NEIGHBORS....around the area

Friday, April 14, 2017
Jackie Phillips displays some of the CD's that he helped to produce.
Scott Seal/MONEWS

Growing up the the mid - 1960's was a time when the jazz, pop, and rock and roll music really started to take off. It was also a time when local high school and college students began making music during the garage band days. Portageville's Jackie Phillips was one of those musicians.

“It was probably around 1963, some friends got interested in music, and that was the rage when the garage band era was coming onto the scene, and for the most part were self taught. We only had one member that played in the high school band. He was not in our original group, but came into the second group. There were two groups that made a little noise that from around here originally,” said Phillips.

“Our lead vocal, Danny Faris, was the showman. He was an excellent player, piano and guitar player and songwriter. That group was short lived, call Danny and the Avanties, but we did record a record in Memphis in STAX recording studio. Probably the biggest name to come out of there was Otis Redding,” he explains.

However, they did not get to record at STAX. They were so busy, just could not take on another project, but the music engineer really liked what he heard and made it possible to record at the Royal Music Studio, biggest name to cross from there is Al Greene. They are still in the business. As a matter of fact, according to Phillips, the music engineer at Stacks paid for the recording session at Royal. “Our band did not have to pay for one thing,” he adds.

Sam Phillips incorporated five demo copies for us and that was it. The 45 demo has two song written by Farris. The A-side had “My Son” and the B-side had “The Little Glass Jar”. The group soon faded out with Farris went into a different direction. Most of the group along with a few more became, “The Decisions". We wanted to put our own spin on everything we did, we did not want to sound like everyone else,” he said.

Phillips is a military veteran having served in the Navy from October 1968 through February 1973. this included 18 months at the LeMoore, CA Naval base. Prior to that he was stationed in the Philippines. He was apart of a Navy Aviation Squadron, a search and rescue helicopter unit at “Cubie Point”. He was a Petty Officer Third Class.

Now, forward to the year 2008, this is the year that Phillips' JJ Promotions really began to take off.

“I wanted to convert our original DEMO record into a CD. I have a friend that has a studio in Kennett and he helped me to put in on a CD. Of course, it has the pops and scratches on as you may get from playing an old 45 now. It would cost thousands to take it to Nashville to have it done digitally. The purist within the industry would want to hear that,” said Phillips. This comes from the original record that Sam Phillips pressed in 1966. But converting that original 45 into the CD is how the beginnings of JJ Promotions began, Phillips noted.

“While I was working at Noranda, I worked with a friend that had a friend that has a recording studio in Kennett, Dennis James. He had made several CD with Movie Maker and then onto YouTube. I finally learned how to do that, so now I do it myself. Once I made that CD, I was going to quit, cause I was out of the music business for awhile. The more we talked, we got into some of these local gospel artist. I would talk with one or two and we would go to Kennett to the recording studio for the CD and then put the video or slide show on YouTube.”

“Since then, I have worked and helped several local singers from Portageville, many that have been singing in front of crowds and church most of their life. But when you get into a studio, it is a whole different mind-set. I helped Linda Stevens and Brenda Gardner. We made two CD's under the name of “Unmerited Favor”” .

“By working through Dennis James, I got to meet so many different people and artists, and it all began with that first CD from the old 45,”he added.

His latest adventure was with a young artist from Liberty, Mo. In the Kansas City are. Donna Gray has an Outstanding Musical Talent. Donna's video, CD's and Downloads are available at Donna Gray Music.com. “I have two 'The Other Me' Cd's on hand for sale. $15 plus shipping.”, Phillips added.

You can go to Phillips' Facebook page and see Donna's “The Other Me” video and here her sing. She co-wrote all but two songs on this Cd, Blessed Assurance and Medley (Public Domain). “I am so glad that our paths crossed.”

You can contact JJpromotions1 at (573) 379-6263.