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What an interesting experience it is to put together a website!  I guess if youre twenty and just starting you have to scramble to make it seem like you have any business having a site at all!  But for me.categorizing everything I've done!  Singing, recording, performing, writing commercials, shows, choral compositions, lyrics!  And look at the titles A Jazz Nativity, A Spark of Faith, Sing, For the Lord Has Risen, Readings and Music of Creation.  Of course there are lots of other songs like I'm Gonna Lay My Heart on the Line, or To Make Them Like Me from my children's show The Great Grey Ghost of Old Spook Lane but some over-riding theme does start to emerge.  How did this happen? Well, take a look at my roots.

AldertSmedes
That's the Rev. Aldert Smedes, originally the assistant rector of Christ Church on 71 st Street (right around the corner from me here in New York) and then the founder of St. Mary's School for Girls and St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC.

 

His son Bennett followed him as head of the school.
BennettSmedes

HelenViolin

His daughter, Helen, was my grandmother, and she was an accomplished violinist.
Anne PhillipsElsie Dinsmore at piano

On my father's side, from a line of rather stern looking Presbyterian clergymen, my grandfather married Elsie Walton. I hope that music on the piano is a rag!  But how about that coincidence!  Here's MY picture from my last CD taken several years before a cousin sent me Grandma Elsie's. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

 

The announcement of their marriage refers to her as the well known and favorite Easton vocalist! - it was quite a romantic story.  She went to Europe to have her voice cultivated and he followed her and married her in London.

So, I guess that explains this mixture of spirituality and music.

Anne Phillips and Elsie Dinsmore

When my grandmother, Elsie, married Mr. Dinsmore she became Elsie Dinsmorethe same name as the little girl in a turn-of the¡century book series.   And my sister was named for her and became a very great artist, Elsie Dinsmore Popkin. Take a look at her website. Her work in pastel is breathtaking.

Elsie and I sang together Whenever I heard melody I just sang my own harmony.

By chance, in my senior year in high school I fell into a really hip vocal group with grown up musicians in downtown Reading, Pa.  (I lived in the ˜burbs).  Ron Kalina was the leader/arranger and he's still gigging away in LA.  That was the real beginning I knew where I belonged.

So that's who I am.  And here's where I've been.

GETTING STARTED IN THE BUSINESS

Dave Brubeck, Anne Phillips, Oberlin
At the Anniversary Concert:
Jerry Ables, Me, Iola and Dave Brubeck and Jim Newman who started the Oberlin Jazz Club and booked Dave for the original concert.
I went to Oberlin College where as a freshman I was chosen to sing with the big band, had my own weekly radio show, Dinny Dinsmore Sings and, when we started a jazz club and brought in Dave Brubeck for a concert at Finney Chapel (the conservatory wouldn't let a jazz pianist use any of their pianos) I sang on that concert.  The college radio station recorded that historic concert, one of the first college jazz concerts, and the album became the classic Brubeck at Oberlin.

In 2003, Oberlin invited Dave back to receive an honorary doctorate and perform an anniversary concert and I sang on that one toothis time with Dave. Click here to hear "In Your Own Sweet Way" which I recorded with Dave Brubeck for 'Ballet Time'.
 

When I came to New York, because I played piano I never had to wait on tables!  I played six nights a week, six hours a night, 9pm to 3am or 10pm to 4am.  New York night life was alive!  I played opposite Bobby Short on what I have now learned was his first major New York gigthree weeks at the Beverly Hotel on Lexington Ave.  I remember madly writing down lyrics through every set!  I played in the front room of the By Line Room when Mable Mercer appeared in the back.  One night someone said to me Little girl, you ought to go hear that lady. I did.  I didn't get it.  Thank heaven she was still around when I was old enough to get it!

I did TV showswhen they were live!  A couple of days of rehearsalcostumes, makeup, hair, then, 5,4,3,2,1 ¡ you're on the air!  Dream along with me.

