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Charlie's career has spanned over 60 years• Hundreds of songs recorded • A Gold Record• Inducted into Western Swing Music Hall of Fame
Charlie's career has spanned over 60 years• Hundreds of songs recorded • A Gold Record• Inducted into Western Swing Music Hall of Fame
41 backers pledged $12,312 to help bring this project to life.

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In September 1995, HBO cable produced a movie about Phyllis McGuire, of the McGuire Sister trio. In 1958, the McGuire Sisters sang Sugartime and took it to #1 on the charts for several weeks. Phyllis was a beautiful singer. She and her sisters had many hits over their long career. However, as popular as she became, she may always be remembered, not for her musical talents, but for her secretive relationship with infamous mobster, Sam Giancana. HBO tauts the couple as the un-American mobster and the All-American songbird. Their relationship was one of the most extraordinary and unexpected love affairs of the 60′s.

This feature portrays love, violence, the mob, the CIA, Fidel Castro, the FBI and the Kennedy’s wrapped up in a fictional, yet non-fictional account of the magical love affair. John Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker pull the audience into their sorted provinces.

Yes, Sugartime is named after Charlie “Sugartime” Phillip’s song and is played lightly in the background. The movie is suspenseful and ends surprisingly accurate to the actual events.

THE HISTORY OF CHARLIE "SUGARTIME" PHILLIPS

Charlie "Sugartime" Phillips is increasingly recognized as a pioneer of Western Swing, Country and Rockabilly genres of music. His humble upbringing as the son of sharecroppers from Farwell, Texas and his proximity to Clovis, New Mexico led him to the Norman Petty Studio where he was mentored by the legendary  Norman Petty. Norman's Clovis studio was the launching ground for such music greats as the Fireballs, Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and Charlie "Sugartime" Phillips.

Vi Petty, "Buddy Holly's Crickets",1957, Photo courtesy of the Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, NM. Personal Photo 2013 (L)Marvin Anderson, "Charlie Interviewing Comedian Minnie Pearl", 1962, Courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips, Personal Polaroid, 2013
Vi Petty, "Buddy Holly's Crickets",1957, Photo courtesy of the Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, NM. Personal Photo 2013 (L)Marvin Anderson, "Charlie Interviewing Comedian Minnie Pearl", 1962, Courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips, Personal Polaroid, 2013

Charlie's nickname was derived from his hit single, Sugartime, he wrote while driving a tractor on his family farm. Charlie recorded Sugartime at the Petty Studio in the late 1950's with an unknown group of youngsters called Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Norman Petty took the song to New York City and introduced the sound to Coral Records. Soon thereafter, the McGuire Sisters recorded Sugartime and took it to #1 on the charts for several weeks. The McGuire Sisters and Charlie received a Gold Record for their hit song. Years later, Charlie would be inducted into the Western Swing Music Hall of Fame.

(R) Odis Echols Jr, "Charlie and the McGuire Sisters in NewYork at Gold Record Ceremony" 1958, Photo Courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips, Personal photo 2013
(R) Odis Echols Jr, "Charlie and the McGuire Sisters in NewYork at Gold Record Ceremony" 1958, Photo Courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips, Personal photo 2013

After deciding farm life wasn't for him, Charlie continued to write and sing country music for the next 60 years. He's recorded hundreds of songs with dozens charting over the years. During the course of his career, Charlie has played 1000's of music gigs and appeared many times on The Louisiana Hayride (where Elvis Presley got his start), The Big D Jamboree, The Ozark Jubilee and The Grand Ole Opry. While playing these venues, Charlie was introduced to and made friends with some of country musics biggest stars. He became acquainted with such legends as: Hank Snow, Faron Young, Tillman Franks, Ralph Emery, Don Guess, Johnny Hathcock, Buddy Holly, Johnny Horton, the McGuire Sisters, Jim Reeves, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, Tommy Tomlinson, Charley Pride, Ray Winkler, Little Jimmy Dickens, Roy Clark, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Meryl Haggard and many, many others. 

Early 45 album covers. Charlie released his albums under these labels during the course of his career. Reprise ®, Columbia ®, Longhorn ®, and Coral ® are each registered as copyrights under their respective names. (Photos courtesy of Charlie Phillips)
Early 45 album covers. Charlie released his albums under these labels during the course of his career. Reprise ®, Columbia ®, Longhorn ®, and Coral ® are each registered as copyrights under their respective names. (Photos courtesy of Charlie Phillips)

Not only was Sugartime covered by the McGuire Sisters, but it was also covered by Alma Cogan, Johnny Cash, and Linda McCartney (wife of Paul McCartney of the Beatles). Vicki Lawrence even did a version of Sugartime on her hit series, Mama's Family. Some younger folks may even remember the jingle for Bagel Bites™ which used Sugartime for its catchy pizza jingle. Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime........ Additionally, the movie Sugartime was an introspective look at the life of Phyllis McGuire and her scandalous relationship with American mobster Sam Giancana. The movie starred John Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker.  

Sample Song: Be My Bride

In addition to being a performing artist, Charlie also had a full career as a DJ working at a Clovis radio station and also for Ray Winkler (author of Welcome to My World with John Hathcock) at KZIP in Amarillo, Texas. After years in the business, Charlie was awarded the title of Mr. DJ USA.

Charlie's biography, Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips is scheduled for release by summer of 2014. 

