Little Pieces of His Heart
Phil Sampson is arguably one of Oklahoma's finest singer songwriters. Phil grew up in the Chickasha area before settling in Lawton after college with his wife Susan. In the late '60s he played the folk coffee house circuit from Lawton to Weatherford and other college towns. In 1971 Phil went to California with a notebook full of songs to visit his old friend Rudy Ramos. Rudy was playing the character of 'Wind' in the TV show 'High Chaparral.' Rudy also recorded a rock album 'Hard Knocks and Bad Times' that featured six of Phil's songs. Shortly after the album's less then spectacular release in June of 1972 Phil returned to Oklahoma to begin again. Phil soon started playing at a new bar in Medicine Park run by a few recently discharged Vietnam Vets called the 'Prancing Pony.' Out of this hole in the wall came the great band, the 'Medicine Park All Boy Derelict Band' and many of Phil's great songs. This band consisted of : Phil on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mark Paden on vocals and lead guitar, Bill Russell on vocals, auto harp, and guitar, Steve Grunder on vocals and bass, Mike McCarty on vocals and drums, and rounding out with Lewis 'Rug' Eckert on blues harp, vocals, comedy and general mayhem! This band with some substitutions played through most of the 1970s, appearing occasionally as Boswell and the Bush Pilots (Grunder and McCarty left to play with Blue Rose Cafe from 1975-'77). In 1981 while Mark Paden was in Nashville writing and trying to promote his own songs he ended up getting Phil his biggest break by including one of Phil's songs, 'I Loved Them Everyone,' on the tale end of one of Mark's demo tapes. This song became a multimillion seller for country star, T. G. Shepard. Now the rest of the country knew what all the 'Medicine Park' fans had known for years; Phil Sampson (and for that matter, Mark Paden) turned out some phenomenally great songs. Phil tried being a staff writer in Nashville for awhile, but it didn't really suit his style and he soon returned home to Oklahoma and his family. Phil continued writing and performing back home while raising his family. In the mid-1990s, his friend Roland White of the Nashville Bluegrass Band included Phil's 'I Ain't Goin' Down' on their Grammy Award winning album,'Waitin' For The Hard Times To Go.' This stock pile of great songs was recorded between 1995-1998. The Medicine Park All Boy Derelict Band's reunion album 'Highway 49 Revisited' was released in 1993 that featured fifteen more of Phil's classic tunes. Phil still plays regularly with Boswell and the Bush Pilots and as a duo with his long time friend, Lex Hazlewood at clubs around Lawton.