Born to Marvin and Edna Phillips on April Seventh, â€˜many moons agoâ€™ in Norwich, Connecticut, John Hunter Phillips is the youngest sibling of four to enjoy a solid family background wherein â€œsuccessâ€ was
defined, not by financial status, but the moral and ethical standards to which he was exposed by the example of both his parents, as characterized in their attitudes toward their fellow human beings and community-at-large.
Johnâ€™s father, the late Marvin Phillips, whom John lost at the age of 17 while a senior in high school, died of arteriosclerosis in 1967. His
Mom, now 95, still resides in Connecticut.
John decided, despite having already been accepted by the University of Miamiâ€™s School of Mass Communication in Coral Gables, Florida, to remain living with his recently-widowed mother in Connecticut, and to commute daily to a junior college, â€œ Mitchell Collegeâ€, in New London, Connecticut, from which he graduated with an Associateâ€™s Degree in Business. John was also Editor-In-Chief of the college newspaper. That same summer, John transferred his college credits to the University of Miami, moved there, matriculated and subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications, and a minor in Marketing in 1972. John also studied, taught and performed music.
From a tender age to the present, Johnâ€™s life has revolved around a natural talent and proclivity toward music of all genres, both in areas of performance and appreciation. His inherent curiosity was nurtured by his wonderfully encouraging parents, his school system, his private music tutors, his church, his close friends, and his equally gifted siblings.
His early influences are epitomized by his early childhood attraction to a toy ukulele; fascination in watching his grandmother play ragtime piano well into her eighties; addiction to the record player; being teased to uncontrollable laughter by an older brother (a very talented pianist), who would intentionally play wrong notes in order to make â€œJohnnyâ€ laugh; the first brief piano lessons; an interest in learning drums in elementary school band; admiration of his oldest brotherâ€™s discipline in mastering the trumpet in the style of the greats like Harry James (as well as his assistance in learning to sight-read music); his sisterâ€™s natural talent at piano and organ; years of private and public school lessons on the tenor saxophone; his motherâ€™s boundless, yet patient insistence that daily practice be adhered to and supervised by her, coupled with her experience as a school teacher; and also to no lesser degree, the familyâ€™s positive environment based on his fatherâ€™s love of listening to his children play music in ensemble. (Johnâ€™s fatherâ€™s only musical claim was that he â€œplayed the radio.â€)
Probably the first indication of a burgeoning entertainment entrepreneurship was when John took it upon himself, at the age of eight, to write directly to the Walt Disney Corporation and ask permission to start the â€œOfficial Donald Duck Club.â€ They responded with a personal letter and enough encouragement to keep the fire alive in the third grader. After that, it was redesigning his dadâ€™s garage into a neighborhood kidâ€™s movie theatre.
The next entreprenurial manifestation, and the most telling, was the formation of Johnâ€™s music quartet, â€œThe Customs,â€ in sixth grade. The band played together every weekend until the end of Johnâ€™s high school year. He had also been in the high school band and choir during that time, as well.
During his first year at Mitchell College, John arranged, along with three music buddies, to record one of his original songs â€“ â€œBest Friendâ€ â€“
at a Boston recording studio. He had 500 45-rpm singles manufactured on his own label, Coliseum Records; he named the group â€œCollage,â€ and convinced a Hartford-based record distributor to push the record a little, and persuaded several New England Top-40 radio stations to add it to their playlist. The group (mostly 18 year-olds), never made a million dollars, but did manage to have a number one hit in Kentucky for a few weeks. It was obviously influenced by the style of â€œThe Beach Boys,â€ whom John had admired since their inception in 1961. There were other records to follow, like â€œClosinâ€™ In On Meâ€ and â€œLooking For an Answer,â€ and another record label called Subtown Records.
During Johnâ€™s senior year at the University of Miami, â€œGWSâ€ (Great World of Sound) released his original composition and recording, â€œLong Stretches of Highwayâ€ --- the first to be released under the full name, â€œJohn Hunter Phillips.â€ At this time, John joined up with four music teachers (He was also teaching guitar during this period) to form a singing rock group by the name of â€œSomerset,â€ with which he performed regularly and professionally in the South Florida and Florida Keys area for many years. John also continued to hone his songwriting skills and took additional courses on music theory and music harmony at Miami Dade Junior College, while also taking private lessons in the art of jazz improvisational skills on guitar.
