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Phil Gernhard, Record Man Book Launch with Bill DeYoung

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Bill DeYoung, author of the acclaimed Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down, will introduce his new book at this free reading and launch party. The author will read from the book and give a brief multi-media presentation. There will also be live musical surprises.

Phil Gernhard, Record Man is a biography of Florida’s first-ever music mogul. Gernhard, from Sarasota, was a man who did it all. As a 19-year-old college student at the University of South Carolina, he produced “Stay,” the classic doo-wop record by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, which reached No. 1 in 1960. Back at home, he was behind most of the Tampa Bay area’s great “garage rock” records of the mid ‘60s, from the Tropics to the Raven to Hoppi & the Beau Heems.

With an office in St. Pete and a studio in Tampa, Gernhard co-wrote and produced the Royal Guardsmen’s “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” (the fastest-selling record of 1966) and published “Abraham, Martin and John,” the song that revived singer Dion’s career (Gernhard also produce Dion’s Top Ten record).

He discovered, produced and promoted Winter Haven natives Lobo (“Me and You and a Dog Named Boo”), Jim Stafford (“Spiders and Snakes”), and produced “Let Your Love Flow,” the first smash hit from Pasco County’s Bellamy Brothers.

Through a long affiliation with music business icon Mike Curb, he launched to fame many others, including country superstars Tim McGraw and Rodney Atkins. In Nashville and Los Angeles, Phil Gernhard was a legend.

Books will be available for purchase. Phil Gernhard, Record Man is published by University Press of Florida.

Admission is free and open to the public.

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