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Phil Everly’s Passing Reminds Me of a Favorite Family Story [VIDEO]

The sad news of the death of rock ‘n’ roll icon Phil Everly, one half of the legendary Everly Brothers, brought to mind a story my mom told me a long time ago. When I called her to let her know of Phil’s passing, she told it again.

In 1956, when Mom was a young nurse in Owensboro two brothers from Muhlenberg County named Phil and Don Everly came to the hospital to visit their cousin and to play her some music.

The cousin was a patient on my mother’s floor and she met the brothers. Since they evidently were not in a hurry, they sat and chatted a while. Before too long, my mother told them a story about how she and my dad–just a few nights before–had gone to a drive-in movie.

They were dating at the time.

They had fallen asleep and woke up long after the movie had ended; they were the only ones there.  One year later, “Wake Up Little Susie” was published and became the Everlys’ second #1 song.

You see, my mother’s name is Sue and when she was younger, a lot of folks called her Susie. Granted, that little fact never materialized in Mom’s conversation with Don and Phil. And they didn’t write “Wake Up Little Susie” either. It was written by the great songwriting team of Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, two people my mother NEVER met.

It is entirely possible that the brothers remembered the story, thought it was a good idea and shared it with the Bryants. It’s also entirely PROBABLE that we will never know for sure.

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