TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 19: Sam Phillips

Yes, Sam Phillips, right? The independent recording mogul responsible for Elvis Presley and the explosion of rock and roll? No, no, no this is the other Sam Phillips. The Sam Phillips who was once known as Christian Contemporary music star Leslie Phillips who turned her back on the Christian corporate music machine in favor of a new identity: that of a beautifully clever and eclectically creative singer-songwriter, Sam Phillips.

After a Grammy nom for 1994’s Martinis and Bikinis album—and a high-profile acting gig portraying the evil villainess Katya in Die Hard 3 (1995)—Phillips decided it was time to strip the production and arrangements down to basics and record Fan Dance in 2001. In doing so, she ended up creating an early 21st century pièce de résistance.

Phillips joins me this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fan Dance and to discuss the album’s first vinyl release which came out last year on Run Out Groove Records. We talk about the genesis of the album’s reissue, her life during the fabled recording process, the top-notch musicians who worked on the project (T Bone Burnett, Marc Ribot, Jim Keltner, Van Dyke Parks, and Gillian Welch), and we get into the filmic quality of her lyrics and their creation.

I do a little gushing, of course, as she certainly is one of the most creative and unique songwriters of my generation. So, please join me in welcoming Ms. Phillips to Radar as she grants us the pleasure of discussing one of her many artistic highlights.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Sharp Notes each Saturday evening at 6pm and TVD Radar on Sundays at 5AM on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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