Don was born in Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, on February 1, 1937, and Phil in Chicago, Illinois, on January 19, 1939. Their parents were Isaac Milford "Ike" Everly, Jr. (1908–1975), a guitar player, and Margaret Embry Everly. Actor James Best (born Jules Guy), also from Muhlenberg County, was the son of Ike's sister. Margaret was 15 when she married Ike, who was 26. Ike worked in coal mines from age 14, but his father encouraged him to pursue his love of music and Ike and Margaret began singing together. The Everly brothers spent most of their childhood in Shenandoah, Iowa. They attended Longfellow Elementary School in Waterloo, Iowa, for a year, but then moved to Shenandoah in 1944, where they remained through early high school.