Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Campbell, Michael (Rector)
Campbell, Michael (Rector), singer; b. Hollywood, CA, 21 February 1944. His mother was Blanche Campbell (b. Louisville, Kentucky, December 4, 1912-May 5, 1995) and his father was Edward Campbell (b. Akron, Ohio, April 15, 1911-March 1992). His brother is Edward Dudley Campbell (b. Hollywood, California, 9/10/40). His wife, Elaine Blakely (Campbell), is a professional singer as are their daughters, Kathryn (b. 5/15/81) and Megan (b.6/6/84).
Campbell studied guitar with Duke Miller (1959-61), Hy White (1966), and Ted Greene (1989-2002). He studied voice with Sally & Lee Sweetland (1966-1967) and arranging & composition with Jack Smalley (1985-1986) and Alf Clausen (1988-1989).
Campbell came from a musical family. His father, Eddie, was a professional drummer, tap dancer and actor. His brother was also a professional musician for a while. Mike started playing the guitar at the age of 15, but soon realized he would rather be a singer. His early influences were Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Mark Murphy and a singer/guitarist out of Chicago named Johnny Janis. Campbell began his singing career with a vocal group, the Doodletown Pipers, performing in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Canada and across the USA. He became the group's lead singer, but after 3 1/2 years, decided to try a solo career.
He formed a band which included the "Bionic Woman," Lindsay Wagner, and worked around the country doing clubs. His heart was always in jazz and after a couple of years, he returned home and met his long time collaborator, pianist/arranger/composer Tom Garvin. They began building a repertoire of songs and arrangements in all types of settings, including duo, trio and big band. Campbell started singing locally at Donte's, Carmelo's, and touring.
Through the title song, he met the wonderful songwriter, Loonis McGlohon, who became his biggest fan. Loonis called Campbell "The best male jazz singer in the USA." They did many gigs and festivals together from Lincoln Center in the Park in NYC, to "Spirit Square'" in North Carolina. Campbell has recorded many McGlohon songs including "Blackberry Winter," "Nobody's Home," and "Songbird."
Along the way, he opened for Sarah Vaughn and has worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, Benny Carter, Donald Byrd, and Nancy Wilson, among others. He's also appeared in several on camera commercials including Ford Escort, Pioneer Chicken, and Fleet National Bank. From 1983-1992 he was the Vocal Program Director at the world-renowned Dick Grove School of Music and from 1992, has held the same position at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. He also teaches jazz singing at California State University at Northridge. He has toured Europe several times as well as Australia, Canada, and Asia performing as a soloist in festivals and a clinician. He writes songs and his songs have been recorded by other jazz artists.
He has collaborated with Tom Garvin, the bassist John Heard, "Tonight"show saxophonist Tom Peterson, and the Brazilian composer, Moacir Santos, writing lyrics. He has two vocal videos on Warner Brothers called "Vocal Basics 1 & 2," as well as two books published Hal Leonard Pub. called "Sightsinging-The Complete Method" and "Harmony Vocals," CO-written with Tracee Lewis.
Secret Fantasy (1982); Blackberry Winter (1984); One On One (1991);
Easy Chair Jazz (1992); Loving Friends (1994); My Romance (1997); Let's Get Away From It All (1998)
Here Comes The Doodletown Pipers (1966); Sing-Along '67 (1967); Love Themes (1968); Moacir Santos: Saudade (1973), Quite Carnival (1975); Donald Byrd: And 125th Street, N.Y.C. (1975); Loonis McGlohon: We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1990); Herb Geller: Playing Jazz (1995)
Ed Sullivan, Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton, Roger Miller, "Here Come The Doodletown Pipers" (series of 6 one hour specials), "Our Place", which was the summer replacement for The Smothers Brothers Show, in 1967, which starred The Doodletown Pipers, Rolwf (Jim Henson's Muppets), and Burns & Schreiber, on CBS, Dick Cavett Special on ABC in 1966, "Rogers & Hart Today" on NBC in 1967, Regis Philbin Show, Jane Morgan Special, NPR special with Ben Sidran, live from Donte's in Los Angeles-1983, Maury Povich Show, "Panorama", live from Washington, DC in 1984.
Unhook The Stars; Leadbelly; Airport ' 79;
Features and Interviews in Print:
Bozeman Daily Chronicle - April 12, 1996
Livingston Enterprise, April 18, 1996
The Tolucan - March 19, 1981
The Daily News -A.James Liska - Jazz Editor - 1982
The Daily New - Harvey Siders (In-Siders View) - 1982
The Harrald Examiner - David Weiss - (Jazz Critic)
San Luis Obispo - Telegram-Tribune - May 1, 1982
The Phoenix Gazette - Kyle Lawson - Feb.,1983
Anchorage Daily News - March 3, 1983
Jazz Now - Francesca Nemko - Dec. 1999
Playboy Jazz Festival Program - 1997 - A. James Liska - "Making It In L.A."
"Singing Jazz" by Bruce Crowther & Mike Pinfold
Downbeat Jazz Critics Poll - 1982
Talent Deserving Wider Recognition - 4th
Male Vocalist - 10th