Phil Vassar

Phillip George Vassar Jr. (born May 28, 1964) is an American country music artist. Vassar made his debut on the country music scene in the late 1990s, co-writing singles for several country artists, including Tim McGraw ("For a Little While", "My Next Thirty Years"), Jo Dee Messina ("Bye, Bye", "I'm Alright"), Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo"), and Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money"). In 1999, he was named by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) as Country Songwriter of the Year.

Later that same year, Vassar was signed to Arista Nashville as a recording artist. His debut album, Phil Vassar, was released in early 2000, producing five hit singles on the U.S. Billboard country singles charts and earning a gold certification in the United States. He followed it in 2002 with American Child, Shaken Not Stirred in 2004, and finally Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 in 2006 before Vassar left the label for Universal South Records (now known as Show Dog-Universal Music). His first album for that label, Prayer of a Common Man, was released in early 2008. He has charted nineteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including two which peaked at No. 1: 2000's "Just Another Day in Paradise" and 2004's "In a Real Love".

Phil Vassar
Phil Vassar 2008 Durham Fair 2 -- Sgt. R.K. Blue
Phil Vassar performing at the 2008 Durham Fair in Durham, Connecticut
Background information
Birth namePhillip George Vassar Jr.
BornMay 28, 1964 (age 54)
OriginLynchburg, Virginia, United States[1]
GenresCountry
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1997–present
LabelsArista Nashville, Show Dog-Universal, Rodeowave Entertainment
Associated actsCharlie Black, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye
Websitehttp://www.philvassar.com/

Biography

Phil Vassar was born May 28, 1964 in Lynchburg, Virginia.[1]

While in college at James Madison University in nearby Harrisonburg, Vassar had taken up playing the piano, and eventually found work as a singer in clubs.[1] He was also a member of the Eta Kappa Chapter of Theta Chi fraternity. He had decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee in order to pursue a career in music. Eventually, he was signed to a small publishing contract, but was unable to land any hits on this contract.

Musical career

As a songwriter

Starting in the late 1990s, Vassar began writing songs that were recorded by several country music artists. Among the artists who recorded his material were Blackhawk ("Postmarked Birmingham"), Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo"), Jo Dee Messina ("Bye, Bye", "I'm Alright"), Tim McGraw ("For a Little While"), Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money"), and Neal McCoy ("I Was").[1] Of these, "Bye, Bye", "I'm Alright", and "Right on the Money" all reached No. 1 on the country charts. "Bye, Bye" earned Vassar his first American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award for Song of the Year, and in 1999 he was named ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year.[1]

As a singer

Phil Vassar at Merced County Fair 2007
Phil Vassar (2007)

In late 1999, Vassar was signed to his first recording contract, with the Arista Nashville label. His debut single, "Carlene", was issued that year, and by mid-2000 the song had gone on to peak at No. 5 on the Billboard country charts. It featured a backing vocal from Collin Raye.[2]

The song was the lead-off single to Vassar's self-titled debut album, which he co-produced with Byron Gallimore. "Carlene" was followed by "Just Another Day in Paradise", his first No. 1 hit as a singer. Shortly after that song peaked, Tim McGraw topped the charts with "My Next Thirty Years", which Vassar co-wrote. Overall, Phil Vassar produced three more singles: the No. 16 "Rose Bouquet", "Six-Pack Summer" at No. 9, and finally "That's When I Love You", with a backing vocal from Jo Dee Messina,[2] at No. 3. In addition, the album earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping 500,000 copies.[1] Its success led to tours with Kenny Chesney.

