Phillip Holland was born in McMinnville Tennessee, a small farming town about 70 miles southeast of Nashville. His musical interest began at a very early age, being introduced to Chet Atkins-style picking by his father. With music in his blood and a natural gift of manipulating words, he began writing songs at age 5, winning his first talent contest at age 6.
Phillip was instantly hooked on music. “Whether we were riding to the farm listening to Hank Sr. on the 8-track player in dad’s old Chevy or sitting on the front porch of Bob Mason’s house, music was always an important part of my childhood.”
At age 12, Phillip formed his first band, The Collins River Band. The band played community centers, dance halls, benefits, and bars. “We would play just about anywhere we could, sometimes four nights a week, quite a schedule for a teenager attending middle school. However, I always made good grades; that’s the only way my folks would allow me to continue playing.”
With diversified musical influences ranging from Bach to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Phillip began to develop the knack for writing tunes from a broad array of genres.
Placing 1st and 2nd place in the first annual Dottie West Music Fest songwriting competition at age 20, Phillip decided to actively pursue a career as a songwriter. Over the next five years, Phillip began the process of networking in the industry, working 12- hour swing shifts in a tire factory, then making the 140-mile roundtrip journey from McMinnville to Nashville two or three times a week, working hard to get a cut, and penning tunes with many great writers from Music Row to Austin, Texas. He was persistently honing his craft, learning from veterans of the trade, and playing all the local hotspots in Nashville, such as the Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner, and the Broken Spoke. “Working a full-time job and raising a family while pursuing a career in music is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Add to that the fierce competition from folks living in Nashville with more time and just as much, if not more, talent, and it became quite a challenge.”
In 1992, with a new baby boy and one on the way, Phillip established Holland Brothers/HBM Music Publishing, named after his sons. “When I formed HBM, my hope was that twenty years later the catalogue would be generating enough income to offer my sons a career option if they wanted to follow in their old man’s footsteps.”
In 1995 everything changed when Phil Jr., the oldest of Phillip Sr.’s two sons, was diagnosed with Autism. Those weekly writing trips to Music Row became visits to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital (and numerous others). The writing appointments became less frequent and less important. “I can remember I, once, had a first-time writing appointment with a great writer (he had a George Straight cut)—we’ll just call him Monty—and lil’ Phil had a dentist appointment on the same day. Well, it was a no-brainer: I was going to the dentist with Phil Jr., and I had to cancel on Monty … sorry Monty!
“Having Phil Jr. changed so many things, including me. Living with Autism is a humbling experience. You learn to realize and recognize how fortunate most all of us really are.”
In 2008 Phillip landed a cut with the legendary Vern Gosdin, a.k.a ‘The Voice,’ with a song titled “Heartbreak Hall of Pain.” He followed the Vern Gosdin cut with several independent cuts and placements in TV and film he landed a song “Swing Sets In Heaven” that climbed to number 13 on the gospel charts.
Over the years, Phillip’s publishing company, Holland Brother's Music, has amassed a catalog comprised of works co-written with a list of Who'sWho of hit songwriters such as Bobby Boyd, Phil O’Donnell, a.k.a. ‘Philbilly,’ and Kendall Marvell, just to name a few.
2019 Phillip is back with an arsenal of new and a renewed inspiration, focusing on more live performances adding another chapter to his musical Journey.
Keep up with Phillip's upcoming dates and to purchase music please visit the link below.