Phillip J. Wallace

  • I am the Business Manager of The Rockets, play keyboards, and am the co-lead singer.
  • I own several keyboards but am partial to the Alesis brand. I perform with 2 on stage: the 88-key Alesis QS8 and the 76-key Alesis QS7.
  • My favorite bands or musical artists are: The Beatles, Earth Wind & Fire, Billy Preston, and George Clinton.
  • My first “paying” gig was as a pianist at a physician’s home for a “Yacht Club” cocktail party. Prior to that, while I was in college, I was late night piano man at my fraternity, Sigma Chi. While generous amounts of adult beverages were proffered, I don’t recall any money being earned.
  • I am a native of Newport, Arkansas (class of 1978), and the youngest of the guys in The Rockets. I am a true product of the higher educational system in Arkansas, having attended undergraduate and law schools at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and graduate school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I have been married to my beautiful wife (Shellie) from Russellville since 1997. She is a managing partner with the Wilson & Associates Law Firm. No children (that I am aware of.)
  • We have 2 dogs and 2 cats: Tiffy III (a Spitz, yes there have been 2 others of the same name), Scout (a Keeshond), Dagney and Sophie (Tabbies, I think).
  • In “real life,” I first worked within the University of Arkansas System as: an Affirmitive Action/EEOC Officer; Coordinator of Minority Affairs; Assistant Director of Special Projects all simultaneously. Since 1988, I have been with Baptist Health handling the physician recruitment arena.
  • Something most people don’t know about me: I signed my first contract at age 10! I supplied 25 turtles a week to the Sterling Discount Store in Newport.
  • The most interesting people I have met: Politics: Bill Clinton; Sports: Willie Mays, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Charles Barkley; Music: Billy Preston, Phillip Bailey, Verdine White.
  • While I can’t claim to having played onstage with any noteworthy musicians (other than the Rockets), a friend and I once sat onstage during a performance of Earth Wind & Fire (they thought we were part of the arena staff). I did play with another local band (crisis!) for a year and one-half.
  • Personal note: I am the last remaining original member of (Johnny Roberts &) The Rockets; the original group was together from 1995 ’til 1999. With a couple exceptions, the existing lineup of The Rockets has been together since 2000, and continue to amaze me with their versatile musical talents.