BY RAJULIGAN ON FEBRUARY 4, 2022
August 11, 1925 – January 30, 2022
CoVid Takes Another Legend
If Rock and Roll has a heartbeat, it was the invention of legendary jazz drummer Phillip Paul. We all know Rock was born in Memphis but conceived at King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Born and raised in Harlem, he was playing with Dizzy Gillespie when he was in his early twenties. In 1951 Tiny Bradshaw invited him to join his band playing the Cotton Club in Newport, Kentucky. It was here he met his wife Juanita and with their marriage in 1952 Phillip established roots in Cincinnati.
Phillip Paul and his wife.Roberta
He became the session drummer for King Records where he laid down the drums on “The Twist” with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. in 1959. Later made famous by Chubby Checker, the song’s percussive back beat change modern music in such a fundamental way.
“‘The Twist’ really changed the way people danced in this country,” he recalled. “Up until then, people danced together. They held each other, danced together. But when I came up with the beat to ‘The Twist,’ people started dancing apart.”
For eight decades Phillip Paul has been one of the most influential drummers in music. He played on Little Willie John’s hit “Fever” released on King records in 1956. He played on “Hideaway” and “Tore Down” with Freddie King. Phillip was inducted with his wife into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 during their celebration “From Songwriters to Soundmen.” In 2003 he released his solo album “It’s About Time” featuring other Cincinnati resident legends Peter Frampton, Kenny Poole, Marcos Sastre and Steve Schmidt. He also played on Big Joe Duskin’s last record that same year. He celebrated his 95th birthday at the FretBoard Brewing and his 96th at Nostalgia Wine and Jazz Lounge. He was playing regularly up until he fell sick.
This year he was finally brought down by the pandemic. But for that, you can bet he’d still be out their holding it down.
Phillip Paul, Bob Margolin and Ben Levin