S(cott) E(dward) P(helps) arrived in his own time, in his own way in Coalinga, California, a once upon a time coaling station town along the Southern Pacific Railroad route traveling through the western San Joaquin valley. Speaking of which, the legendary bandit Joaquin Murietta headquartered just north of the area, being killed there in 1853. The Murietta brothers, of course, being immortalized in the first, and arguably best, of the Antonio Banderas swashbucklers, “The Mask Of Zorro” which has nothing, actually, to do with the life of s.e.p., but these bios can often be so dry, they need a little punching up here and there, don’t you agree?
s.e.p. was one of those “moved around a lot as a kid” kids, owing to his father’s geology career taking them from state to state to state within the, then, 49, until the dawning of his middle school years. It was 1964, a mere three months after the assassination of JFK, just weeks before the American arrival of the Fab Four from Liverpool and s.e.p. found himself a bona fide New Orleanian, knee deep in the hoopla of Cajun cooking, the kind of hurricanes that only rum can do justice to…and a musical tradition unique to the art form…and, with the arrival of those long haired Brits, the first real stirrings of the musical juices from s.e.p.’s creative cup began to flow; the inevitable garage bands, hiring out for proms, one form of mitzvah or another and the occasional huge venue score: the frat party. All the while showing signs of wanting more out of a musical career than faithful renditions of Louie, Louie and G-L-O-R-I-A…. with several of his band mate/neighborhood buddies, he moved north, young man, to the land of southern opportunity, the Third Coast, Music City, USA and began the first year of what would be a twenty-year residency pursuing the “every guitar playing kid’s dream of success as a singer/songwriter…
the Nashville years were fruitful, if not financially bountiful, with gigs scored as staff songwriter for a variety of major league publishing companies; management, for a time, of Al Jolson Enterprises, a one stop recording/publishing shopping operation owned by the son of the iconic 1930’s entertainer; numerous studio credits as a backup vocalist (behind such notables as Conway Twitty, Bobby Helms, Jack Greene, Dobie Gray, Joe Diffie, Frank Sinatra, Jr, etc) , musician, producer and arranger; live performances, of one kind or another, at such diverse and notable venues as The Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jams and a not too shabby songwriting success, with songs recorded by Mel Tillis, Conway Twitty, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Lacy J, Dalton, Kathy Mattea, et al…..and…in his spare time….prolific composing and producing of local, regional and national jingles and radio ads, multiple Addy Award wins and a reputation as the guy you went to on Sunday night when the client pulled a fast one and wanted the show stopping radio campaign to begin Monday morning…add a Grammy nomination for a song written for Claire Lynch’s nominated bluegrass album, “Lamplighter” in 1989 and the resume’ looked better all the time…
...come the turn of the century, come the departure from Nashville and the journey to the mid-Atlantic where career, chapter two, began….the full time diving in to what had been a part time indulgence in the songwriting years….broadcasting…adapting quickly to the new ambition, the songwriter became the morning jock, the song player, the talk show host...while continuing his award winning commercial and jingle composer ways …over the next ten years, award winning, top rated broadcast gigs in Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi and Georgia…before returning, in 2012, to the Chesapeake Bay area to continue working in music radio, talk radio, commercial and jingle writing and production….and…because that A.D.D. is a pistol, the next horizon: the blogs, podcasts and, beginning recently, internet radio station, all of which are featured to be enjoyed on the very website where you are reading this bio…
the future...more of the same…a book or two in the works…(including, surely, a sequel to his 2006 memoir of the songwriting days, “I’ve Never Heard Of You, Either” …available via Blurb.com)…..
…and, you can be pretty sure, living up to the slogan coined by a very clever guy who was nice enough to write this bio about himself….
author, humorist, political and social commentator, recording artist, producer, studio musician, award winning commercial composer/producer, grammy nominated songwriter and award winning, top rated broadcast personality….
the cure for the common