THE PHILLIP RAULS WEB SITE
Career Background Information - Early Years
Phillip Rauls name is associated with many well-known music icons from the mid 1960's through the mid 1990's. His involvement in the early development of recording artists established him as a vital player within the promotion and marketing arena. He is best known for his forte of generating key media influence for up-and-coming artists that produced fundamental airplay and print-media reviews. Phillip worked in promotion and marketing at a time when people-skills played a major role in the music industry. In a competitive industry demanding high profile and visibility, drawing attention to himself was never a priority. As a team player, he perferred to remain a background figure and spotlight the artists he represented. He traveled often within the innercircle of rock royality and socialized with elite members of the media. Phillip Rauls was a regional executive for several of the music industry's top record labels; Stax Records, Atlantic Records, 20th Century Fox Records and EMI Records. Known for being well-respected, he was an industry survivor with a career spanning over four decades. Phillip was instrumential in establishing the careers of many recording artists in the diversified fields of Urban and Rhythm & Blues, Top 40 Music, Adult Contemporary Radio (A/C), Contemporary Pop Hits Radio (CHR) and Rock Music's Album (AOR) formant.
Phillip is also an accomplished photographer and music archivist having contributed to magazines, books, news programs, a TV documentary and historical institution such as; The Smithstonian Rock 'n Soul Museum in Memphis TN and the VH1 TV documentary on The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Three noted books have resourced information and photographs from his archive collection such as; The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, The Authorised Biography of YES, and noted author Peter Guralnick's book titled "Sweet Soul Music." In July of 2006 Phillip was featured in the News Spotlight section of the official website Led Zeppelin.com featuring an impressive twelve page spread showcasing his photographs and storyline. Recently added to his list of distinguished credits is a popular web blog focusing on Pop-Culture and the music business.
Site address: http://phillipraulsphotolog.blogspot.com/
Classic archive photographs and memoribilia are also displayed on this website's Photo Pages with the most recent entrys being posted on the website's latter pages. Please reference space bar in upper left column for viewing.
Phillip began his career in 1965 as the Road Manager of popular garage band The Gentrys who had the million seller "Keep On Dancing." Released on MGM Records and produced by legendary producer Chips Moman, the band would go on to record several albums on both MGM and SUN Records. The Gentrys appeared on several hit TV programs such as; Shindig, Hullabaloo, Where The Action Is and American Bandstand. The group also appeared in the full length movie titled "The Girl In Daddy's Bikini."
Upon departing The Gentrys in 1967, Phillip's background with the popular group caught the attention of Stax Records founder Jim Stewart. That association landed him an interview with Stewart and producer Steve Cropper upon which Phillip was offered a job with Stax Records as Local Promotion Manager. At this entry level position he would learn the profession by cutting his teeth on R&B music. Within the next year his lobbying efforts would be recognized when he was honored with the Gold Record Award for establishing the hit album "Hot Buttered Soul" by Issac Hayes. During that same period Stax Records would continue to prosper with hits by Johnny Taylor, Booker T. & The MG's, Eddie Floyd, The Bar-Kays, Luther Ingram and The Staple Singers. But the turblent 60's brought musical change to the landscape and Phillip's attention became focused on Pop and Rock music.
The Atlantic Records Years - An Incredible Ride
In Memphis during the late 1960's while working at the distribution center housing the Stax label and Atlantic Records, Phillip gained the notice of his co-workers for his ability to establish a quick rapport with a wide variety of people within a cultural diverse media. He seemed to have an authentic appreciation for music and the genuine ability to convince others. Music Journalists and Disk Jockeys enjoyed his easy going style and sharp wit by granting airplay and offering reviews to the artists he represented. It wasn't long before record labels on the East and West Coast began taking notice when he was awarded the Gold Records for "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, "Venus" by Shocking Blue, "Good Morning Starshine" by Oliver and "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies. Plus his promotion work on crossover hits "Take A Letter Maria" by R.B. Greaves and "Patches" by Clarence Carter continued to enhance his reputation. But it was his marketing efforts on blockbuster albums by Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Derek and The Dominos, Blind Faith and The Allman Brothers Band that caught the willful eye of management at Atlantic Records. That's when the prestigious record label offered him a job as their Regional Promotion & Marketing Director for the Southwest.
