Marc Phillips, who was the lead vocalist, main songwriter and keyboard player of the Birmingham pop band Hotel will be appearing at this year’s CD & Record Show as ARCA honors Hotel. Hotel was formed in 1973 by area musicians and, after a few initial personnel changes, solidified its most recognized line-up by 1976. That line-up included original members Marc Phillips on keyboards and Tommy Calton on guitar. The band was rounded out with Lee Bargeron (keyboards, guitar), Mike Reid (guitar), George Creasman (bass) and Michael Cadenhead on drums. All members added vocals which contributed to the strong harmonies, sometimes 6-part, that were a staple of Hotel’s music. The musicianship was outstanding and the music was well polished and produced.

Hotel toured the southeast and opened for some great national acts. In 1978, they signed with Mercury Records and recorded their first single, “You’ll Love Again.” It reached #71 on Billboard and caused people to take notice. In 1979, they recorded their first album, simply entitled “Hotel,” which included two more single releases, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Hold On To The Night.” Both releases reached the Hot 100. All three songs were written or co-written by Phillips.
By 1980, music, in general, was changing; New Wave was now the ‘IN’ thing. Hotel didn’t move that way, but did try to make their music a little bit edgier. That same year, they released their second album, “Half-Moon Silver” with one single release, the title track. Though the single reached the Hot 100, which makes four total songs to do so, nothing had yet hit the Top 40. Mercury did not promote the album or the band and the second album sold less than the first and Mercury dropped them. Both albums, however, contained great music and deserved better promotion. The musicianship and vocals were as good and polished as any band in the country.
Hotel stayed together touring the club circuit, but but disbanded in 1982. Phillips and Calton quickly formed the Calton-Phillips Group, which later changed its name to Split the Dark. The band parted ways in 1988.
The various band members are currently spread all over the country, with Phillips remaining right here in Birmingham. Marc is very active in various Christian ministries and his church and still records music. He loves to talk about his days with Hotel and does all he can to keep the music alive.
Come and meet Marc on Saturday, May 19 at 10:00 at the Alabama Record Collectors Association’s 31st annual CD & Record Show at the Bessemer Civic Center, just off I59 at exit # 108. After a short ceremony honoring Hotel, Marc will be available for autographs, photos or just chat. He should also have CDs for sale. He has remastered both Hotel albums onto CD