Gene Phillips

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For the basketball player, see Gene Phillips (basketball). For the American author, educator and priest, see Gene D. Phillips.

Eugene Floyd "Gene" Phillips (May 25, 1915 – January 10, 1990)[1] was an American jump blues guitarist and singer.[2]


He was born in St. Louis, Missouri,[1] and took up the ukulele and later the guitar as a child. He also sang, influenced by, and a fan of, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, Louis Jordan, and Wynonie Harris.[2] He joined the St Louis bands of Dewey Jackson and Jimmy Powell and was later taught lap steel guitar by Floyd Smith.[2] He later went on to join Lorenzo Flennoy's Trio. A pioneer of the lap steel guitar, he recorded with the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers, among others.[1] In late 1945 he recorded with Lucky Thompson in a band also featuring Marshal Royal and Charles Mingus.[3]

His Rhythm Aces, the band he used on his Modern recordings for the Bihari Brothers, included Jake Porter, trumpet; drummer Al "Cake" Wichard; Maxwell Davis, Marshal Royal, Jack McVea, Bumps Meyers, Willard McDaniel, Lloyd Glenn, Bill Street and Art Edwards.[4] His repertoire included "Big Fat Mama", "Big Legs", "Fatso", and "Punkin' Head Woman".[2]

Phillips died in Lakewood, California, in 1990.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 139. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ray Topping, Liner notes for Swinging the Blues, Ace Records. Retrieved 9 October 2016
  3. ^ Jazz Discography Project. "Charles Mingus Catalog". Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  4. ^ Richie Unterberger (2003-07-22). "Drinkin' and Stinkin' - Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces,Gene Phillips | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 

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