The 1970's brought unprecedented growth and developments to the music business. Spawned by the expansion of radio's FM bandwidth, young new executives began controling the ebb and flow of the industry. Phillip's positioning with a global leader in music would spearhead his career path. It was the perfect time to be in the music business. Guided by the leadership of a young national promotion director named Jerry Greenberg, the Atlantic staff was built with intuitive selection. Notoriety would come from being on the Atlantic promotion team considering the staff earned the industry nickname being referred to as "The Heavies." Plus the Southern portion of the country was prime territory to break and develop new artist whereas Phillip's region produced significant results. Artists who benifited under his watch were; YES, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Black Oak Arkansas, Bette Midler, Delaney & Bonnie, Blues Image, King Crimson, Beginning Of The End, Cold Blood, Johathan Edwards, Taste, Archie Bell & The Drells, Michael Kamen, J. Giles Band, Vinegar Joe, The Eagles, Les McCann, Jackie Moore, Jo Jo Gunne, Garland Jefferies, King Floyd, Alamo, David Blue, Roberta Flack, Ramatam, Gary Farr, New Cactus Band, Betty Wright, Stephen Stills & Manassas, Danny O'Keefe, and Jackson Browne.
In 1971, Phillip Rauls was promoted to Southeast Promotion Manager and transfered to Miami, Florida. There he worked from Atlantic's satellite office located at Criteria Recording Studio. Prior to the promotion, he had expressed a desire to move into the creative side of the business, an idea nourished by the management team at Atlantic. The primary intent of this relocation was to foster company relations with Atlantic's Senior VP Jerry Wexler, producer Tom Dowd and promoter-consultant Joe Galkin, all of whom lived in Miami. The career path looked bright for a young promoter with abundant opportunities on the horizon. By this time Phillip had become popular amongst the Atlantic artists. On several occasions, artists requested his presence while on concert tour in an effort to assist in artist development and marketing visability. This match-up worked wonders considering while on tour Phillip would escort the artists to radio stations for interviews plus organize the after concert meet-and-greets with Disk Jockeys and Music Journalists. Significant airplay developed from these timely visits and produced several hit songs such as; "I've Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout" by YES, "Lucky Man" and "In The Begining" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, "Jim Dandy" by Black Oak Arkansas, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by Bette Midler, "Doctor My Eyes" by Jackson Browne, "Run, Run, Run" by Jo Jo Gunne and "Take It Easy" and "Peaceful Easy Feelings" by The Eagles.
Phillip's sensitive handleing of the sometimes upredicitable temperament of recording artists gained respect from his corporate officers. Upon that recognition he was given the additional title of Artist Relations Manager of the Southern Region. Part of his job responsibility consisted of the difficult task of being a problem solver. An example of this duty was when he was assigned to go on the road and separate the media attention being given to newcomer and opening act Jackson Brown from a slighted headliner Joni Mitchell. Later Phillip was routed on tour with Bette Midler to calm turbulent waters by displaying a label represenative as tour support. Added recognition beckoned as British rockers YES listed Phillip in their biography as being instrumential in establishing their early careers. As a man wearing many hats, he even became a bail bondsman when ordered to arrange the release of a incarcerated and prominent record producer who crossed the law. Perhaps his most difficult assignment was when sent on tour with Led Zeppelin with the task of encouraging the band to release the single "Stairway to Heaven," an idea the band and their management had rejected for months. Still on another occasion and at the height of their success, Emerson, Lake and Palmer sought to hire Phillip to manage their new record label, Manicore Records. But despite their worthy offer, he turned down the executive position to remain at Atlantic with expectations of moving into their creative Artist & Repertoire Department. But senseing his future with the label might require a relocation to the corporate offices in New York and the appearence of a caged enviroment did not fit his unbridled spirit.
