Legendary Cincinnati drummer Phillip Paul will join School of Rock Mason as a guest professor on Saturday March 15 from 5:30pm-7:00pm in the school's Sonic Boom Room. He will speak about his long life in music and then perform a set with School of Rock Mason students of some of the most famous songs he has recorded. The event is free and open to the public.
Phillip Paul moved to Cincinnati in 1951 from New York to join the Tiny Bradshaw Band. He soon became a session drummer at King Records, where he made more than 350 recordings. He brought the beat to such famous songs as Tiny Bradshaw’s “Train Kept A Rollin”, Hank Ballard’s “The Twist”, Little Willie John’s “Fever”, and Freddie King’s “Hideaway”.
Terry Stewart, past President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, has said of Paul: "If someone were to try to isolate the single heartbeat of the early days of rock and roll, as it transitions from 'race music' to 'rhythm & blues' to whatever you want to call what early rock and roll is, that heartbeat is Philip. (He is) the thread that runs through so much of the important music of that period."
In addition to his work with Tiny Bradshaw and King Records, Paul performed with blues legends John Lee Hooker, Albert King, and Smokey Smothers. He was also in the Roy Meriwether Trio and recorded two albums with the trio on the Columbia Records label. He has toured the U.S. and Canada with Jimmy Smith, Nat Adderley, Herbie Mann, and George Weins' Newport Jazz All-Stars.
In 2003, Paul released his own CD It's About Time under the Stork Music Productions label. The recording featured Peter Frampton, Kenny Poole, and Marcos Sastre on guitar; Steve Schmidt, Roland Ashby, and Sam Jackson on keyboards; and Ed Conley and Mike Scharf on bass. That same year, Paul served as the drummer on Big Joe Duskin's final album, Big Joe Jumps Again!, which was nominated for the W. C. Handy Blues Award Comeback CD of the Year.
In 2009, he was honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, as part of their "From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits". In 2009, he was also honored with the Ohio Heritage Fellowship, Ohio's highest honor for traditional artists. In 2002, he was honored by the Cincinnati Enquirer with a Lifetime CAMMY Award for his contributions to the music and culture of the city.