Bancroft, Iowa native Phil Marlow started playing saxophone in 6th grade. By his 2nd day of 9th grade he was playing in a 4-piece band called Let’s Boogie as a guitarist. After high school, he spent some time with the Mike Day Orchestra, a 24-piece big band with a 600 tune repertoire playing saxes and clarinets, once serving as the band for Bob Hope at a Des Moines benefit for Mamie Eisenhower, as well as with a polka band (Bunky calls it “the strangest and better playing gigs I ever had”), before teaming up with Rob Lumbard in 1979. The next year Phil and Rob joined the Wapsi River Band. In 1981, on a dare from Rob, Phil sat in with Luther Allison and soon after was hired. He traveled with Luther the rest of that year, being let go on New Years Eve at So’s Your Mother because the band was headed to Europe and he wasn’t in the budget. That time had been valuable though, as Bunky got to play with the likes of Mitch Ryder & the Wheels, James Cotton’s Band, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor and Robert Jr. Lockwood. In 1982 he joined the Blue Band, playing with them full-time until 1986 and then occasionally until 2009. Since 1990 Phil has played here and there, recorded an album as the Bunky Marlow Band, and has a couple upcoming projects in the works.
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