Jim Stewart, Stax Records President and long-time mentor to Phillip, visited Miami in 1974 and confided to him the Soul Music labels' desire to enter the Popular Music Market. Shortly afterwards Stax announced the signing of Don Nix, Larry Raspberry & The Highsteppers, The Hot Dogs and Big Star. With these significant signings Stewart sought the expertise and direction to run the Pop Music Promotion Department. This career advancement couldn't have timed itself better as Phillip was anxious to return to Memphis and situate himself into a creative enviroment and managerial position. How could he go wrong being reunited with former colleagues Jim Stewart, Larry Raspberry and Don Nix? But unfortunately this reunion didn't prosper as Stax would soon suffer from in-house management blunders and the corporate misuse of funds. With successful results coming-in from Stewart's Pop Music's expansion program consisting of artists on the road touring and supported with substantial airplay, a contradicting marketing strategy deriving from Stax's executive vice president dictated that priority interests be focused on product of weaker significance. As it turned out, these merchandising revisions were economic suicide. This shift of emphisis sent a message implying a Stax power struggle that resulted in confusion to a rigerously structured CBS distribution system already committed to Stewart's Pop Music plan. With these significiant turn of events, Phillip saw the proverbial hand-writing on the wall and escaped the chaos by transfering to the Stax publishing department, East/Memphis Music, as their Director of Professional Activities.
In 1975 Stax Records declaired for bankruptcy and began the tenacious process of closing it's doors after years of successful operations. This left many talented recording artist and dedicated employees without employment. In the wake of this closure, Memphis Music would suffer a long term economic vacuum and never recover as a city known as being a major industry hub.
20th Century Fox Records & Rauls Music
20th Century Fox Records hired Phillip in 1976 as their Midwest Regional Promotion & Marketing Manager. In the next two years 20th Century Fox Records would prosper in the company's largest revenue cycle with the sales of multiple gold records. With the company's newfound success, the industry's leading publication, Billboard Magazine recognized Phillip at their annual convention in Toronto as a finalist in their contest of Regional Promotion Man of The Year. Gold Records awarded to Phillip during this period were; "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill, "Do You Wanna Make Love" by Peter McCann, "What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin" by Stephanie Mills, "For Someone You Love" by Barry White, and "The Star Wars Original Soundtrack" by The London Symphony Orchestra.
Disco Music plagued the music charts in the late 1970's and forced a dark cloud over the industry. Although Disco had it's bright moments and highlighted the individual talents of Sound Engineers and Record Producers, it also commenced a cycle of slumping record sales. As most record executives found themselves facing hard times within the course of these events, Phillip also found himself at a crossroads.
During this resourceful period, Phillip began organizing and cataloguing photographs from his collection when he was contacted by formost authority on secular music, author Peter Guralnick. It appeared Guralnick was in search of photographs and information for his forthcoming book(s) covering recording artists from the Southern area. Delighted with what he found, Guralnick featured three photographs from Phillip's archive collection in his book "Sweet Soul Music." In addition to his research, another renowned writer, New York Times Music Journalist Robert 'Bob' Palmer (1945-1997) contacted Phillip in lieu of archive pictures and chronicles from the Memphis Music era. Palmer included a photograph from that collection in his editorial entry, "The Sound of Memphis" featured in the renowned book, "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll." Both well recognized and notable music authorities resourced Phillip as a quality reference and included photographs from his collection.
