#15 BEAUTIFUL NANCY AUSTIN, 1967 PARSONS HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADER, NEXT TO #9 GORGEOUS KELLY PHILLIPS AND BIG BROTHER #5 HANDSOME BRANSON, MISSOURI MUSICIAN ROD PHILLIPS AND #3 PARSONS JUDGE RICK TUCKER, #4 PARSONS 1964.COM WEBMASTER JOHNNY LINDEN
My little sister, Brenda Phillips Herrman, was just 3 years old. My brother, Rod Phillips, on the right with the mustache, provided special music on his 12-string guitar, with attendants
Barbara Westervelt on viola and Elnora Bevin playing flute, and his friend, Dale Tower playing a glockenspiel. My cousin, Greg Horn, was ring-bearer, and my brother, Kelly, age 9 at the time, was a junior groomsma First Baptist Church, Parsons, Kansas.
#5 Rod Phillips in this picture is a very famous graduate of Parsons High School with musical talent bordering on genius. The following explains how much genius.
Rod Phillips: Just wrote this for our Branson Chorale FB Page:For Branson Chorale’s 7th year, Rod Phillips has moved out of the tenor section to be rehearsal and performance accompanist -when the 18-piece orchestra is not accompanying- for our Christmas 2019 program. Rod is a seasoned and multi-skilled professional who has been staff musician at Branson Christian Church for 34 years. He played in Branson’s theater sector for 27 of those years, including stints with Rodney Dillard, Jim Stafford, and the Presley’s, where he played a popular pre-show Old Gospel Sing for 17 years.
Rod is currently performing his songs as a singer-songwriter, drawing from 13 albums of his own music and doing house concerts and small venues in Missouri, OK, TX, KS, and New Mexico. In addition to being a concert pianist and jazz pianist (with the Drury Jazz Orchestra), he is also currently guitarist/harpist and singer with the Dickens Carolers, who can be seen playing in the Branson area during the Christmas season.
As a graduate of the University of North Texas’ famed jazz program, Rod has toured in a myriad of groups as diverse as the New Christy Minstrels, his bluegrass-and Americana friends Young Country out of Dallas, who still tour and concertize after 45 years, and Michael Martin Murphey, national Cowboy entertainer and songwriter.
Rod’s own music is influenced by his early concert piano repertoire of Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and Gershwin, big band jazz, Broadway and folk music- an eclectic mix of the pop music of the 60s, Beatles, Beach Boys, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Dave Brubeck, Chic Corea, and songwriters Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Dan Fogelberg, Michael Martin Murphey, and James Taylor. Influences are Big Band music, Caribbean and World Beat, and German lieder.
In his 20s he directed pit orchestras for summer stock (Oliver) produced his own professional theatre in Taos, NM (The Fantasticks) and sang and danced in professional theatre in Ft. Worth (The Bernstein Mass) as a Street Singer. In his forties, he famously danced the Bottle Dance and the Russian Cossack dances in “Fiddler on the Roof” with 20-somethings as his cohorts.
When he is not practicing one of his 13-something instruments (piano, harp, banjo, mandolin, guitar, flute, sax, chromatic harmonica, dulcimer, etc.), writing new music, playing music for weddings on harp or cello or accordion for Oktoberfest, he can be seen outdoors as an amateur athlete who runs, bikes, and kayaks all over the Ozarks in friendly competitions.
Also look for Rod’s choral composition “Love Never Ends”, from 1st Cor:13 slated for the Spring concert of Branson Chorale.