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Phillip W. Ehart

drummer for Kansas

Phil Ehart

Phillip W. Ehart was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, on February 4, 1950. His father was in the Air Force, so he lived all over the world before the family finally settled in Topeka, Kansas.

Phil picked up drumsticks while in grade school, and played in many local bands while growing up. In 1969, he went to New Orleans, where he had the opportunity to play with Joe Cocker, Iron Butterfly, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Santana, and many other rock greats of the day. In early 1970, he went to England, where he hoped to study the "British style" of rock; he returned to America after only three months, however, because British musicians were more interested in studying "American rock" than in teaching Ehart their style.

In 1973, Ehart formed a band called White Clover with bassist Dave Hope, guitarist Rich Williams, vocalist/songwriter Steve Walsh, and violinist Robby Steinhardt. The band enjoyed great success locally, but Ehart felt the band needed a second songwriter and invited Kerry Livgren, with whom he had played in bands previously, to join the group. Soon after being signed to Kirshner Records, White Clover changed its name to Kansas. After three albums that failed to achieve major sales, the band reached double-platinum success with its 1976 album Leftoverture, and has put out many major hits since.

Ehart still tours with Kansas today, and has acted as the band's manager for the past fifteen years. He is married to Laurie Ehart, with whom he has one daughter (Avery) and one son (Noah). He is also an advocate for autism awareness and research, due to his son being autistic.

Janis Joplin
Robby Steinhardt
Kerry Livgren

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This page was last updated on 09/23/2017.