Summer of 1970, barely age 14, Phillip spent some time with his father's side of the family. Pictured to the right, they are 1st cousins. Michael--the son of Elsie Wilkinson Robinson, the sister of Randolph Wilkinson,
Phillip's father. The picture was taken at his aunt Elsie and Uncle Doodle Robinson's place. Although the 60's were technically over as you can see the hair styles were still in. I think that style was called "frat."
gist of the story here, is he was born with a music ear, and you will soon see that talent excelled on both sides of his family.
"This was the first time, I was allowed to spend time with my father since I was 5 years
old. Almost a decade. At no fault of his. I happened to be very attached to him at 5 and my aggressive trait came out by my push to see him was a lot of why I was finally able to. I had known about the musical talent on my mother's side of the family
but was shocked to find out for the first time, about my father's side.
My uncle Norman came to visit me in North Carolina while I was spending the summer with Dad. Uncle Norman played guitar, dobro, sang and wrote
songs. I was told a story by a lady who was close to the family and it revealed he had written a number of songs which were stolen by someone who was involved in the music business. And after that he never pursued it again. It is a painful thought and worse,
feeling, when that happens and is not unusual. It's just not a common thing spoken about. I my self have had some material stolen too. But Uncle Norman was very good on guitar and I was able to hear my father play guitar with him when he played dobro. I did
not even know either of them played music.
My father got me to play guitar for the family members who met at my grandparents in Richmond Virginia. I had been a lead guitar player for some years by then and could play
like Jimi Hendrix and more known styles of lead guitar. My Dad was showing me off...and I have to laugh he was very proud of me. But, when I played to the family's content, my Grandfather who was 80 had cancer of the lungs whipped out his instrament, strapped
it over his shoulder, and played the meanest banjo I've ever seen. I saw where I got my speedy fingering ability on guitar. He was fast too! I was surprised. My Aunt Bonnie was there and sang some songs while Uncle Norman accompanied
her on guitar. Then I was able to talk my Grandmother into playing the antique Steinway Grand piano she had in her living room. She had crippling arthritis in both hands and the pain was unbearable. I didn't think of it as I was excited about the
talent on that side. "I will play, but only one piece," she said. That is when I was totally surprised that she played a classical piece by a composer she read sheet music to, and I do not remember the composer's name. But it was the most beautiful piano performance
I had ever heard. I of course was standing behind her while listening and watching. I will never forget her tear ridden face and pain stricken expression when she finished and arose to her feet holding her hands crying. It was that painful and I told
her how bad I felt that she was in that much pain and played anyway. "I wanted to play for you Phil." she said. To this day I am still touched deeply! My grandparents were the most sweetest people I've ever known. And really the whole family were very respectable
people. But that experience was the icing on the cake, in the way of my visit!