Ernie Adler, Anne Phillips Perry Como, Anne Phillips Jackie Gleason, Anne Phillips
from left, Enie Adler center, with Perry Como, right with Jackie Gleason
Benny Goodman, Anne Phillips Stanley Holloway, Anne Phillips
left, with Benny Goodman right, with Stanley Holloway

And I started doing demos for song writers like Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Rod McKuen, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Carole sang on all the demos of her songs but didn't seem to have any aspirations of being a recording artist.  But one day I got a call to do a session at Mira Sound (where Phil Spector did all his "wall of sound" records with engineer Brooks Arthur) It turned out to be a full session with Carole as the artist singing a song she had written with her husband Gerry Goffin.  She had written the string arrangement as well. I wrote and sang all the back-up.  We were both very pregnant ... she was about 7 months and I was 8!  The session lasted until the wee hours and I went directly from the studio to Valley Hospital in what fortunately turned out to be false labor ... my son Alec almost came into the world on a Carole King session!
Here's "It Might As Well Rain Until September," Carole King's first release many years before "Tapestry."

Anne Phillips, playback
listening to playback
Anne Phillips
singing
Barry Mann, Noel Sherman, Anne Phillips
with Noel Sherman and Barry Mann
It was from one of those demos that I got the opportunity to record Born To Be Blue.  A great arranger, Kermit Levinsky called the greatest musiciansDoc Severensen, Milt Hinton, Barry Galbraitha full string section.and the album has become a classic.
Anne Phillips, Kermit Levinsky
going over arrangements for
"Born To Be Blue" with Kermit Levinsky
Anne Phillips, Born To Be Blue
Born To Be Blue
Anne Phillips, Publicity Shot
Publicity photo
Anne Phillips, Billboard

Anne Phillips, People Magazine, review

 

The next year I wrote an unusual choral Christmas Album, 'NOEL NOEL' which has also been re-released on the Conawago label.

 

Anne Phillips, Noel Noel Album Cover

Anne Phillips, Noel Noel pic Anne Phillips, Noel Noel Review

SINGING BACK UP IN THE SIXTIES

I started doing loads of record dates, began contracting the vocal groups as well as singing.
Anne Phillips, Gary Sherman
with conductor Gary Sherman, 1965
 
It was a great erasinging backup in the sixtiesall live with the full orchestra and the artist  all together!  10 to 1 at Bell Sound with Burt Bachrach or Sammy Davis, Jr., 2 to 5 at Columbia 30th Street with Mahalia Jackson or Bobby Vinton, 7 to 10 at RCA 24th Street with Connie Francis or Jerome Hines. Working with New York's greatest musicians, finest arrangers like Claus Ogerman, Alan Lorber, Charlie Colello, Jim Wisner, Gary Sherman, Teacho Wilshire, Luci DeJesus and producers like Bob Crewe and, yes, even Phil Spector.

Anne Phillips
Fran Caroll, Anne Phillips, Marilyn Jackson
aka "Annie, Mannie & Frannie"

Then came the Beetles. With the rest of the world I watched the Ed Sullivan show. I decided it was Ringo who the girls would love, and the next morning what else? I wrote "Ringo". I ran into a studio with the great musicians who were doing all the record dates and "Annie, Mannie and Frannie" recorded it. I placed it immediately. The company got it right out! It broke on WQAM in Miami! Then a new A&R man came into the company, bringing with him that dumb song "We Love You Beetles, Oh Yes We Do" - arrrrggggh. So, they killed "Ringo" and laid on that. And that was that.
But, here it is: RINGO

BRINGING ROCK INTO COMMERCIALS - WHO ME?

 
The jingle world was closed to most of us studio singers a tight circle of singers did all the work. But because I had done so much work with the new young songwriters I could sing ... and write ... the sound of what was called the youth market! It took a long time to persuade any of the advertising agencies that this was the future of the jingle sound. I finally recorded rock versions of Sid Ramin's Come Alive, You're in the Pepsi Generation and then won the competition for the new campaign Taste That Beats The Others Cold, Pepsi Pours it On. Besides the standard version with my group, I arranged and produced spots with The Four Tops, Linda Ronstadt, Martha and the Vandellas, The Hondells, Wilson Picket, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Jackie DeShannon, the Turtles and John Hartford. Click here to listen to a medley of the Pepsi spots with these great artists!
Turtles
working with The Turtles

Two of these were TV spots, shot live in the studio and produced by Bill Tannen and Jack Coddington.

