by Jeannie Pool
Stu Phillips was the featured guest speaker at the August 15, 2007 ASMAC lunch held at Catalina’s Bar and Grill in Hollywood. His talk included stories from his long and varied career, ranging from playing piano in cocktail lounges to conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He began his career as an arranger and conductor for several night club performers and became a successful A&R record producer and film and television composer.
Stu’s first professional job was as a copyist for the Milton Berle Texaco Hour. Stu produced and received gold records for “Blue Moon” with the Marcels, “Johnny Angel”, with Shelley Fabares, and “Goodbye Cruel World” with James Darren. Among the other artists he produced while at Colpix Records were Nina Simone, Vince Edwards, The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Skyliners, and Jimmy Beaumont, and the Ronettes. At Capitol Records, Stu was the creator, producer and arranger of the Hollyridge Strings and while there recorded a total of 12 albums of easy listening Beatles and Beachboys tunes.
While head of West Coast A&R for Epic records, Stu recorded the Doodletown Pipers, Nancy Ames, Enzo Stuarti and Bob Crane. He also worked as a composer for “The Donna Reed Show,” a few “Gidgets,” and “The Monkees.” Among the feature films to his credits are “Hell’s Angels on Wheels,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” “Macon County Line,” and “Ride the Wild Surf.” Tammy Wynette, B.B. King, George Hamilton, Dino, Desi & Billy, and The Sandpipers are among those who have recorded songs written by Stu and various co-writers.
In 1974, Stu began a seven-year undertaking at Universal Studios composing the music for “The Six Million Dollar Man” pilot, followed by “McCloud,” “Quincy,” “Switch,” “The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Buck Rogers,” “Knightrider,” among others. When Glen Larson left Universal for Fox, Stu accompanied him and scored 96 episodes of “The Fall Guy,” “Masquerade,” “Automan” and “The Highwayman.”
Stu has been nominated for four Grammys and is currently a member of AMPAS, ATAS and NARAS. Over the last ten years of semi-retirement, Stu has orchestrated some classical works for symphonic orchestra, including two Beethoven sonatas and five Rachmaninoff preludes/ and etudes. He recently completed his autobiography “Stu Who – Forty Years of Navigating the Music Business.” For his complete credits and information on his autobiography, visit www.stuwho.com.