Photos of the Norman Petty Studio and the Vi and Norman Petty Rock & Roll Museum (Photos courtesy of Cy Cushenberry)
Photos of the Norman Petty Studio and the Vi and Norman Petty Rock & Roll Museum (Photos courtesy of Cy Cushenberry)

HELP PRESERVE A PIECE OF COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY

Now that you have Charlie's remarkable background: One can imagine the expenses associated with publishing a book of an artist of such magnitude. Numerous funds have been raised thus far from sponsors, but it will take a minimum of $12,000 to complete the biography by summer of 2014.

That's where you come in. By supporting this project, you are not only

receiving some great merchandise, but you are also preserving the memory of one of the greatest living country music musicians. You CAN be a part of history! You can be one of the first people to receive Charlie's biography before it is available in bookstores, plus receive many items not available anywhere else.


As mentioned earlier, $12,000 is the minimum needed, but additional 
funding is greatly appreciated and WILL be put to good use. You CAN make a difference. 


Charlie on-stage opening for Meryl Haggard (Photo courtesy of Charlie Phillips)
Charlie on-stage opening for Meryl Haggard (Photo courtesy of Charlie Phillips)
Charlie is so gracious in advance for your support. Projects like this couldn't exist without people like you. 

Very special thanks to: Ken Broad, curator of The Norman Petty Studio; Alton and Maggie Warwick, owners of The Louisiana Hayride; Danny White, owner of the 16 Ton Recording Studio in Nashville; the wonderful Peggy Sue Gerron, Buddy Holly's muse and the author of "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?"; and Therese (Tess) Kelley, teacher and children's book author and illustrator.   

PLEASE SHARE THIS PROJECT ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER

*Please note, the completion date for the biography is scheduled for release around June of 2014; however, the additional rewards like postcards, guitar pics, 8x10 glossies, downloads and t-shirts will be sent shortly after the successful Kickstarter Campaign. We want you to be happy with your pledge and will make every effort to send your reward as soon as possible. 

Sample Song: Sugartime

Photos courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips
Photos courtesy of Charlie Sugartime Phillips

Risks and challenges

Producing and publishing a book offers its own set of challenges. The biggest risk involving the production of Charlie's biography is Charlie himself. Laughingly, he's no spring chicken; however, provided Charlie stays in good health, there's no reason to believe the biography will not be published and completed on schedule. At nearly 80 years old, Charlie still hits the gym weekly. He's rarely missed a weekly appearance in 60 years and doesn't plan on missing one now. Cy has been researching the biography since March 2013 and has traveled 9000 miles across America interviewing friends, family and country music celebrities regarding Charlie. Should a "glitch" occur after the fundraiser, we will keep our sponsors posted and gladly be available to answer questions.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THE BASIC PLEDGE- A BIG Texas thank you and howdy! A waterfall starts with one drop of water. Your pledge is greatly appreciated AND will keep the memory of Charlie alive forever!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THE LOVE PLEDGE- A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy! A waterfall starts with one drop of water. Your pledge is greatly appreciated AND will keep the memory of Charlie alive forever!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THE PONY PLEDGE - A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THE RODEO PACKAGE- One song download of Sugartime + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE COUNTRY MUSIC PACKAGE- Hardback copy of “Sugartime: The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips” + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    THE GREAT WESTERN PACKAGE- One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + One Hardback copy of “Sugartime: The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips” + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    THE WILD WEST PACKAGE- One Hardback copy of “Sugartime: The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips” signed by the Author + download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    THE COWBOY/ COWGIRL PACKAGE- One 8X10 Glossy of Charlie + One Hardback copy of “Sugartime: The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips” signed by the Author + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    THE PEGGY SUE PACKAGE- One Charlie Phillips T-shirt + One 8X10 Glossy of Charlie + One Hardback copy of “Sugartime: The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips” signed by the Author + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    THE ROCKABILLY PACKAGE- One hardback copy of "Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips" signed by the Author AND autographed by Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips T-shirt + One 8X10 Glossy of Charlie + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    THE JOHN WAYNE PACKAGE- One hardback copy of "Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips" Signed by the Author AND autographed by Charlie + A Charlie Phillips T-shirt + TWO 8X10 Glossies of Charlie (One autographed by Charlie) + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE ROCK & ROLL PACKAGE-

    TWO hardback copies of "Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips" Signed by the Author AND Autographed by Charlie + TWO Charlie Phillips T-shirts + One 8X10 Glossy of Charlie + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE SUGARTIMER PACKAGE- A personally addressed letter of thanks by the Author + Be listed as a contributor in the biography + Two hardback copies of "Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips" Signed by the Author AND Autographed by Charlie + TWO Charlie Phillips T-shirts + TWO 8X10 Glossies of Charlie + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE BUDDY HOLLY PACKAGE-

    One GENUINE mint-condition Buddy Holly Business Card + Be listed as a contributor in the biography + A one hour phone conversation with Charlie Phillips + A personally addressed letter of thanks by the Author + Two hardback copies of "Sugartime- The Life of Country Music Legend Charlie Phillips" Signed by the Author AND Autographed by Charlie + Two Charlie Phillips T-shirts + Two 8X10 Glossies of Charlie + One download of Sugartime (with Buddy Holly and the Crickets) + A guitar pic of Charlie Phillips + A Charlie Phillips postcard hand addressed by Cy with thanks + A BIG Texas thank you and howdy!

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Funding period

- (32 days)