Click here to see "Taste That Beats the Others Cold" with The Four Tops 
Click here to see "Taste That Beats the Others Cold" with The Turtles

I wrote the band and vocal arrangements, and sang backup !

The spectacular TV spots using the standard version with my group, Queen Anne's Lace (Jerry Keller, Jerry Duane, Trade Martin, Gene Maharry, Gene Steck and myself) were produced by a young producer at BBDO, Jerry Bruckheimer: click here to see Pepsi 'Rope Swing'!

...and Queen Anne's Lace recorded an album... called "Queen Anne's Lace". That lucious cover is by photographer Francesco Scavullo.
Anne Phillips, Queen Anne's Lace

That opened the door to commercials in what is now looked upon The Golden Age of Advertising. The Sheraton telephone number 800-325-3535, Campbells Soup, American Gas Association, Kent Cigarettes.
click here to hear "800-325-3535"

Anne Phillips, Ladies Home Journal
from Ladies' Home Journal

Anne Phillips

Anne Phillips, conducting

Click here to hear the last of the cigarette commercials, "What a Good Time For a Kent"

Bill Boggs interviews me and fellow musician, Richard Lavsky, about the art of jingle writing (1979)

I became a National Trustee of NARAS, the Recording Academy and was the New York Representative on the advisory committee to the Grammy show for several years. 

Anne Phillips, Linda Ronstadt Anne Phillips, Grammys Richard Burton, Anne Phillips, Grammys
Hosting the New York Grammy Awards Dinner
left, with writer George T. Simon and Linda Ronstadt - right, with Richard Burton (omg!)

ALL THIS AND KIDS, TOO!

Through all of this I had a family no one called us superwomen then!
Anne Phillips and kids Alec Phiilips, Doe Phillips, Bart Phillips Alec Phillips, Doe Phillips, Bart Phillips

Fortunately they all sang in tune and could learn parts in a minute, I treated them like little pros.  Sometimes I'd add a fourth part, me.  Our door to door Christmas Caroling was a neighborhood event every year. Bart, my boy soprano, even starred in Pascack Hills High School's excellent production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

They turned out OK .

Doe is in the music business as a tour manager    She started in the international department of Arista Hey, Mom, guess where I'm going ! I'm going to Europe with the 4 Tops!  Well, ask them if they remember your mommy!  They did.  Then it was on to Sony Music  in London working  with, Paul Young, Allison Moyet and  Anastacia, and now she is independently tour managing  artists like Corinne Bailey Rae and Oasis.

Bart, my Amahl, now has a huge metal recycling company in Winter Springs, Florida, Dominion Metal Recycling (his three kids all sing great). Here's
11 year old boy soprano Bart singing the role of Amahl.

and Alec, a wonderful performer, guitar, keyboards, drums, singer and songwriter  has designed, with his brother, a shower for the elderly and disabled.  Right now he is  spending much of his time in China where they are being manufactured.  And what else is he doing there?  Performing, of course!

ALWAYS WRITING:

And I was always writing

Anne Phillips, Spark of Faith
I wrote ˜A Spark of Faith' which was first performed as a benefit for St. Paul's Epsicopal Church in Montvale, NJwith New York's finest singers and musicians. It featured such soloists as Ann Duquesney (who later won a Tony for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk) dancers Loretta Abbott and Al Perryman from the Alvin Ailey Company, and 16 year old Dameris Carbaugh, now one of the country's foremost Christian singers. The show traveled with a company of four and is now available for rental with pre-recorded instrumental tracks.
 
