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Shawn Phillips

Background information
Born February 3, 1943 (1943-02-03) (age 66)
Origin Texas, United States
Genres Folk rock
Years active 1960s - present

Shawn Phillips (born February 3, 1943) helped define folk-rock in the 1960s and progressive-new-age rock in the 1970s. artist of such raw talent, ambition and good will... Phillips' main attraction is still his voice. Reedy and flexible, with a remarkable falsetto, it is a potent dramatic instrument[1].

Shawn Phillips has twenty albums to his credit[2] and a host of associations with some of the most respected names in the industry including Donovan, Paul Buckmaster, J. Peter Robinson, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and many others, yet he is virtually forgotten except by his cadre of loyal fans, despite remaining active through today[3]. The Texas-born singer/songwriter was called "The best kept secret in the music business," by the late rock impresario Bill Graham .

Beginning in the 1960s, Phillips made noteworthy contributions to popular music. He performed at the Isle of Wight festival in front of half a million people, sang on the Beatles' "Lovely Rita (Meter Maid)" song, and was cast to play the lead in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar (he had to withdraw due to his heavy recording and touring schedule.) In February 1969 Phillips wrote and performed, with The Djinn, the music for the controversial Jane Arden (director) play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven at the Arts Laboratory on Drury Lane.

Throughout the 60s Phillips worked the folk music scene in Los Angeles, New York Greenwich Village, and London. In 1967 Phillips moved to Positano, Italy, where he remained throughout the 1970s, writing some of his most well known work. This period produced the albums Contribution, Second Contribution, Collaboration and Faces'.

Four of his albums Faces, Bright White, Furthermore and Do You Wonder made it into the Billboard Top 100. In addition, the singles "Lost Horizon", "We" and "Woman" made Billboard's top 40. One of the most sought after Christmas songs is Phillips' 1970 45rpm release of "A Christmas Song" on A&M 1238. The track is now available on the re-issue of Faces.

His album No Category, featuring his longtime collaborators Paul Buckmaster and Peter Robinson, was released in 2002.

In 2007, his first live album, Living Contribution, was released, along with a Live DVD of the same title.

Today, Shawn lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with his wife Juliette and their son Liam. He divides his time between writing, touring, and his work as an emergency medical technician (EMT), firefighter, and 1st Officer, Navigator, and Extrication Specialist with the NSRI National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa.


  • Favourite Things (also called: I'm A Loner) (1964)
  • First Impressions (also called: Shawn) (1966)
  • Contribution (1970)
  • Second Contribution (1970)
  • Collaboration (1971)
  • Faces (1972)
  • Bright White (1973)
  • Furthermore (1974)
  • Do You Wonder (1974)
  • Rumplestiltskin's Resolve (1975)
  • Spaced (1977)
  • Transcendence (1978)
  • Beyond Here Be Dragons (1983)
  • Best of Shawn Phillips (1990)
  • The Best of Shawn Phillips: The A&M Years (1992)
  • The Truth If It Kills (1994)
  • Another Contribution: Anthology (1995)
  • No Category (2002)
  • Living Contribution (2007)
  • At The BBC (2009)

External links



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