Vassar also co-wrote the tracks "God Bless This Town" and "Live It Up" on Marshall Dyllon's late 2000 debut album Enjoy the Ride, in addition to co-producing them with Robert Byrne. The latter of these two was released as a single.[3]

American Child

American Child was Vassar's second album, once again co-produced with Gallimore. It was released in 2002, the same year in which he married Julie Wood, with whom he co-wrote "That's When I Love You". The album's title track served as its lead-off single, reaching a peak of No. 5 on the country charts, and the album itself peaked at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums charts. In mid-2002, he also co-wrote and performed a charity single called "Words Are Your Wheels" to promote literacy. Released exclusively through Walmart stores, this song featured guest vocals from Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, and Sara Evans.[4]

While "American Child" was climbing the charts, Arista tested another song written by Vassar, "This Is God". This song was so well received by test audiences that American Child was re-released in early 2003. The re-issue featured "This Is God" along with a cover of Huey Lewis and the News's "Workin' for a Livin'", with Dann Huff producing both recordings. "This Is God" was issued as the album's second single, becoming a Top 20 country hit. After it came "Ultimate Love," which peaked at No. 41.

Shaken Not Stirred and Greatest Hits

In 2004, Vassar released his third studio album, Shaken Not Stirred. The album produced Vassar's second No. 1 as a singer in the song "In a Real Love". Also released from this album were the No. 17 "I'll Take That as a Yes (The Hot Tub Song)" and the No. 22 "Good Ole Days". Unlike with his first two albums, Vassar recorded Shaken Not Stirred with his road band. Vassar produced the album with Nick Brophy and Frank Rogers.

Vassar's first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, was issued in 2006. This album comprised the biggest hits from his studio albums to that point, as well as his renditions of "Bye, Bye", "I'm Alright", "My Next Thirty Years" and "Little Red Rodeo". The album also included three new songs. Two of these were released as singles, starting with the No. 2 "Last Day of My Life", which Vassar was inspired to write after attending the funeral of his friend Robert Byrne, with whom he co-wrote his 2001 single "Rose Bouquet".[5] The second and final single from Greatest Hits, "The Woman in My Life" (another song co-written by Vassar and his wife), reached No. 20 on the country charts, shortly before Vassar parted ways with Arista Nashville.

Prayer of a Common Man

In March 2007, Vassar signed to Universal South Records,[6] which became part of Show Dog-Universal Music in December 2009. His first single for the label, "This Is My Life", was released in mid-2007, peaking at No. 35 on the country music charts. Succeeding it was "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" This song was co-written by Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman, and was previously recorded in 1999 by Canadian singer Paul Brandt under the title "It's a Beautiful Thing". By April 2008, "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" had reached No. 2 on the country charts, and Vassar's first album for Universal South (Prayer of a Common Man) was released. A third single from this album, "I Would", was issued in July 2008 and peaked at No. 26. It was followed in early 2009 by the album's title track, which became the lowest-peaking single of his career at No. 53.

Traveling Circus

One week after "Prayer of a Common Man" fell from the charts, Vassar charted his eighteenth single, "Bobbi with an I". Released in April 2009, this was the first single for Vassar's fifth studio album, Traveling Circus, released in December 2009. It peaked at No. 46 after eight weeks on the charts, and was followed by "Everywhere I Go".

American Soul

Vassar signed with Rodeowave Entertainment in 2011,[7] releasing the single "Let's Get Together". This song made the top 40 late in the year, followed by "Don't Miss Your Life" in early 2012. On March 18, 2013, Vassar released his twenty-second single, "Love is Alive". On November 15, 2016, Vassar announced via his Facebook page that his new album, "American Soul" would be released on December 2, 2016.

Personal life

On March 26, 2002, Vassar married Julie Wood, with whom he co-wrote his singles "That's When I Love You" and "The Woman in My Life".[8] Wood's brother, Jeff Wood, is also a country music artist, who recorded one studio album on Imprint Records in 1997 and charted three singles, in addition to co-writing album tracks for Vassar and other artists. Vassar has two daughters: Haley (born August 27, 1998), from a previous marriage, and Presley Jade (born December 4, 2003) with Wood. Vassar and Wood divorced in 2007.[9][10]

Vassar is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles.[11]

Discography

Phil Vassar at Merced County Fair 2007
Phil Vassar (2007)