Anne Phillips, Readings of Creation Anne Phillips, Ann Duquesney Anne Duquesney Sing For The Lord Has Risen, Anne Phillips
'Sing For the Lord Has Risen'  is an Easter Mass premiered at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC and was performed in concert and for the Easter service at Jan Hus Church in NYC in 2010. 'Readings and Music of Creation' was commissioned by St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. That show has become What Are We Doing to Our World?
 
Bruce Willis

I wrote the music for a play with music, Panhandle. Panhandle Rag I needed an actor who could also play harmonica so I selected W. Bruce Willis (resume to the right!), non-equity.
I saw him roller-blading on 6th Ave a few weeks after the showcase closed. Hey, guess what, I got a movie out of that! I guess he got a career out of that!

Bruce Willis
 

"The Great Grey Ghost of Old Spook Lane," a children's musical, is about a little boy, Roger, who is new in town.  The kids at school tell him about a haunted house and dare him to go in. Roger feels he has to do it to get in with the gang.  So on a rainy night they all meet and push him in through a window.  The lights go on. The house isn't empty. An elderly man lives there quietly.  He used to be a sound effects man back in radio days he has all the equipment in the basement.  They play a trick on the kids and invite them back for dinner.  The house is filled with scary sound effects as the Ghost serves his Ghostly Repast of evil eye soup, phantom pie, etc.  Everyone is scared except brave Roger.

The kids learn a lesson about accepting new people and Roger learns there are limits to what you should to be accepted.
Click here to hear audio samples from The Great Grey Ghost....

Great Grey Ghost

 

There was Brush Arbor Revival Music and lyrics, Anne Phillips, Book by Kay Scott.  Directed by Neal Kenyon (Dames at Sea)
 

Damn Everything But The Circus

"Damn Everything But the Circus" is a six character musical, book by Stephanie Braxton, for which I wrote the music & lyrics.
During one autumn weekend, two generations of the Light family gather to pack up their Cape Cod cottage before putting it on the market for sale. Long time friend, Jan Fields, a vibrant, successful New Yorker, drops by and helps to set off a mass exodus out of denial for them all.  Long time masks are stripped off, family secrets revealed, and hearts are laid on the line.

Opera Shorts 2011

Tempo Fuori del Tempo is a ten minute opera written with librettist Marilyn Scott Murphy for the concert Opera Shorts at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2009.  In the works is Table Number 9 for Opera Shorts 2011.
Since Born To Be Blue, as a singer I have recorded two other solo CDs, "Gonna Lay My Heart On The Line" on which I sing songs I've written, both words and music, and "Ballet Time" - each track I recorded with a different old friend - Marion McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Roger Kellaway, David Frishberg, Bob Dorough, Artie Butler and others. I would have liked to have included one other song on that CD - "Lullaby of Birdland" with my new lyric, "I Remember Birdland". Anyone who remembers the original Birdland shall enjoy it. Yes, that's Marion McPartland on piano. I sang it to her on her "Ballet Time" session, she loved it and said "let's do it! - nice demo!"
Marion McPartland

Julius LaRosa

I  continue to have some good times singing like several Cabaret appearances  solo,  with my husband, saxophonist Bob Kindred, several performances with a former student of mine  at NYU, Matt Perry ( I taught there in the Jazz Department for about 8 years he's now conducting Broadway shows)  AND with one of the great male singers of our time, Julius LaRosa.

And after the release of I'm Gonna Lay My Heart of the Line  I played the JAZZ BAKERY in  LA  with Roger Kellaway, Chuck Berghofer, Bob Kindred, guest Steve March Torme.

Where has this captivating performer been all our lives?  most engaging linking her songs with a loosely chronological narrative of her career, more a one woman show than your typical jazz club gig.  Richard Ginell, Daily Variety

There have been many interesting special projects like the Easter Seal Campaign song one year with Betsy Palmer.
Betsy Palmer, Anne Phillips, Easter Seals
 

I have also produced many concerts and CDs ...
Jazz At Gretna - I had a house in the Pennsylvania Chatauqua at Mt. Gretna. They had a wonderful Chamber music series there and asked me to add jazz. So, the first person I booked was Dave Brubeck, then Gerry Mulligan and Marian McPartland and George Shearing  and Helen Merrill and Jackie Cain and Roy Kral and Eddie Daniels...

Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck, Anne Phillips Gerry Mulligan, Anne Phillips Anne Phillips, Chris Brubeck
from left Dave Brubeck, me and Brubeck, me and Gerry Mulligan, Dave's son Chris Brubeck
Eddie Daniels
left, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral - right, Eddie Daniels

I produced the concert To Ben and Johnny, With Love, a tribute to saxophonists Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges, for which my husband, tenor saxophonist Bob Kindred, was awarded an NEA grant. Together Bob and I produced "Randi's Jazz" an evening honoring Randi Hultin, Norway's foremost jazz critic, journalist and photographer.

I have produced many of Bob's CDs: "That Kindred Spirit," Hidden Treasures" and "Playin' In The Yard." For the first, "That Kindred Spirit," I also orchestrated several cuts including the beautiful Johnny Mercer/Barry Manilow tune, "When October Goes."

Randi Hultin

click here to hear
"When October Goes"


Twenty five years back, the Rev. John Garcia Gensel, the "Jazz Pastor" of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in New York suggested that I write a Christmas benefit to be held in his church. That was the birth of Bending Towards The Light ... A Jazz Nativity.  Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Gene Bertoncini, Tommy Flanagan, George Mraz, Grady Tate and tap-dancer Honi Coles were in that very first show with Pastor Gensel as narrator and Bob Kindred as musical director. Bob's haunting rendition of "Silent Night" created the opening mood in the darkened church that very first night just as it does today.

The following years, with a large cast and full choir, the show played in many venues including, even one year, at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York. This annual event, now in our 25th year, has played in NYC at St. Bartholomew's Church, The Lamb's Theater, Lincoln Center, Birdland - Charles Kuralt from CBS Sunday Morning became the host. We celebrated our 25th anniversary at BB King's in 2010 and we will be returning to celebrate again in 2011. Come take a look at the slideshow from the 2010 event!

An outgrowth of the Jazz Nativity and our Jazz Nativity Children's Project which enabled inner-city children to experience the show, has been the Kindred Spirits Children's Jazz Choirs.  The choirs introduce kids to the Great American Song through jazz.  This has become more and more important as song itself is disappearing from their lives.

And for the adults who love these great songs I am doing SING! SING! SING! a Great American Songbook Sing-In, monthly at the Triad on 72nd Street in New York.  Songbook devotee, Michael Shepley, who is full of stories about the songs and their writers, joins me.

Many years ago I wrote a song entitled "What Are We Doing To Our World?"  I had heard Jacques Cousteau talk about being far out at sea and seeing floating islands of debris ¡ sounded like a lyric to me! That song has now become a full show, a show that brings us together to involve us personally in a solution to our environmental crisis.

For the past 12 years I have traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska every January to run a two-week Jazz/Cabaret Workshop.  There I met an extraordinary poet, Phoebe Newman.  I set three of her poems to music for choir and soloists.  AN ALASKAN TRILOGY was performed at the CUNY Grad Center in collaboration with the National Association of Teachers of Singing where it was sung by a wonderful young singer from Ketchikan who now lives in New York, Kyle Bailey. Hear: 'ROMANCING KETCHIKAN'.

Another piece on the program is a poem written by my cousin, Brad Dinsmore, which I set to music - As You Walk Away.  The music and recording are available directly from me.

And where do I go from here?  Well, I'm working on this year's Opera Shorts,  preparing for this year's  performances of The Jazz Nativity in New York and other cities ... looking for the sponsorship to do it in Spanish Inclinando Hacia la Luz la Natividad en Jazz,  Wouldn't that be great?  All the Latin Jazz artists who have been in it think so Candido, Paquito d'Rivera,  Brenda Feliciano,   Arturo O'Farrill a documentary with all the great footage we have with Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente, Dave Brubeck  and how about a performance at the White House?  Don't you think the President would love it?  No end in sight  No, I don't have time to twitter ... tweet ... no, twitter.... .... tweet?