"PULLIN OUT THE COVERS"
R P Harrell
A veteran studio musician and singer, record producer, road-dog with the stars, to production show producer/director in Branson, Missouri, R P Harrell presents this compilation of most-requested "cover" tunes. This album reflects his diverse influences...from classic country to classic rhythm and blues and gospel. All are evident in his soulful vocals to the piano and Hammond B-3 work on this album...shades of Milsap to Motown...Andre Crouch to Ray Price...Delbert McClinton to the Beatles.
R P Harrell - Biography
R P was raised in Lufkin, Texas, where he began playing professionally in 1967. By 1969 he was on the road full time, with regular appearances at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. During the early 70's he also began a career in the recording industry, which led him to his first love of producing, engineering, and performing on recordings. He married his wife, Debbie Sue, in 1972, and they toured the U.S. and performed together though 1982. They have one daughter, Katie, born in 1986, and recently graduated from Missouri State University.
By the mid-70's, R P was based in Houston, Texas, and performed on major label records on the Capitol, ABC Dot, Warner Brothers, and 20th. Century labels for artists such as Randy Cornor, Freddy Fender, Frenchie Burke, Jacky Ward, and Kenny Dale. During this period, for eight years, he was the bandleader and pianist for the renowned "Texas Cookin' Band" in Houston.
Through the 80's he alternated touring and recording careers. From 83' through 86' he toured with Warner Brothers artist Johnny Lee, ("Lookin For Love"). His tours with Johnny spanned the entire U.S. and Canada, including stints in Alaska and Hawaii. One of the highlights was performing in Washington D.C. for President Ronald Regan's inaugural ball. Television appearances with Johnny included "Solid Gold" (ABC), "Hee Haw" (ABC), "Church Street Station", "New Country", "Nashville Now" and "Saturday Night at Gilley's" (TNN). He also performed in two music videos, "Hey Bartender" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
In 1986 he accepted a position in Crowley, Louisiana as a producer and engineer for MTE Records at Master Trak Recording Studios. While there he produced and recorded Sammy Kershaw, Wayne Toups, Jo-el Sonnier, Rockin Sidney, and C.J. Chenier, to name a few. During this time he also toured and played piano and Hammond B-3 organ for Wayne Toups and Zydecajun. While in Crowley, R P sang a demo of a song he co-wrote, "One Night Late," which was later released as a single and was a "pick hit" in Billboard Magazine.
In 1988, RP moved to Bexar, Arkansas to become chief engineer, bandleader, and keyboardist for long-time friend, David Lynn Jones, ("Bonnie Jean, Little Sister", "High Ridin Heroes", "Livin in the Promiseland"). His five years there produced four albums for the Mercury/Polygram, Capitol, and Liberty Record labels, along with five music videos and television appearances on "This Country's Rockin" (PPV), "Nashville Now", "New Country", and "Music City Tonight" (TNN). While with David Lynn, major tours were with Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kathy Mattea, Waylon Jennings, and Dwight Yoakum.
Since moving to Branson in 1992, R P performed and toured with Rex Allen, Jr. and Roy Clark. In 1994 he joined "Country Tonite" when it opened in Branson. During his ten years with the show, he was the director, musical director, pianist, vocalist, and production manager. He either produced or co-produced several seasons of the show as well. He was voted Branson's "Piano Player of the Year" for three consecutive years, and inducted into the Branson Entertainer's Hall of Fame in 1998.
For two years RP performed with the Paul Harris Show in Branson, and is now performing in his fifth year with Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, where he is the production manager, musical director and tour manager. He also produces and records regularly in numerous studios, but gets the most enjoyment recording with “The Cuttin Crew” studio band in Drasco, Arkansas.