Phil Vassar Biography

28 May 1964, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA. Vassar’s father was a club singer, who bought his own restaurant. Vassar did well in athletics and football in school and obtained a degree in Business Administration from James Madison University. He moved to Nashville in 1987 and began playing piano in the Hard Day’s Night bar, which he eventually bought. Engelbert Humperdinck’s son was a patron and passed his father one of Vassar’s songs, ‘Once In A While’. This proved to be the start of a songwriting career which has established Vassar as one of Nashville’s leading lights. He has written number 1 country hits for Alan Jackson (‘Right On The Money’), Tim McGraw (‘For A Little While’) and Jo Dee Messina (‘I’m Alright’ and ‘Bye Bye’), with the latter becoming an ASCAP country song of the year. He also wrote for Collin Raye (‘Little Red Rodeo’) and Neal McCoy (‘I Was’), and in 1999 received ASCAP’s Songwriter Of The Year award. Vassar sold his restaurant the same year to concentrate on promoting his solo album for Arista Records. One song, ‘Rose Bouquet’, came out of his divorce and some songs were co-written with his new love, Julie Wood. The album included the country chart-topper ‘Just Another Day In Paradise’, and the Top 5 hits ‘Carlene’ and ‘That’s When I Love You’.

The follow-up albums American Child (2002) and Shaken Not Stirred (2004) were solid collections that helped to establish Vassar as a solo artist with staying power. The former generated the Top 5 hit ‘American Child’, and the latter the hits ‘Good Ole Days’, ‘In A Real Love’ and ‘I’ll Take That As A Yes (The Hot Tub Song)’. Vassar has also appeared as a judge on the US reality television show Nashville Star.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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