Washington Phillips (January 11, 1880 – September 20, 1954) was a Texan gospel singer and musician. Phillips died in 1954 in Teague, Texas.


 [hide*1 Biography


Phillips recorded eighteen songs, all between 1927 and 1929, though only sixteen survive. Some of his songs amount to highly specific and detailed gospel sermons, featuring Phillips' voice self-accompanied by an instrument that sounds like a fretless zither. This instrument, which has been variously identified as a Dolceola, a Celestaphone, two Celestaphones tuned in octaves attached side-by-side, or a Phonoharp (and also is considered by some to be an instrument entirely home-made by Phillips) creates a unique sound on these recordings that makes them immediately recognizable.

Posthumous fame[edit]Edit

Numerous compilations of Washington Phillips' complete recorded work have been released, such as The Key to the Kingdom on Yazoo Records in 2005. His songs have been covered by a variety of artists:

List of recordings[edit]Edit

  • Lift Him Up That's All
  • Paul and Silas in Jail
  • Mother's Last Word to Her Son
  • The Church Needs Good Deacons
  • Jesus Is My Friend
  • A Mother's Last Word to Her Daughter
  • I Had a Good Father and Mother
  • I Am Born to Preach the Gospel
  • Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There
  • Denomination Blues – Part 1
  • Denomination Blues – Part 2
  • What Are They Doing in Heaven Today
  • I've Got the Key to the Kingdom
  • Train Your Child
  • You Can't Stop a Tattler – Part 1
  • You Can't Stop a Tattler – Part 2
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