Returning to Connecticut in 1979, John took a somewhat perpendicular change in his vocational direction â€“though never in his heartfelt desire to create music â€“and began working a sales position for the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in Norwalk, Connecticut. Meanwhile, he persisted in his songwriting aspirations, winning several national competitions. In particular, in 1983, John won a fourth place award, out of 40,000 entrants that year, for an original composition titled, â€œYouâ€™re Never Alone.â€
John continued to write, record demos, play piano and sing, while enjoying his role of â€œDadâ€ to three beautiful daughters. He pressed on with learning by experience the skills of business management, sales and marketing, while under the employ of the software giant, Ashton-Tate corporation, as well as the largest karaoke music producing manufacturing and distribution company in the world, â€œSound Choice Accompaniment Tracks, Inc.,â€ in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was also sales manger for â€œProTech Marketing, Inc.,â€ a division of â€œSecom, Inc.,â€ which was a key player in the development of cutting-edge software copy-protection technologies. John, having been in positions of sales, sales management and marketing, garnered invaluable experience and is now extremely excited by the coupling of this with his true passion and strongest forte â€“ music!
November 18, 1994 brought for John a dream come true experience!
He had won a contest which allowed him to meet up with The Beach Boys backstage at the rehearsal for their first â€˜unpluggedâ€™ concert, which took place at Ovens auditorium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gushing before the TV camera the afternoon of the show, he jubilantly exclaimed that he had â€œnever been so happy in his whole life.â€ There he was, being interviewed for the Charlotte Nightly News with an audio backdrop of the actual Beach Boys
rehearsing a new ending to â€œSurfer Girlâ€ for that nightâ€™s performance.
Later that same day, he was priviledged to share a microphone onstage with Beach Boy Bruce Johnston on â€œBarbara Annâ€ and â€œFun, Fun, Funâ€. This scenario then repeated itself eight other times at various venues around the United States, and John remains most thankful to all of The Beach Boys for those wonderful nights. He says, â€œWords cannot express.â€
In 1999, John released his self-produced 16 track CD titled, â€œDiamonds On The Beachâ€, which was received with great applaud internationally; selling not only in the United States, but in Europe, Australia and Japan. So, it is with great excitement that John is now re-releasing â€œDiamonds On The Beachâ€ once again! The tracks are primarily
lesser-known songs previously recorded by The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson. Billy Hinsche, a twenty five year veteran of The Beach Boys, brother-in-law to the late Carl Wilson, as well as one-third of the successful 60â€™s singing group, â€œDino, Desi & Billy,â€ sings a duet with John on a song written by Billy and originally recorded by Carl Wilson on his second solo album, â€œYoung Blood.â€ Billy was also kind enough to write the liner notes for â€œ Diamonds On The Beach.â€
With a forecasted released date of April 7, 2006, Johnâ€™s second CD, â€œUnder A Beach Boy Moonâ€ promises to be every bit as energetic a listening experience. Once again pairing up with the talents of Billy Hinsche, who wrote the great title song â€œUnder A Beach Boy Moon,â€ John finds himself in the excellent company of Billy Hinsche and Jeff Foskett (10 year veteran of the Beach Boys and current member of The Brian Wilson Band) singing with him on a touching version of a song written by the late Dennis Wilson, originally released by The Beach Boys on their 1972 classic album â€œHollandâ€, â€œOnly With Youâ€.
Amidst an impressive array of extremely talented musicians, chief engineer and co-producer Boo English, as well as the talents of key musicians and sequencers, David Floyd, Freddy Tripp, Wade Starnes, Tim Gordon and too many others to mention at the moment, John offers up a
selection of songs written by himself, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson,
Billy Hinsche, Dennis Wilson and Dion DiMucci.
John also feels very lucky indeed to also have the talents of Carter Cathcart abound on their duet of the Brian Wilson and Mike Love song, â€œGoinâ€™ On.â€ Carter plays a mean axe, as well being a maestro of singing, song composition and the vocal athleticism required to be the voices behind
many highly acclaimed animated TV shows ! Check out his wonderful CDs!
This brings us to where we are right now, enjoying the re-release of â€œDiamonds On The Beachâ€ and anticipating the great harmonies, rockâ€™nâ€™roll styles and intimate ballads coming our way this Spring (2006) May on â€œItâ€™s About Time.â€
Keep listening !!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Our Prayer
2. Do It Again
3. Wild Honey
4. One More Night Alone
5. Lahaina Aloha
6. God only Knows
7. Susie Cincinnatti
8. Somewhere Near Japan
9. I'm Waiting For The Day
11. Keepin' The Summer Alive
12. Lay Down burden
13. Kiss Me , Baby
14. Roller Skating Child
15. Rockin' All Over The World
16. Sail On Sailor