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Hidden Gems

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Quiet Fire


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Quiet Fire

Quiet Fire was first conceived in 1971 in Hampton, Virginia at Hampton Institute by Philippe Fields (sax), Maurice Unthank (piano) and Oscar Jai-Tee (congas and percussion) who were first a talent show band on campus and became very popular and started doing club dates in the area. Though they played many arrangements of cover tunes, their original material became the most requested. Soon Quiet Fire was opening act for such groups and musicians as Roy Ayers, Ramsey Lewis, Angela Bofile, Peabo Bryson, Lou Donaldson,Stanley Turrintine,Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon just to name a few.

During this time Philippe was also a music educator,teaching at Norfolk State University,(director of Jazz Studies),and taught classes in Jazz Theory, Melody and Improvisation, Progressive Harmony, Jazz History and Composition,and Arranging/Songwriting.  Fields was also Director, Compser-Arranger and Leader of the four performance groups at Norfolk State University.  Fields was Instructor of Saxophone and Director, Composer  Arranger of the Vocal  Jazz Ensemble at Hampton University.

Quiet Fire Music

Philippe Fields


VMSoul mourns the death of Philippe Fernand Fields.

Phillipe Fields
Philippe Fernand Fields, born April 27, 1949, in Paris, France, died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on Aug. 27, 2012. 

A renowned musician, Philippe founded the group Quiet Fire; and his knowledge and talent influenced numerous musicians, building a legacy that will long be remembered.

Bob Marshall


Bob Marshall & the Crystals
Bob Marshall & the Crystals at the Kecoughtan High School gym--1969.

Some call it Beach Music and some call it Northern Soul, but in the middle of it all are Bob Marshall & the Crystals.

Bob Marshall 45

"I'm Gonna Pay You Back"

"You Got Me Crying"

Willie O. Wilkins


Willie O.

Portsmouth based artist, Willie O. Wilkins, is a child of the Funk era.  His professional career kicked off with him writing jingles for K-94 radio in Moyock, NC, and Little Joe’s Auto in Chesapeake, VA.

Willie O next found himself over at Daniel Goldstone’s 8th Avenue Records to record and release his first 12” EP record, “Cosmic Ride.

Wilkins got involved in acting, appearing in TV series like Vanishing Son, starring Russell Wong, as well as doing commercials for, Barton Ford Lincoln Mercury, and Bank of Hampton Roads.  He has also appeared in videos, such as for Babbie Mason’s “God Has Another Plan.”

Meanwhile, Willie O has continued playing music, performing with various bands in the area (The Mardi Gras Band, Zymia, and Quest).

Combining the music and the movie and acting interests, Wilkins has written a book, Son of Shaft (Family or Fami-Lie), complete with accompanying song, “S.O.S. (Son Of Shaft)” on P-Town Records.

Son of Shaft



VMSoul is seeking information on the following groups and individuals who were a part of the area's history.  If you have pictures or info on these (and other)groups, please Contact Us.

  • Deltones
  • Soul Dream Team
  • Mellow Tones
  • Anglos
  • The Grooms
  • Rocking Cabanas --Bugs Winfield
  • Norman Sellers
  • Mackey Boy Robinson---The Barkays
  • The Relatives
  • Family Affair



Trussel - Love Injection
Newport News resident, Hannon "Decky" Lane, was a member of the Petersburg based group, Trussel.  The group was signed to Elektra Records which released the album, "Love Injection,". produced by Fred Wesley.

Trussel MySpace page