RAULS MUSIC ANNOUNCES FORMATION -1980'S

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Photo 10 Page reveals a period prior to the launching of MTV in which a talent vacuum was occuring sending record executives scrambling in search of discovering trendsetting new artists.

Photo 10 Page continues in the progression of events from the previous page as the Disco trend would eventually decline from the musical charts. Pictured above is the formation of Rauls-Williams Productions in 1980 as an agency for discovering new talent. J.R. Williams was previously with Steve Cropper's TMI Recording studio and a talented sound engineer and producer who teamed-up with Phillip to sign new acts and record their compositions. Rauls-Williams Productions, which would later evolve into a single entity and renamed to Rauls Music, would shop recording artists' master recordings to major record labels in lieu of receiving national promotion and distribution agreements. In addition to it's production and publishing function, Rauls Music also provided independent marketing servies thru the mid-80's as displayed throughout this page.  

 

Above is the newspaper announcement from The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Recording industry veterans J.R. Williams and Phillip Rauls launched their new production and marketing company with confident enthusiasm combined with a warrior's spirit.

The first line of business for the new company was the signing of the power trio, QUO. They were leaders of a developing nationwide trend of Black musicians playing Rock Music. (L-R) Jerry Norris, Harold Anderson & Roland Robinson.

The music industry's most prestigious publication was generous in spreading the word about the launching of the new music production company.

The next band signed was Straight Run who were a talented quartet of seasoned musicians led by keyboardist David Beaver. (L-R) Paul Canon, Greg Morrow, D. Beaver and Tim Goodwin.

QUO drew strong interest from numerous record labels such as Capitol Records and Altantic Records. Yet the band's blind loyalty to their undeveloped management prevented the band from getting signed to a major label. (L-R) Jerry Norris-Drums, Harold Anderson-Guitar, Roland Robinson-Bass and their album's Exective Producer-Phillip Rauls.

In the early 80's, Phillip began mentoring a young University of Memphis basketball player named John Kilzer. As his sidekick, he encouraged Kilzer to persue a music career as a singer-songwriter. (L-R) Phillip Rauls, Gary Austin and John Kilzer.

It was no secret that business was struggling throughout the entire music industry and the selling and leasing of master recordings were indeed a challenge for an upstart production company. Pictured are producer/engineer J.R. Williams and producer/promoter Phillip Rauls.

Nothing like a good party to bring all the media reps together. But where are all the ladies? (Back row L-R), Tim Riley, Phillip Rauls, John Parker. (Middle row), Bob Osborne, Gary Guthrie, Craig Brashear, Don Meyers. (Front row), David Gingold, Rusty Hill, Tommy Chaltas and Clarence Johnson.

Pictured above is producer engineer J.R. Williams with John Kilzer listening to the final mix of a recording session playback.

Long time friend and associate Keith Sykes 4th album was his break-through album as he signed with Tom Petty's Backstreet Records and performed on Saturday Night Live.

From the University of Memphis basketball player to singer songwriter, pictured above is hoops star John Kilzer soaring high above the rim from his college days.

Local sensation Debra Dejean's "Goose Bumps" topped the K-97 Radio charts and local retail lists for weeks. Her performances at Solomon Alfreds Music Room had people standing in line to purchase tickets hours before her shows began.

Keith Sykes' (R) musical roots stretch from central Kentucky to Memphis, next to Greenich Village, then Coconut Grove, Nashville, Austin, Texas and then back to Memphis. Whew! Here Phillip playfully introduces Keith Sykes on the sandy beach of Key West, Florida.

In a city where basketball rules, Phillip decides to record a song that captures the popularity of local sensation Keith Lee. The song went like this; "One, two, three...look at Mr. Lee...three, four five...look at him jive...Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee, oh Mr. Lee!"

Debra Dejean's press party held at the historic Hotel Peabody was well attended. Pictured here are Handshake Records' Ron Alexenburg with (C) Debra and the CBS sales team, the album's record producers and promotion executives as they pose for a media shot. (Double-click to enlarge)

Cotton Row Recording Studio became the new home for Rauls Music in 1984. Picture from local magazine (L-R) Niko Lyras, Martha Maxwell, Edwin Hubbard, Danny Jones and Phillip Rauls.

Using a hit song from the 1950's that was first recorded by all-female group, The Bobbetts, "Mr. Lee" is re-recorded with a local celebrity in mind.

An exceptionally fine album by The Breaks on RCA kept this band working locally for an extended period. Songs like "Don't Misled Me" and "Green Eyes" should have been monster hits nationally for this underrated band.

Yet an unusual circumstance occured when the Renaissance release of "Mr. Lee" received it's popularity when it was flipped-over and played as an instrumential tune and became the broadcast theme song for television powerhouse WMC-TV 5's Evening News.

Phillip Rauls is pictured with national radio consultant and music promoter, Don Anti and WMC-FM 100 Program Director Gary Guthrie.

Vocalist Susanne Jerome Taylor (R) was a very talented recording artist who had several solo singles released after the demise of her band, The Breaks. Here ROCK 103's Steve Kelly in center interviews Susanne while promoter Phillip Rauls (L) shares a microphone.

In 1985 Memphis studio group The Dog Police recorded a hilarious video showcasing their canine approch at rock music. Also known The Tony Thomas Trio, the group featured Tony Thomas, Tom Leanardo and Sam Shoup.

Pictured above is a advertisment in the GAVIN Radio Report industry publication.

Veteran singer songwriter Sid Selvidge reviews a song list. Selvidge has recorded several respectable albums for labels such as Elektra Records, Enterprise (Stax) Records, Peabody Records and Archer Records.

Phillip and songwriter/guitarist Tennie Hodges share the love of good music and basketball. The career of Teenie Hodges spans over 5 decades with his compositions being recorded by Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, Talking Heads, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Sly Johnson and many more.

Here producer Jim Dickenson plays air guitar. Without consulting others and to grab the spotlight, Dickenson self-appoints himself as the designated spokesperson for the Memphis Music industry while producing mega-flops by artists Handsome Jimmy Valiant, The Clits, Saboo LaToose and Mudboy & The Neutrons.

Interview from The Memphis Star June 1986 featuring Phillip Rauls (double-click to enlarge). Part two conclusion listed below.

Advertisment in industry publication.

Bill Burk was a daily columnist for The Memphis Press-Scimitar and kept his readers updated on all music happenings.

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