Phillip Sandifer is an American writer, recording artist and music producer. His music is primarily known within the Contemporary Christian music field. He has recorded with such artists as Jennifer Warnes, Wendy Foy (Sierra), Billy Crockett, Bob Bennett and Michele Wagner and written music for Glen Campbell, Fernando Ortega, Bob Bennett, Kim Hill, Cheri Keaggy, Rob Frazier, Dawn Smith Jordan (Miss South Carolina), Gary Powell and others. He has participated on recordings distributed by EMI, Disney, BMG Music and Warner Music Group although most of his solo recordings have been released on Urgent Records (Austin, TX), an independent label founded by Sandifer in 1984, Selfless Music and more recently Wider Sky Music.
Phillip Sandifer was born in Baltimore, MD in 1959 but moved to Dallas, TX as a youth. He attended Highland Park High School (University Park, Texas), Auburn University (Auburn, AL) and the University of Texas at Austin where he received a degree in History. He holds Masters degrees from Clemson University (Clemson, SC) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA) and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO). He has been married to Rene Burchard Sandifer since 1984. They have 4 children.
Sandifer began his music career in 1981, when he created an album on a minimal budget. He has authored and performed 22 top 40 Adult Contemporary songs and six #1 inspirational songs (as noted in CCM Magazine and The Christian Research Report) in the Christian Music field. His top songs include "Just Because You Are" (#1), "When It's All Been Said And Done" (#1), "Learning To Love You" (#1), "The Less Traveled Road" (#1), "From A Broken Heart" (#1), "What You Mean To Me" (#1), "Man Of Compassion" (#1), "Arizona Highway" (#9), "On My Way" (#11). He has produced twenty five full-length albums for himself and others. Phillip and his brother Michael record as the group Santa Fe which achieved two top ten songs "Wider Sky" (#10) and "Love Speaks Louder" (#8) on their debut recording "Moon Circles". Sandifer acknowledges that while financial gain may elude those choosing the route of the independent label there is a great deal of satisfaction in creating largely on one's own terms. While not as visible as many artists, maintaining artistic control over his music has allowed for a career described as "constant" and music described as "consistent". His releases have been distributed on Urgent Records (Austin, TX) through Sparrow Records (now known as EMI Christian Music) followed by Benson Music Group (now known as Provident-Integrity Distribution) and Wider Sky through IODA (Sony Music Entertainment).
In 1998 Sandifer participated in Disney Records "A Bugs Life Sing Along" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1999. In 1999 he withdrew from the music industry in order to focus on expanding Christian radio's reach in the Austin, TX metro area, finish his educational pursuits and spend more time at home with his family. In 2000 he joined a local church staff in order to participate in furthering the involvement of the contemporary arts in church settings. In 2004 he participated as a guest vocalist on his second Disney Recording - "Luv-A-Byes", recording the Kenny Loggins classic (and one of Phillip's favorites) "Return To Pooh Corner".
Between 1999 and 2005 Sandifer participated in launching 4 new radio stations broadcasting largely Christian music programming in the Austin, TX area. In addition, he launched a local community radio station (KDRP-LP, aka K-Drip) to serve his local community of Dripping Springs,TX. KDRP plays an eclectic mix of music including Texana flavored music and involves many local personalities. Phillip currently serves as the Worship & Arts Director at Colonial Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, KS.
In 2010-11 he renewed his writing and recording career releasing two new solo projects "Prone To Calamity" and "Expressions: Songs Of Worship" (an album of worship songs). Of "Prone To Calamity" Cross Rhythm's Phil Thomson noted "This has to be one of the best self-produced albums I have come across in many a year". In January 2012 Sandifer released "Simple Hymns", the first of what he says will be an ongoing yearly offering of traditional hymns produced in his simplistic acoustic guitar based style. Of "Simple Hymns" Cross Rhythm's Tony Cummings noted Phillip's "warm, Dan Fogelberg-sounding voice and beautifully picked guitar".
Cummings further regarded Sandifer's renditions of "Be Thou My Vision", "Blessed Assurance" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" as showing "the veteran to be one of the most underrated song interpreters around". Sandifer is releasing a new studio recording entitled "Of Songs and Sacraments" in May 2014.
