Washington Phillips – Washington Phillips

It’s Saturday & time for our weird-saturday-bandcamp-findings!

Today we feature a nice reissue by the British label “Death Is Not The End” of songs by the gospel & blues singer Washington Phillips, recorded originally in the early 20st century – here’s some info taken from the viki page:
“Washington Phillips (January 11, 1880 – September 20, 1954) was a Texan gospel singer and musician, born in Freestone County, Texas.
Phillips recorded eighteen songs, all between 1927 and 1929 in Dallas, for Columbia Records, though only sixteen survive. Some of his songs amount to highly specific and detailed gospel sermons, featuring Phillips’ voice self-accompanied by an instrument that sounds like a fretless zither. This instrument, which has been variously identified as a Dolceola, a Celestaphone, two Celestaphones tuned in octaves attached side-by-side, or a Phonoharp (and also is considered by some to be an instrument entirely home-made by Phillips) creates a unique sound on these recordings that makes them immediately recognizable. Columbia A&R exec Frank B. Walker, who supervised the Phillips sessions said in a 1962 interview that Phillips’ instrument was homemade. “Nobody on earth could use it but him,” he said.”


Share Button