In the pre-MTV years, the record business struggled in an effort to develop new artists that would send consumers into the records stores. Memphis Music was also experiencing an all-time slump in chart recognigiton with no local artists appearing on the national charts. The record business was stuck-in-netural. With the odds favoring against him and challenged with a warriors spirit, Phillip bravely opened his own production and promotion company in an effort to advance his heartfelt passion of music coming from the Memphis area. Artist promoted by Rauls Music during the mid-1980's were; The Bar-Kays, Debra DeJean, John Kilzer, Quo, David Beaver, Keith Sykes, Rob Junklass, Jimmy Griffin, Suzanne Jerome-Taylor, Dan Hope, Edwin Hubbard, Joyce Cobb & Alethia, The Dog Police, Reni Grilli and The Bluebeats. In addition to those local artists, several international recording artists promoted by Rauls Music during this same period were; Pam Tillis, DeBarge, Pia Zodora, Spyro Gyra and Robert Palmer.
Despite several lean years within those confines, Phillip still maintained his marketing strength and industry recognition when in 1985 he was honored with the Gold Record Award for "Riptide" by Robert Palmer.
In March of 1986, after several challenging years of promoting local artists to the Memphis media, a seminar focusing on the area's music scene was held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Funded by The State of Tennessee and Govenor Lamar Alexander, a local committee was assembled to create the seminar's agenda and select a forum of panelists. Problem was however, many of distinguished panelists who were flown-in from distant locations and lodged into the luxurious hotel facilities of The Peabody, had no professional background or association with Memphis Music. Although the committee researched extensively, several music veterans who were active participants and held influence within the local music scene were not included as seminar panelists. In turn, music industry enthusiasts attending the weekend event were subjected to non-locals discussing matters concerning outsider's perspectives. As a tireless promoter, music veteran Phillip Rauls who had been a professional devotee of the local music scene for over two decades, was over-looked as convention panelist. Adding insult to injury and considered as a non-participant to the agenda, he was required to pay an $150 seminar admission-fee to attend the two day event in which he was a long-time activist in bringing forth. This impartial omission by committee organizers was a final straw in his support for the local cause. But as a result of their bias, justice would prevail. Before the weekend seminar concluded, two of the convention's executive participants, nationally recognized radio programmer Michael St. John and Los Angeles record executive Dick Williams, both individuals recognized this blunder and held a meeting behind closed doors to address this matter. As a result of their conference, an announcement was made afterwards that Phillip Rauls had been offered a new career position and would become the new EMI Records Regional Promotion and Marketing Director.
EMI Records - The Best Ride of Them All
EMI Records had the proud distinction of being one of the best known and most successful recording companys in the world. EMI was the parent company to Capitol Records which supported a roster that included The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Pink Floyd, plus, not to mention stars from the 50's & 60's-era Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. For Phillip to join forces with a conglomerate of this proportion was clearly a milestone in his career. Yet upon his hiring, Phillip surprised his corporate officers when he made a most unusal request. In spite of the years invested in promoting the Memphis Music scene, he petitioned to be transfered from his home base in Memphis and reasigned to a major market. Considering recent circumstances, Phillip perferred to be located in a city where the local media recognized the working mechanics of industry protocol. Request was granted by EMI corporate officers as he became bound for a Top 10 market, St Louis, MO.
During this period, EMI Records had conquered the Billboard Singles Chart with the giant hits "Sunglasses at Night" by Cory Hart and "Missing You" by John Waite. Plus, at that time EMI had just released the debut single by new singer-songwriter Richard Marx titled "Don't Mean Nothing" featuring guitar legend Joe Walsh. Immediately upon reassignment, Phillip was thrust upon the Midwest concert tour of Richard Marx and doing what he knew best, pounding the pavement by promoting artists door-to-door to the media outlets. These combined efforts contributed to the success of Richard Marx's multi-formant record reaching the number one spot on Billboards Singles Chart and a RIAA Certified Gold Record. Upon that achivement Phillip was one of several key players receiving the Platium Record Award for Marx's self-titled LP "Richard Marx."
