Seattle that we could not form a club because they already had one. But Phil stepped in and gave us permission to form a club here in Muhlenberg County. He was always so very personable and caring when it came to helping out with the homecoming, or anything we needed. He never failed to respond when we asked for help."

Throughout the span of the yearly concerts, Kirtley said that the fan club became somewhat of a hospitality group.

"We would entertain as many as 100 or more fans from around the nation and the world. In fact, a couple from England stopped by my home this summer and stayed a few days. These are the types of friendships and fond memories that will last a lifetime," she said.

Kirtley added that friends have suggested that she make a recorded history of all she remembers about her times with Don and Phil.

"There are just so many great memories, so many wonderful times, I guess I could,” she said. “But today is a memory I wish I could forget. It is just such a sad day for me, and for so many, who loved and continue to love The Everly Brothers."

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to Thumbpicking Weekend

POWDERLY, Ky. (9/26/14) — The Endless Road Strings will be one of this weekend's featured acts at the 26th Annual… Read More

Brenda Hardin's Pretrial Conference Deferred

GREENVILLE, Ky. (9/30/14) — A pretrial conference for Brenda Hardin scheduled for 11:30 a.m., today, Sept. 30 has been… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 26, 2014 5785

Super Walmart Headed to Hanson, Fate of…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 3660

Hopkins County Grand Jury Misdemeanor Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight
September 29, 2014 3268

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 3264

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking Charge

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 27, 2014 2578

Sinister on Center Takes Haunted Manor to Whole…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2516

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee of the…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 26, 2014 2510

UPDATE: Semi Trucks Crash, Block Northbound Lane…

in Top Stories by Keith Todd
September 26, 2014 2391

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of $32,500 Grant

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 26, 2014 2376

Madisonville Police Department Arrest Reports -…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 2316

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision on…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2248

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO Against…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 26, 2014 3264

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 2316

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2248

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 25, 2014 2227

Shoplifting Complaint Leads to Resisting…

in Top Stories by Information provided by MPD
September 29, 2014 1997

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 29, 2014 3268

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2516

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 26, 2014 2391

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 28, 2014 1947

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 1723

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06