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Phil Harris

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Biography

Phil Harris (born Wonga Philip Harris) (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, jazz musician and comedian. Though successful as an orchestra leader, Harris is remembered today for his recordings as a vocalist, his voice work in animation and the radio situation comedy in which he co-starred with his second wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years.

Although he was born in Linton, Indiana, Harris actually spent much of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, which accounted for both his trace of a Southern accent and, in later years, the self-deprecating Southern jokes of his radio character. Harris began his music career as a drummer in San Francisco, forming an orchestra with Carol Lofner in the latter 1920s and starting a long engagement at the St. Francis Hotel. The partnership ended by 1932, and Harris led and sang with his own band, now based in Los Angeles. On September 2, 1927, he was married to actress Marcia Ralston in Sydney, Australia. The couple adopted a son, Phil Harris, Jr. (b. 1935). They were divorced in September, 1940.

In 1936, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show Starring Jack Benny (later renamed The Jack Benny Program), singing and leading his band and—-when his knack for snappy one-liners became apparent—-joining the Benny ensemble playing Phil Harris, scripted as a hipster-talking, hard-drinking, brash Southerner whose good nature overcame his ego.

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  • virsso

    Clue me what to do give me the power of man's red flower so I can be like you!

    30 Mar 2:47am Reply
  • 666Marina666

    Fisherman’s Wife - is so beautiful....

    22 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Sgarre1

    A pure great! Wish the world had more like him!

    17 Jun 2012 Reply
  • limecrescent

    O'Malley! <3

    28 Apr 2011 Reply
  • philmfan

    My all-time favorite Phil Harris tune is "That's What I Like About the South." The version of "Smoke That Cigarette" available here is weird. I prefer the one where he talk-sings, this one is too "sung" and too fast and those background singers make it sound like a commercial. "Darktown Poker Club" is great, too.

    20 Feb 2009 Reply
  • 0pa

    Gee i want to have his music, but it's so hard to find! Somebody has an idea?

    30 Jan 2009 Reply
  • Drachenlady82

    Mein Favorit ist der Soundtrack zu Dschungelbuch...Der Film ist einfach klasse.

    17 Sep 2008 Reply
  • thestrokeslover

    Thomas O'Malley, O'Malley the alley cat

    29 Aug 2008 Reply

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