Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Harrison, Camille

Harrison, Camille, vocalist, teacher, pianist, guitarist; b. Nashville, TN, 15 July 1964. Her mother, Brucene Harrison, a classical pianist, graduated from Memphis State University.  Her father, Shelton Harrison, also graduated from Memphis State University was a concert promoter and car salesman. Camille moved to Memphis with her parents around age 10, and became a state champion gymnast in 1974 and continued for fitness training through those the years as she is an ACE certified health/fitness and aerobics teacher in various hospitals in Nashville, TN. 

As her own interest in performing grew, she found as much to like in the down-home style of Dolly Parton as in the sophisticated pop of Barbara Streisand. From mainstream rockers like Paul Rogers (Bad Company) and Stevie Nicks to jazz icons such as Miles Davis, some piece of each performers style found its way to Camille's heart. While attending the University of Memphis her interest deepened. She transcribed the works of other artists she appreciated; Ricki Lee Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, and Metropolitan Opera coloratura Lily Pons.

She performed in musical theatre productions throughout her years Germantown High School including Hello Dolly, West Side Story, Trial By Jury, and others.  She was First Chair All State Vocalist (1981 and 1982), and voted Most Talented and Class Beauty by her peers at Germantown High School during her senior year.  Camille graduated from University of Memphis in 1988, with a BA of Music with an emphasis in Jazz Vocal Performance!  She had started her college years in the Opera department, and switched to the Jazz department after 1 1/2 years to study jazz/pop music and composition and arranging and to learn chord structures for songwriting.  She studied with Bruce Wermuth, Gene Rush, Tim Goodwin, Dick Steff, and Sara Beth Causey. She had begun performing professionally prior to her college years...

Performed for the USA Navy and Marine Base as the singer and leader of band in Millington, TN  Contracted by Joe Dugger, Recreation Director of Millington, TN USA Navy and Marine Base (1978-1990);. Performed as leader and singer with band at the Mid South Fair (1978-1988) and as a singer/dancer at Liberty Land Theme Park in (1982). She formed a band and headlined the Memphis Symphony Orchestra-Sunset Symphony and Memphis in May Festival in (1984, '85, '86). She was featured in the "Lookout" section of People Magazine as upcoming artist (1984).

She was a regular performer on Beale Street & The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN  (1982-1988). A single recording was released entitled Memphis in May which was produced by Floyd Crammer and became the theme song for Sunset Symphony and Memphis in May Music Festival in Memphis, TN. It was played on all Memphis, TN radio stations such as WMC, FM 106 (1984, 1985 & 1986).

She was awarded with a key to the City of Memphis by Mayor Bill Morris for the theme song recording, Memphis in May (1984, 1985). She played the role of Mabel in Pirates of Penzance at Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, TN (1986). She established Christian Jazz Music recording sound with co-writer and pianist/composer Andrew Jackson of Memphis, TN and performed all over United States through these years including Six Flags Over Texas, Silver Dollar City, Kanakuk Kanakomo in Branson, MO, and opening shows for speaker, Joe White (1985-1990).

Became soloist for a Latin band called El Buho in Nashville, TN and performed many festivals including Summer Lights Festival & Italian Street Festival in (1989, '90, & '91). She was winner of Chet Atkins songwriting scholarship to The Great Smokies Song Chase, August of 1989. She was a soloist with Atlanta Pops Orchestra in 1990. She was featured on Nashville Now television with Dottie West performing original song I Love You (1990). She recorded television commercials for Gridley's Barbeque in Memphis, TN and performed in their restaurants (1990-1992). She was featured soloist with Chet Atkins and his band in Nashville, TN available on video (1991). She was a soloist with the Sam Levine and the City Lights Orchestra in (1991). She was a singer/dancer at Opry Land Theme Park in (1992). In 1992, she recorded and released her first jazz/pop CD which includes 11 original compositions, and performances by Chet Atkins, and singer Gary Chapman. She performed The Bluebird, Douglas Corner, many venues in and around Nashville, TN (1989-2000). In 1993, she toured the country, Italy, with Shelley Harrison, guitarist, singer and also her brother, promoting her first independent CD released entitled Camille. She wrote and arranged 3 song vocal arrangement for Shelley Harrison and the a capella vocal group, The New Dominions, students of University of Virginia, Christmas CD recording release (1993). She toured singing with Shelby Lynn throughout United States (1995). She toured with artist and star of Les Miserable, Gary Morris, throughout United States and parts of Europe (1998-1999). She performed for Taylor Guitars in Nashville, TN  (2000), and Anaheim, California (2001).

As a songwriter, she's been a staff songwriter for High Seas Music, (1996-1997) and for Hamstein Cumberland, (1997-1999). She established a publishing company, Songs of Sea Chariot, ASCAP. Her songs have been recorded by other artists such as The Clark Family Experience, whose version of "Standin' Still," was a Top #40 hit in Billboard Magazine (2001) and Paul Guffey, whose version of "We Belong to Him" is on a Student Worship Collection (1995).

She reassembled her jazz performance trio in 2000. In 2001 she arranges and produced her second CD entitled The Big Parade December (2001) includes a never before heard song entitled "Why Should I Love You" co-written with her friend, the late Chet Atkins.

Shelley Harrison and Cliff Goldmacher vocal duo at Stanford University: 3rd and Beale (1986); Bela Fleck & the Flecktones: There You'll Be (1990); Women:  Live from Mountain Stage with Shelby Lynn (1996); Faith Hill: The Best of Faith on Faith Hill (2001).

Television and radio:
Lead vocalist for over 300 jingles including "Just Say No" to drugs Nancy Reagan campaign, Good Will, Commercial Bank, Computer Kingdom, Taco Myo, Win Health, National Home Video, Century 21, Radio i.d.'s years (1984-2003)

Contact information:
www.camille.cc and/or www.CamilleHarrison.com
Songs of Sea Chariot,
PO Box 24323,
Nashville, TN  37202-4323

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