January 7, 2014

Regarding the Jan. 4 obituary “Everly Brothers member helped shape rock’s sound”:

I went to school with Phil and Don Everly at Knox West High in Knoxville, Tenn., in the 1950s. We ran track together. I made Phil wear a hair net when we ran the mile relay because his long hair — he wore a “duck tail” — kept falling in his eyes when I tried to pass him the baton. I helped him with his algebra; he taught me how to be “cool,” to wear pink shirts and low-slung black chino pegged pants with white suede shoes. Ike, his father, cut my hair, and Phil and I both “liked” Catherine, about whom, I found out later, the Everlys wrote “Cathy’s Clown.”

Don and Phil went on to greatness, contributing significantly to the popularity of rock and roll and creating a sound adopted by many others. I remember Phil, though, as a shy, long-haired high school friend who ran track pretty well, who struggled with algebra and whom Catherine “liked” better than me.

Gordon K. Soper, Alexandria