- Never Steal The Show (1981) Urgent Records
- On My Way (1984) Urgent Records
- Keeping The Dream Alive (1986) Urgent Records
- Constant (1988) Urgent Records
- Christmas In Our Time with Bob Bennett, Billy Crockett, Wendy Foy (1989) Urgent Records
- Phillip Sandifer (1989) Urgent Records
- The Other Side Of Salvation (1991) Urgent Records
- Arizona Highway (1994) Urgent Records
- Passages:The Fruits Of The Spirit (1994 Benson Music Group
- Moon Circles - Santa Fe (1997) Urgent Records
- A Bug's Life Sing-Along (1998) Disney Records
- Sensible Enigmas (1999) Urgent Records
- The Best Of Phillip Sandifer I (2001) Urgent Records
- The Best Of Phillip Sandifer II (2004) Urgent Records
- Luv-a-Byes (2006) Disney Records
- Expressions:Songs Of Worship (2010) Selfless
- Prone To Calamity (2011) Wider Sky
- Simple Hymns (2012) Wider Sky
- Of Songs and Sacraments (2014) Wider Sky
- Go On (2014) Wider Sky
- Keeping The Dream Alive (Phillip Sandifer) (1986) Urgent Records
- The Urgency Of Praise (Various Artists) (1991) Urgent Records
- Windows & Doors (Catherine King) (1991) Urgent Records
- In A Welcome Field (Fernando Ortega) - Executive Producer* (1992) Urgent Records
- The Urgency Of Praise II (Various Artists) (1993) Urgent Records
- How Far (Dawn Smith Jordan) (1993) Heart & Soul Music
- Arizona Highway (Phillip Sandifer) (1994) Urgent Records
- Canopy (Dawn Smith Jordan) (1995) Heart & Soul Music
- Unchained Heart (Linda Richards) (1996) Heart & Soul Music
- Songs For The Heart & Soul (Various Artists) (1995) Heart & Soul Music
- A Moment Alone (Dawn Smith Jordan) (1998) Heart & Soul Music
- Sensible Enigmas (Phillip Sandifer) (1999) Urgent Records
- Everyday Praise (Dawn Smith Jordan) (2001) Heart & Soul Music
- Addison (Addison Hayes) (2002)
- Expressions: Songs Of Worship (Phillip Sandifer) (2010) Selfless
- This Far (Dawn Smith Jordan) (2011) Wider Sky
- Prone To Calamity (Phillip Sandifer) (2011) Wider Sky
- Simple Hymns (Phillip Sandifer) (2012) Wider Sky
- Chasing Grace EP (Chasing Grace) (2012) Independent
- Timeless Hymns (Dawn Smith Jordan) (2012) Wider Sky
- It's Cool To Build A School (Various Artists) (2013) Wider Sky
- Of Songs and Sacraments (Phillip Sandifer) (2014) Wider Sky
- Go On (Phillip Sandifer) (2014) Wider Sky
- On My Way (#11, 1984)
- More Than A Moment (#35, 1985)
- Keeping The Dream Alive (#18, 1986)
- Just Because You Are (#1, 1987)
- When It's All Been Said And Done (#1, 1987)
- Apprehended By Love (#36, 1988)
- Who Loves The Lonely Heart (#26, 1989)
- What You Mean To Me (#1, 1991)
- Learning To Love You (#1, 1991)
- Man Of Compassion (#1, 1992)
- The Less Traveled Road (#1, 1992)
- From A Broken Heart (#1, 1992)
- Unto The Least Of These - Bob Bennett (#23, 1992)
- Meant To Be (#32, 1993)
- Thank You For Listening - Catherine King (#10, 1992)
- Arizona Highway (#9, 1994)
- Others (#18, 1994)
- The Promise Of Love - Dawn Smith Jordan/Jerome Olds (#8, 1994)
- Captured By Love (#29, 1995)
- If You Could See What I See - Joseph Mills (#25, 1996)
- Wider Sky - Santa Fe (#10, 1997)
- Love Speaks Louder - Santa Fe (#8, 1997)
- Lindell, Chuck (1992-08-29). "Urgent Does Things Differently". Austin American-Statesman via The Victoria Advocate.
- Park Cities People (9-24-1981) http://www.newspaperarchive.com/SiteMap/FreePdfPreview.aspx?img=100647188
- Hot Hits:AC Charts 1978-2001, by Jeffrey Lee Brothers
- Paula Felps (1999-03-24) "Telling The Story". Dallas Morning News
- P.L. (1988-09-01) Bookstore Journal "Evaluations Of Current Christian Recordings"
- Billboard Magazine (1985-10-19) "The Sparrow/Capital Alliance, Total Promotion May Prove Big Difference Second Time Around"
- Billboard Bulletin (6/5/91)
- Chris Womack (2002-09-27) Austin Chronicle "50 Watts Of Freedom" http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A103616
- KDRP Radio (http://www.kdrplive.com)
- Cross Rhythms,June 20, 2011 (http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Phillip_Sandifer/Prone_To_Calamity/110366/)
- Cross Rhythms, April 15, 2013 (http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Phillip_Sandifer/Simple_Hymns/127564/)