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Stu Phillips


  • Born 9 September 1929

Stu Phillip's fingerprints have been left all over the space age bachelor pad. In the early 1950s, he worked with songwriter Harry Revel to release Music from Outer Space, which followed the more famous Revel albums Music Out of the Moon and Perfume Set to Music (arranged by Les Baxter) and Music for Peace of Mind (arranged by Billy May, used wordless vocals as an awfully good substitute for the theremin.

In the late 1950s, he cranked out his share of undistinctive easy listening albums such as Organs and Strings, but paying his dues appears to have qualified him for better things. He was the head of A&R for Colpix Records from 1960-1963, during which time he produced such one-shot wonders as James Darren's "Goodbye, Cruel World" and Shelley Fabares' "Johnny Angel." Phillips was one of those who established the creative role of the producer in rock and roll--suggesting to the Marcels, for example, that they steal the intro from "Zoom" by the Cadillacs to their version of "Blue Moon," their very first recording for Colpix. The resulting single zoomed to #1 on the pop and R&B charts in the U.S. and placed in the top ten in over twenty countries worldwide. He also split scoring chores for the movie "The New Interns" with Leith Stevens.

In 1964, he moved over to Capitol Records, and as part of his move, he launched a new concept that became a minor phenomenon for the industry. Unlike much of the easy listening establishment, Phillips was comfortable with rock and pop styles and sounds, and he wanted to bridge the two worlds. The result, an album of Beatles' hits arranged for and played by a string orchestra under the named of the Hollyridge Strings, was an instant hit and reached into the Top Ten album charts of the time. In fact, Phillips went on to record 10 albums with the Hollyridge Strings, and numerous labels rushed to join the bandwagon with groups like the Castaway Strings (Vee-Jay), the Sunset Strings (Liberty), and the Fantabulous Strings (MGM). He also released a classic of 60s easy pop, Feels Like Lovin', which adds a whitebread chorus to the string orchestra. The title cut, a Phillips original, is a sultry, seductive stroll that's one of the most sensuous slices of pop music in the 1960s archives.

At the same time, Phillips focused more of his energies toward film work. He scored several biker action movies, including Angels from Hell, Hells Angels on Wheels, Run Angel Run, and The Losers. And he wrote the soundtrack for mammary maestro Russ Meyer's "best" film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

In the 1970s, Phillips' work usually showed up on the soundtrack of television series. He spent seven years working at Universal Studios, composing and conducting themes and background music for series such as "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Battlestar Galactica," "B.J. and the Bear," "Knight Rider," "McCloud," and "Quincy." He left Universal for 20th Century Fox in 1981, served as musical director for "The Fall Guy," and contributed to numerous other shows.

In 2002, he published Stu Who?, subtitled, "Forty Years of Navigating the Minefields of the Music Business," and claimed his own 40 acres of cyberspace at www.stuwho.com.


Recordings

  • Organ and Strings in Stereo, Waldorf MHK SD 1414
  • Feels Like Lovin', Capitol ST 2356
    Hollyridge Strings albums
  • The Beatles Song Book, Capitol (S)T-2116
  • The Beach Boys Song Book, Capitol (S)T-2156
  • Play Instrumental Versions of Hits Made Famous by the Four Seasons, Capitol (S)T-2199
  • The Beatles Song Book, Vol. 2, Capitol (S)T-2202
  • Play Instrumental Versions of Hits Made Famous by Elvis Presley, Capitol (S)T-2221
  • The Nat King Cole Song Book, Capitol (S)T-2310
  • The Christmas Shongbook, Capitol ST-2404
  • The New Beatles Song Book, Capitol (S)T-2429
  • Play Oldies But Goodies, Capitol (S)T-2564
  • The Beatles Song Book, Vol. 4, Capitol (S)T-2656
  • Play the Beach Boys Song Book--Vol. 2, Capitol (S)T-2749
  • The Beatles Song Book, Vol. 5, Capitol (S)T-2876
  • Play the Hits of Simon & Garfunkel, Capitol ST-2998
  • The George, John, Paul, & Ringo Songbook, Capitol ST-839
  • Hits of the 70's, Capitol ST-883 (or SW-8-0883)


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