Albums

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Huey, Steve. "Phil Vassar biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  2. ^ a b Phil Vassar (CD booklet). Phil Vassar. Arista Nashville. 2000. 18891.
  3. ^ Enjoy the Ride (Media notes). Marshall Dyllon. Dreamcatcher Records. 2000. 101.
  4. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (2002-08-03). "Co-writers Help Vassar Birth 'child' On Arista Nashville". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  5. ^ Haislop, Nel (2006-03-30). "Phil Vassar Video Debut On CMT and GAC". KZAX. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  6. ^ "Phil Vassar signs with Universal South Records". That's Country. 2007-03-05. Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  7. ^ http://www.musicrow.com/2011/05/rodeowave-entertainment-launches-with-phil-vassar/
  8. ^ "Phil Vassar and wife are divorcing". Great American Country. 2007-08-09. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  9. ^ http://www.gactv.com/gac/nw_headlines/article/0,,gac_26063_5665472,00.html
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2014-02-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/bal-orioles-chris-tillman-continues-to-excel-with-nick-hundley-behind-the-plate-20140826,0,6855241.story

External links

American Child (song)

"American Child" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Phil Vassar. It was released in April 2002 as the lead-off single and title from the album of the same name. It peaked at number 5 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Vassar and Craig Wiseman.

Bye, Bye (Jo Dee Messina song)

"Bye, Bye" is a song written by Rory Bourke and Phil Vassar and recorded by American country music singer Jo Dee Messina. It was released in January 1998 as the first single from Messina's album I'm Alright, and her first number-one single on both the U.S. and Canadian country charts, spending two weeks at number one on the former. "Bye, Bye" was certified Gold by the RIAA on September 4, 1998, alongside "I'm Alright."

Phil Vassar, who co-wrote the song, included his own rendition on his 2006 album, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 using slight lyrical changes to appeal to the male point-of-view as Messina's version was using the female point-of-view. Pop singer Taylor Horn covered it in 2002 for her debut album, taylor-made.

Carlene (song)

"Carlene" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Phil Vassar. It was released in October 1999 as Vassar's debut single, from his self-titled debut album (2000). "Carlene" reached a peak of number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts and number 45 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and it reached number 1 in Canada. The song was written by Vassar, Charlie Black and Rory Bourke.

Everywhere I Go (Phil Vassar song)

"Everywhere I Go" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Phil Vassar. It was released in September 2009 as the second single from the album Traveling Circus. The song reached #36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song was written by Vassar and Jeffrey Steele.

For a Little While

"For A Little While" is a song written by Steve Mandile, Jerry Vandiver and Phil Vassar, and performed by American country music artist Tim McGraw. It was released in November 1998 as the sixth and final single from his album Everywhere. The song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart but reached number-one on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (Phil Vassar album)

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 is the 2006 greatest hits album from Phil Vassar. This was Vassar's most popular album, along with being his final album for Arista Nashville, it consists of songs from Vassar's first three records: 2000's Phil Vassar, 2002's American Child, and 2004's Shaken Not Stirred. Also included are his own versions of songs that he wrote for other country music artists before beginning his solo singing career: "Bye, Bye" and "I'm Alright" (previously recorded by Jo Dee Messina), "For a Little While" and "My Next Thirty Years" (previously recorded by Tim McGraw) and "Little Red Rodeo" (previously recorded by Collin Raye). Three newly recorded songs — "Twenty One", "Last Day of My Life", and "The Woman in My Life" — are also included on this compilation. The latter two were released as singles, peaking at #2 and #20, respectively, on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 was re-released in 2011 as Playlist: The Very Best of Phil Vassar. Both albums have an identical track listing.

I'm Alright (Jo Dee Messina song)

"I'm Alright" is a song written by Phil Vassar, and recorded by American country music singer Jo Dee Messina. It was released in May 1998 as the second single and title track from her album of the same name. It became her second consecutive Number One hit on the Billboard country charts, spending three weeks at Number One. "I'm Alright" was certified Gold by the RIAA on September 4, 1998 alongside "Bye, Bye."

Phil Vassar, who wrote the song, covered the song on his 2006 Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 album, with some altered lyrics.