In late 1987, Phillip was on the move again when EMI assigned him to relocate to another media hot-spot by transfering to Seattle, WA. Known for it's cultural diversity, technology break-thrus and up-and-coming music scene, the Pacific Northwest was a perfect fit for Phillip's maverick-style workmanship. Under the leadership of promotion guru Jack Satter, the EMI label became the hottest record company in the business. With an unprecedented string of hit records lasting over six years, EMI's promotion staff would rack-up the Gold with ground-breaking achivements.
Starting with the monster hit, the Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture "Pretty Woman" starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, the album soundtrack produced multiple hit singles; "The King of Wishful Thinking" by Go West, "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette, "Fame 90" by David Bowie, "Wild Women Do" by Natalie Cole, "Tangled" by Jane Wiedlin and "Life In Detail" by Robert Palmer.
Next came the label's significant signing of Huey Lewis And The News which produced the hit single "Build Me Up." Then came several hit albums by Blues-Rocker George Thorogood including "Born to Be Bad." By now the floodgates at EMI were open with new releases such as; David Bowie's "Never Let Me Down," Cory Hart's "Fields of Fire," The Pet Shop Boys "Introspective," Robert Palmer's "Heavy Nova" and new CD's by The Stray Cats, Thomas Dolby, Jason and The Scorchers, Peter Wolf, Queensryche, Natalie Cole, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stanley Clark, Glass Tiger, Robbie Nevil, Jane Wiedlin and Bobby McFerrin.
Single recordings were the marketing tools that alerted consumer traffic of the release of an artist's new CD. As a general pratice, radio stations programmed CD singles to which promotion staffs would lobby broadcasters seeking playlist additions. Record compaines coordinated vast marketing efforts to produce success in this field. Three huge singles launched during Phillip's stint with EMI were the legendary songs; "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, "(You've Got) The Look" by Roxette, and also the CD and ever-popular video featuring a sharply dressed Robert Palmer and a dozen miniskirted models playing behind Palmer's hit song "Simply Irresistible." The EMI promotion staff gained widespread notoriety on these prominent industry accomplishments.
The year 1988 was special as Phillip was honored at the company's annual convention as the "EMI Records Promotion Man of the Year." This award was given for his outstanding contribution at Contemporary (CHR) Hit Radio. But the credit didn't stop there whereas in 1991 additional recognition was received when the music publication "Pop Music Survey" at their annual convention in Washington, D.C, recognized Phillip as finalist in "Regional Promotion Executive of The Year."
Phillip continued his workmanship pattern of establishing early airplay for recording artist through the mid-1990's. In addition to those aforementioned and as a recap to his EMI years, the Gold and Platium Record Awards received by Phillip during that period were; The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack "Pretty Woman," Glass Tiger's "The Thin Red Line," Bobby McFerrin's "Simple Pleasures," Vixen's self titled LP "Vixen," David Bowie's "Never Let Me Down," EMF's debut LP "Schubert Dip," Richard Marx's "Repeat Offender," The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's "Mothers Milk," Queensryche's "Empire," Roxette's "Look Sharp," and Robert Palmer's "Heavy Nova."
In 1994 EMI Records merged with legendary record label Chrysalsis Records and newcomer SBK Records. The merger reflected a pattern in the 1990's of large conglomerantes consolidating with other corporations in an effort to seek tax shelters. The first initiative in this union was the reduction of expenditures by eliminating it's management executives. With these turn of events, EMI Records dissolved it's entire corporate staff leaving Phillip without employment. However career opportunities were waiting. Yet despite worthy offers, Phillip chose to remain in Seattle and not relocate with still another label. At that time Phillip returned to artist consultancy and independent promotion for a brief period. In the year of 1995 Phillip moved towards reinventing himself into the business community and activily retired from the record industry. Now in the 21st Century and with a deep passion for the music business, he still advises aspiring recording artists on their career paths. Plus, he also consults the music programming with the on-line radio station All Memphis Music.com. Now days Philip spends extensive time researching and writing about industry archives while schooling himself on recording artists that inspire him. Further inquiries are welcomed.