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Phil Harris


Phil Harris Biography

This name comes up in several different contexts and eras of music history, the importance of the Phil Harris in question relative to the interests of the listener. Fans of the Velvet Underground and particularly Lou Reed would find this Phil Harris a person of real interest. He's an early working partner of Reed from way back in his teenybopper days, circa 1958. Harris was a high-school buddy and the Jades were the first professional combo for both and possibly the best music Harris ever made; that this is also true about Reed should not be read into this text. br /br /"So Blue," the group's first single, was co-written by the high-school friends. Harris also seems to have another credit for a session involving R&B saxophonist King Curtis -- not such a big stretch considering the fact that one of the first collaborations involving Reed and Harris was a Little Richard tribute at a high-school variety show. Actually of more importance connecting these dots is a relationship the young musicians had with Bob Shad, a producer and A&R man infamous for putting his own photo on many of the sessions he was responsible for.br /br /A chain of connections typical of high-school life -- a girlfriend, a neighbor -- brought the friends in contact with Shad, then working A&R for Mercury but hunting prospects for an imprint he was planning on his own. That the Time label has stood the test of time is proved by at least one reissue compilation involving the material from the label's original roster of singles, not that the presence of Reed dissuaded any bean counters. King Curtis was already in Shad's phone book, as would be any top session man, playing throughout "So Blue." ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide


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