Acclaimed songwriter/singer Sam Phillips is currently composing original music for the ABC Family’s drama “Bunheads,” airing Mondays (9:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT), having premiered June 11.
In “Bunheads,” Michelle Simms (Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster) had a promising career as a classically-trained dancer but was drawn to the lights of Las Vegas. Now, as a 30-something showgirl, she’s found the excitement of Sin City has lost its appeal, and her persistent suitor, Hubbell Flowers (Alan Ruck, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), is gaining it.
With promises of a cushy life in his coastal town of Paradise, CA, Hubbell convinces Michelle to marry him. Once in Paradise, Michelle discovers that Hubbell lives with his mother, the imperious Fanny Flowers (Kelly Bishop, “Gilmore Girls”), who is not pleased that Hubbell has run off and married a stranger.
A former dancer herself, Fanny runs the local dance studio, which Michelle visits, bonding with the students: sweet “Boo” (Kaitlyn Jenkins) who struggles against her body type; rebellious Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles), who has the body and talent but is distracted by family issues; shapely Ginny (Bailey Buntain), who is not yet comfortable in her own skin; and fun-loving Melanie (Emma Dumont). Michelle’s budding relationship with these girls helps her adapt to small town living and her uneasy role as a new daughter-in-law.
“Bunheads” is executive produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino. In 2000, Sherman-Palladino asked Sam to compose and perform the score to “Gilmore Girls,” which ended up running for seven years and is currently in worldwide syndication. Sam created and sang the “la la” sound that Sherman-Palladino likened to the music the mother-daughter characters Lorelai and Rory heard in their heads.
Phillips began her career writing and recording six albums with producer T Bone Burnett (Hunger Games Soundtrack, Allison Krauss/Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Elton John), released by the Virgin and Nonesuch labels respectively, winning a devoted following, the respect of many highly regarded musicians and songwriters and overwhelming critical recognition.
After Gilmore Girls ended, Sam released her seventh album, the self-produced Don’t Do Anything on Nonesuch Records, yielding the song “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us”, which was re-recorded by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for their Grammy-winning, multi-platinum album Raising Sand.
Sam’s tune “Reflecting Light” was featured in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges.
In 2009 Sam created the Long Play subscription project through her website
(www.samphillips.com) releasing 44 tracks directly to fans. Phillips finished the project by releasing the Solid State physical album, a sampling from the Long Play material. While composing and performing the music for Bunheads, Sam is currently putting the finishing touches to her ninth full-length release.