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PHIL J.C.!

I AM JUST CLAY!

"I AM" JUSTCLAY!

3080 PARK AVE.BRONX N.Y.

                                       

                                                  MY BEGINNINGS

I was born & raised in the Bronx NY in BRONX HOSPITAL on Fulton Ave, where we also lived right down the street, early on, & then moved to 3080 Park Ave only a few blocks from Yankee Stadium, where I grew up listening to WABC 570AM with my mom & dad everyday, & that's when & where my love for music was birthed. It was during those times that I listened to every Motown record that was released & roared out of the Motor City, as I sang along to The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The 4 Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, along with The Beatles, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, The Righteous Brothers, The Association, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, & too many others to mention.

 

At the same time my love for music was growing, my love for writing was right behind it simultaneously. Then suddenly one evening, I was leaving the Bronx with my mother & younger sister Doris, only 2 months shy of my 11th birthday, & getting into a car & crossing the George Washington Bridge to go stay with a friend of hers she worked with. We also lived in the same building with them at our first apartment in the Bronx at 1459 Fulton Ave, the street my sister & I were also born on in Bronx Hospital, which was right up the street. Shortly after that, we moved about 10 minutes away to 3080 Park Ave, at the corner of 158th St. When we left that night, my Dad did not come.

 

We ended up in a town called Bergenfield where we stayed with them for 2 weeks, & then we moved in with friends of theirs 2 towns away called Englewood. Little did I know the impact this small suburban, multi racial, eclectic melting pot, of the Super wealthy, middle class & folks with not much at all would have on my life. And who all lived together in a town less than 5 sq miles, & not much more than 10 minutes in any direction. And yet it was only 15 minutes from the projects in the Bronx that was home for almost 11 years. I had no idea at the time, what coming to this Mini Musical Mecca & enclave of electrical energy of entertainment across the Hudson River would do to change my life forever.

 

You see I loved music & I loved singing too, & to my shock & amazement, many of the artists & groups I listened to on the radio in the Bronx, were living there, or recording there! Groups & artists like The Isley Brothers, Wilson Pickett, The Moments, Sylvia Robinson, Tony Bennett, The Whatnauts, Larry & Fonce Mizelle, Clyde Otis, George Kerr, Van McCoy, & so many others that came after them, had their own unique connection to Englewood. 

 

Shortly after moving there, I joined a band while in middle school & then found myself spending a lot of time at a local recording studio called, All Platinum Records where Love On A Two Way Street by the Moments, & Pillow Talk by Sylvia Robinson, & I'll Erase Away Your Pain by the Whatnauts were all recorded & produced by the legendary George Kerr, who I would work with years later on Huevo Dancin!!!! I eventually became friends with the sons of the owners of that studio who just happened to be Joe & Sylvia Robinson, & their oldest son Joey & I became good friends, along  with younger ones Leland & Rondo as well, & I spent many days over at their house & just as many days down at the studio hanging out with the stars. And before long, I was living only a few doors from them on Liberty Rd. where the mother of the Isley Brothers made her home too right across the street! 

 

As the years progressed, Englewood became a "go to" place for some of the biggest names in the industry to live & record or set up offices to work in. And I saw many home grown kids become some of the biggest names in the business like Regina Belle, The Sugarhill Gang, Today & Big Bub, Bernard Belle, Regis Branson, Cindy Mizelle, Sista Souljah, Brian Morgan, Kevin Jones, & one of my best friends ever, Gary J. Harris (SIP) & others, all found great success in the music business.

 

So this site not only chronicles my brief journey in the music business, which allowed me to meet, work with, & rub elbows with some of the biggest names in the business, but even more so, it's a celebration of the rich roots & musical history that could only come from my 2nd hometown, Englewood, NJ. And there's no doubt that the music industry would have missed some of the greatest contributions it ever had, if Englewood had not been on the map to make her contributions not only to the music business, but to the whole world! Enjoy the tour & click on every image to get a little history about the legends that made growing up in Englewood, a musical memory I will treasure forever !!!       

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