Soul And / Or Related Artists
phil upchurch

Phil Upchurch

b. Philip Upchurch, 19th July 1941, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Phil Upchurch is an excellent guitarist who later became a respected session musician in his own right.

Phil has his own group called the Phil Upchurch Combo.

The band, with Phil on guitar, comprised:

Cornell Muldrow (organ)

David Brooks (saxophone)

Mac Johnson (trumpet)


Joe Hoddrick (drums)

Muldrow wrote the tune and had recorded an earlier version. 'You Can't Sit Down' reached the US Top 30 in 1961 and the UK Top 40 on its reissue five years later.

Phil began playing in R & B backing bands, including those of the Kool Gents, the Dells, the Spaniels and for Dee Clark, who used 'You Can't Sit Down' as a therne song.

He later appeared on releases by Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf, and in the 70's guested on sessions for several fusion artists including Grover Washington, George Benson ('Breezin' and 'In Flight') and the Crusaders.

There were several 80's releases that showcased the vocal talents of some of the major artists of the time.

These included Marlena Shaw on the 1983 track 'Could It Be You'.

His most successful collaboration was with fellow Chicagoan, Tennyson Stephens, a keyboardist whose vocals were important to the duo's success in the R & B market in the mid-70's.

Other artists with whom he has collaborated are Chaka Khan, Booker T. Jones, Leroy Hutson and Michael Jackson.

Real Player


as the Phil Upchurch Combo:

You Can't Sit Down (Boyd 1961)

You Can't Sit Down, Part Two (United Artists 1961)

Twist The Big Hit Dances (United Artists 1961)

Feeling Blue (Milestone 1968)

The Way I Feel (1969)

Darkness, Darkness (Blue Thumb 1972)

Lovin' Feelin' (Blue Thumb 1973)

with Tennyson Stephens Upchurch Tennyson (Kudu 1975)

Phil Upchurch (1978)

Revelation (Jam 1982)

Name Of The Game (Jam 1983)

Companions (Paladin 1985)

L.A. Jazz Quintet (Pro Arte 1986)

All I Want (Ichiban 1991)

Love Is Strange (Go Jazz 1995)

Whatever Happened to the Blues? (Ridgetop/Bean 1997)

Rhapsody & Blues (Go Jazz 1999)

top of the page

SoulwalkingStart HereThe ArtistsListen Out ForThe ChartBeen MissedRespectReal AudioOpinionNetworkJazz & FusionLinksMotown