Stu Phillips | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Stu Phillips

Stu (Stuart) Phillips. Country singer (baritone), songwriter, broadcaster, b St-Eustache, near Montreal, 19 Jan 1933.

Phillips, Stu

Stu (Stuart) Phillips. Country singer (baritone), songwriter, broadcaster, b St-Eustache, near Montreal, 19 Jan 1933. Known as 'The Travelling Balladeer,' Phillips sang as a youth on amateur radio shows in Montreal (CJAD and CFCF) and Verdun (CKVL) and at 16 worked his way west, appearing at rodeos and carnivals. He wrote many ballads based on Canadian history, including 'The Champlain and St Lawrence Line' and 'Dollard des Ormeaux.' Some were later heard on the LP Stu Phillips Sings Echoes of the Canadian Foothills (Rodeo 5-RLP-17) and were among 13 songs in a folio published by BMI Canada in 1963. Other Phillips folk recordings from this period appeared under Rodeo's Banff and Canadian Cavalcade labels.

During the 1950s he was a radio announcer-singer in Edmonton, in Vernon, BC, and in Calgary. He began his TV career in the mid-1950s on CHCT-TV, Calgary, and appeared 1960-1 on CBC-TV's 'The Outrider.' While host 1961-5 for CBC Winnipeg TV's 'Red River Jamboree,' Phillips performed in the USA and recorded for Columbia. Moving to Nashville in 1965, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1967 and had several hits with RCA including 'Bracero' (1966), 'The Great El Tigre' (1966), 'Vin Rosé' (1967), and 'Juanita Jones' (1967). He also made the LPs Singin' Stu Phillips (RCA LPM-3619), Grassroots Country (RCA LSP-3717), and Our Last Rendezvous (RCA LSP-4012). In the 1970s he continued his radio, TV, and personal appearances throughout the USA and, on occasion, in Canada.


In 1980 Phillips issued a Canadian LP, Born to Be a Man (CTL CTLS-5228/Pickwick PC-66003); and in the 1990s released further recordings including Don't Give Up On Me (Broadland 1293) and A Journey Through the Provinces, a compilation of early songs and previously recorded material (BCD 15721 AH). In 1993 he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2002 became a member of the hall of fame of the North America Country Music Associations, International (NACMAI). Phillips continues to perform in the Nashville area, where he owns and operates a winery.

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