Philip Upchurch (b. July 19, 1941) is a highly acclaimed and prolific blues, jazz, gospel, soul, and R&B session guitarist and bassist who became famous during the early 1960s as part of The Philip Upchurch Combo. Born in Chicago, Illinois, the self-taught musician began playing professionally at age 16 and, upon graduation from high school, continued his budding career as a highly sought-after session guitarist, soon after becoming a major figure in the Chicago-area music scene. His early recording credits include such oldies classics as Dee Clark's 1961 smash, "Raindrops." In the mid 1960s, Upchurch became the house guitarist for Chess Records and played with Cannonball Adderley, Gene Chandler, The Dells, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and many others. He was also a member of The Soulful Strings, a soul-jazz instrumental group that released several albums through the early 1970s.
As the leader of The Philip Upchurch Combo, he had one hit on the Pop/Rock charts in 1961 with the raucous and funky gospel-influenced instrumental, "You Can't Sit Down Part 2," which reached #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and soon after went gold. Upchurch had previous recorded this song in 1959 (as "Can't Sit Down") with The Bim Bam Boos while serving as a guitarist for this group. The Dovells later had a Top 5 hit with a sung version in 1963.
Over the years, Philip Upchurch has toured and performed with hundreds of top bands and artists that include George Benson, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Ramsey Lewis, Curtis Mayfield, Jimmy Reed, and Jimmy Smith. He can be heard as a backing musician on numerous recordings from Brunswick, Chess, Mercury, Vee-Jay, and various other labels, and he has also released dozens of albums of his own. Upchurch has continued to record and perform actively to the present day.
- For more info about Phil Upchurch and his latest projects, visit philupchurch.com.
Disclosure: The following links will take you to various online merchants outside of allbutforgottenoldies.net that sell recordings and other merchandise for the performing artist featured on this page. Please note that these are referral or affiliate links from which allbutforgottenoldies.net may receive, at no additional cost to you, a commission if you should make any purchases through them.
To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.
Philip Upchurch Combo
- You Can't Sit Down Part 2 1961
(This instrumental song later also became a hit for the Dovells (1963).)
Previous Artist | Next Artist