Just Another Day in Paradise (Phil Vassar song)

"Just Another Day in Paradise" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music singer Phil Vassar that reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, becoming Vassar's first Number One as an artist. It was released in June 2000 as the second single from his self-titled debut album. It also peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it a minor crossover hit and is Vassar's highest peaking song on the chart. The song was written by Vassar and Craig Wiseman.

List of songs written by Phil Vassar

This is an alphabetical list of songs written or co–written by the American singer–songwriter Phil Vassar.

Little Red Rodeo

"Little Red Rodeo" is a song written by Phil Vassar, Charlie Black and Rory Bourke, and recorded by American country music artist Collin Raye. It was released in December 1997 as the third and final single from his CD The Best of Collin Raye: Direct Hits. The song was a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He sang it on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.

Love Is a Beautiful Thing (Phil Vassar song)

"It's a Beautiful Thing", also known as "Love Is a Beautiful Thing", is a country music song co-written by American songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman. The first version of this song was released on September 14, 1999 by Canadian singer Paul Brandt from his 1999 album That's the Truth, from which it was released as a single in both Canada and the United States. Eight years later, American singer Phil Vassar covered the song under the title "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" on his album Prayer of a Common Man. Vassar's version reached its peak of #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in mid-2008.

My Next Thirty Years

"My Next Thirty Years" is a song written by Phil Vassar and recorded by American country music artist Tim McGraw. It was released in July 2000 as the fifth and final single from McGraw's album A Place in the Sun. The song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart and it peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Noel (Phil Vassar album)

Noel is the first holiday album by American country music recording artist Phil Vassar. It was released through independent record label Rodeowave Entertainment on November 22, 2011 alongside Vassar's first live album, The Hits Live On Broadway. It was released as a digital download and CD, though the latter is only available online through Vassar's website. The album contains traditional Christmas songs as well as some original music that was orchestrated by Vassar himself. Though no singles were released from the album, a music video was shot for the track "Santa's Gone Hollywood." Noel was recorded in a single day and is Vassar's shortest studio cut to date.

Phil Vassar (album)

Phil Vassar is the self-titled debut album in 2000 from American country music artist Phil Vassar. It features the singles "Carlene", "Just Another Day in Paradise", "Rose Bouquet", "Six-Pack Summer" and "That's When I Love You". All of these, except "Rose Bouquet", charted in the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts. "Just Another Day in Paradise" was Vassar's first Number One hit on that chart.

Phil Vassar discography

The discography of American country music singer Phil Vassar consists of seven studio albums (including one holiday album), three compilation albums, one live album and twenty-two singles. Before his signing with Arista Nashville in 1999, Vassar was a prominent songwriter, having co-written number one hits for Jo Dee Messina and Alan Jackson, and Top 5 singles for Tim McGraw and Collin Raye. As a singer, Vassar has reached number one on the country music charts twice.

Postmarked Birmingham

"Postmarked Birmingham" is a song recorded by American country group Blackhawk. It was released in October 1997 as the second single from the album Love & Gravity. The song reached number 37 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The song was written by Phil Vassar and Don Sampson.

Right on the Money

"Right on the Money" is a song written by Phil Vassar and Charlie Black, and recorded by American country music singer Alan Jackson. It was released in October 1998 as the second single from his CD High Mileage. The song became Jackson's sixteenth number-one single on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart.

Shaken Not Stirred (Phil Vassar album)

Shaken Not Stirred is the third studio album by American country music singer Phil Vassar. Released in 2004 on Arista Nashville, the album produced Vassar's second Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts in the track "In a Real Love". The second single, "I'll Take That as a Yes (The Hot Tub Song)", reached number 17 on the country charts, while the third single ("Good Ole Days") peaked at number 22.

Vassar produced the entire album, working with Frank Rogers on tracks 1, 2, 4, 7, and 10, and Nick Brophy on the rest.

This Is My Life (Phil Vassar song)

"This Is My Life" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Phil Vassar. It was released in June 2007 as the first single from the album Prayer of a Common Man. The song reached #35 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song was written by Vassar and Tom Douglas.

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Phil Vassar
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