Muhlenberg County Has Memorial Service in Honor of Phil Everly

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MUHLENBERG CO., Ky. (WBKO) -- "We had to honor Phil in some way because he was such an amazing part of Central City's music history," said Carmel Rich, the director of tourism in Central City.

At the Merle Travis Center in Powderly, musicians paid tribute to one half of the duo many say changed music forever -- the Everly Brothers.

"There was only really country before that and big band and blues, and then out came this music that had a little bit different guitar on it, a little bit different drums on it than ever before. The Beatles imitated them," Rich said.

Phil Everly would have been 75 years old Sunday, but passed away January 3rd in a California hospital.

"My heart's broken, sometimes I have to pause," said Phil's lifelong friend, Bill Harlan. "Anyway, just a great friend, I loved him dearly."

However, his legacy will live on forever in Muhlenberg County, where Saturday afternoon, singer Marty Brown, a Phil Everly Tribute Band and the Everly Cousins, performed at a memorial service.

"We're going to miss him and what an honor it is for me and my cousin Dave to stand here and sing for him and pay tribute to him," said Tim Giageos, Phil's second cousin.

Others got on stage to share memories of Phil, and while they had different relationships with him, they saw him the same, as words like "generous" and "humble" were in all of their stories.

"Very giving and enjoyed telling jokes and being with people he knew and loved," Harlan said.

Those from Central City say they take great pride in having the duo call it home.

In 1988, they started a series of homecoming concerts to raise scholarship money -- just one of many ways they contributed to the town.

"I just want them to remember Phil and to say thank you from this community. We just want to say thank you for what he did for us," Rich said.

The Everly Brothers had 19 Top 40 hits between 1957 and 1962.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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