The late Phil Emmanuel, one of the world’s greatest lead guitarists who called Parkes home, has posthumously been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List.
Phil, who passed away in Parkes on May 24 after a sudden asthma attack, aged 65, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the performing arts, particularly through music.
He and his brother Tommy, playing together as the Emmanuel Brothers, had graced stages all over the world with names such as Chet Atkins, Duanne Eddy, America, Hank B Marvin, John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, INXS, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.
Phil had also performed alongside Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, James Morrison, Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty and Midnight Oil.
And had released a number of albums – E.G.P. - Electric Guitar Player, 2003; The Miracle, 2002; In the Shadows of the Beatles, 1999; Terra Firma, 1995 with Tommy Emmanuel; and Kakadu Sunrise, 1992.
Younger brother Darcy Emmanuel said Phil lived and breathed playing his guitar.
He’d hop on stage to back anyone, from rock stars to amateur Elvis impersonators at the Star Hotel in Parkes during the Parkes Elvis Festival.
“That was just who Phil was, he wouldn’t have wanted the fuss,” he said of Phil’s OAM.
“He’d want someone else to have it, he’d say ‘give it to someone who’s done something, I’m just a guitarist’.”
Phil’s brother Tommy was appointed with an OAM in 2010.