About 30 other artists had previously rejected this song before The Everly Brothers recorded it. It became their first hit in both the UK and US.
The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant wrote this song. Together, this talented couple penned many huge hits for the Everly Brothers and other artists, including "Wake Up Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream." The Bryants are credited with being the first songwriters to come to Nashville and make a living only by writing songs.
This was a favorite of Simon & Garfunkel, who included it on their classic Bridge Over Troubled Water album. Paul Simon tells the story about how when he and Art Garfunkel were kids, they took a bus to the nearest record store so they could buy the single, and it became a staple of their shows when they started performing. It was always a fun song for them to play, especially when the audience would supply the backbeat. For their Bridge Over Troubled Water recording, they recorded audiences clapping from some of their shows to incorporate into the mix.
According to legend, the Everlys were nonplussed about the song but were appreciative of the $64 fee that both brothers received for the session.
In 1995, a movie called Bye Bye Love hit theaters. The film stars Paul Reiser, Matthew Modine and Randy Quaid as divorced men navigating a web of relationships. The song "Bye Bye Love" and a few other Everly Brothers tunes are featured in the film.
In a 1981 interview with Country Music People, Boudleaux recalled: "I wrote 'Bye Bye Love' while traveling home one night. Felice was driving down the highway and I got the first verse and chorus right down there. I always make sure I have a pen and paper in the car for these occasions."
He added: "We really believed in the song and were disappointed when so many people turned it down. They said it was unsuitable, some even asked if we has anything better!"
Webb Pierce, a hugely popular country star of the '50s, recorded this six weeks after the Everly Brothers. When the duo got wind of Pierce's recording, they were worried his rendition would overshadow theirs. Don Everly put in a frantic call to producer Archie Bleyer. He recalled: "I said, 'Archie, we're really in trouble - Webb Pierce has covered 'Bye Bye Love.' He said, 'Who's Webb Pierce?' Then he said, 'Don't worry about it, we're hitting pop.'"
Bleyer was right. While Pierce's version took the #7 spot on the Country chart, it barely made a showing on the Hot 100, peaking at #73.