Like most young musicians, Phil Hamm started performing at church and school. During his high school years he participated in marching and concert bands, orchestra, and chorus. In college he studied as a piano major and clarinet minor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and Indiana State University in Terre Haute. During that time he also learned to play guitar and saxophone. The ensembles he enjoyed most were marching and concert bands, but especially the Austin Peay State University Jazz Band and Indiana State University Singers. Shortly before graduating with a B.S. degree in Education, Phil started teaching piano and guitar and performing with local dance bands.
Just after college, Phil worked full-time at Paigeâ€™s Music Store (now J. W. Pepper) in Terre Haute, Indiana. He then met and married Mellanie P. Morgan. After a short while, he left the store and began playing in dance bands. Phil and Mellanie moved to Houston, Texas in 1978, where he worked in several bands until they formed their own band and played professionally until 1994. During that time he co-wrote over 100 songs with C. L. Milburn and then with Buz Hart. They used Philâ€™s home recording studio to demo their originals and occasionally record other local artists. The band retired from the stage in 1994 and Phil again began teaching private piano. Today, Phil and his wife live in Oakland City, Indiana, where he enjoys teaching and working on projects for the Neil A. Kjos Music Company.