The First (and Last) “Official” Philby Request for 2021 Submissions!!!


The Philby Award

These notices just keep getting later and later.

In a year where the Philby Awards were pushed back because I wasn’t allowed to broadcast a show until the end of March, the Top 20 Albums weren’t revealed until the middle of June.

Since I like to make sure that proper acknowledgment is given to all winners, the last Official notice happened around the first week of October.

I feel it would be a faux pas to officially request submissions until that process is complete.

My spirits were buoyed when shortly after that last post, a memory showed up in Facebook to show me that I had made this post as late as late October.

I would have been fine with that had I posted the post I’m now putting together.

However, I never finished it.

The main reason for the delay is the reason that has affected everything for almost the past two years: the pandemic.

Everything just takes longer these days no matter what it is.

Whereas what I thought was a fairly consistent process, changed immediately last March.

I’m still playing catch up.


I have decided to embrace the slowness!

I frequently mention that I’m not really into time, and I consider it even less at the moment.

Trying to be proactive, I started my list at the beginning of the year. That’s not very unusual for me because I work on my lists almost every day. I find that makes it “easier.”

Applying a new approach, I even tentatively filled in all one hundred slots (even at that time I had more than a hundred choices!) and included anticipated releases from former Philby winners.

Of course, at the time I did it, I wasn’t even broadcasting and not quite sure how many albums might be released.

I thought the process would make me more focused in a structured format while I was still working on last year’s Philbys.

I found out I really didn’t like a rigid approach to listening to music.

It wasn’t as much fun.

I prefer the serendipity of discovering new music–even if many of those same artists happen to reappear on the final list.

I ended up removing almost all of the albums except for ones that I knew inside and out.

That’s what’s important to me: really delving deeply into an artistic release!

Anyway, that’s pretty much the backstory for the launch of this year’s Philbys, which are tentatively scheduled to begin on December 15th. (Only one month???!!!)

Because I’m not into strict timeframes, I’m looking for albums (or singles if they are truly stand alone singles) from the years 2018-2021.

Although most slots are probably already filled on my Hot Songs list because it is based strictly on my weekly Faves lists, there are still a few weeks to catch my attention with a snappy song.

And even though the Philbys start in a month, my Best Albums list probably won’t start to be revealed until February.  Therefore, there’s actually still plenty of time to possibly captivate me to make the list!

In addition, I intend to consciously work even more slowly and methodically than usual. The world is still somewhat unpredictable, and I want to include weekly shows being susceptible for rescheduling under that umbrella because of inclement weather.

My usual attachment concrning submissions–which I don’t intend to update for now, does mention that last minute additions will be more difficult to grab my attention, but it happens every year, and I see no reason why this year should be any different.

Once again, I am looking for music releases from the years 2018-2021.

However, as I’ve stated many times over the years and will continue to do so, the main requirement is quality music no matter what year it is!

The 2020 Best Album Philbys contained music from as far back as 1970, so who knows what I might find “brilliant!”

Good luck to all who submit recordings!!!


Here’s a section on submissions:

I am accepting entries for Philby consideration!

The album selections are made from a sliding four year pool of music.

The pool for 2021 is 2018-2021.

One of the reasons that I use a multiple year submission scale is that just getting music out to the world is sometimes difficult for an artist.

A lot of them are not really wired for self promotion.

Making music is totally different than drumming up interest in it, especially for independent musicians.

Yes, there are promoters that can help with that. And nothing against promoters because they have a role to play. But they cost money, and the artist already had to pay to record the music, and may not be prepared for the process of promoting it.

After looking at how some other independent awards are handled, I figured a four year window allows me enough time to serendipitously run across someone’s music.

I have told this story several times, but I try very hard to listen to everything that is submitted.

Although I work on my list, starting literally on January 1st, using a four year sliding window, I carry over some of what would qualify from the prior years.

So, if you’ve made some music dating back as far as 2018, I will accept that music for consideration.

If you have something older than 2018, send that, too, but identify the release date. I’m always looking for GREAT music.

For the Philbys, I’m looking for full albums.

However, if you only have a single, I’ll accept that, too. Don’t forget that I also have a Philby Hot Songs list, and more artists are releasing singles these days.

But please don’t send me an incomplete album if you have one.

So, please don’t edit for me.

I dislike that and I might not even check out the item. I don’t know why anyone would only send selected songs instead of their whole work of art for consideration.

Please don’t send me links to listen to music. That’s not how I listen to music.  And I probably won’t listen to it if you send me a link to stream it. Either send me the album to download or request my mailing address to send a physical copy.

Every year I say that if your item came out later than May, it may not end up on this year’s list. So it’s possible that submissions entered now may only be considered for 2021. (It sounds so good to think of 2020 being finished!)

However, this year will be totally different than other years. I have not received any where near the amount of releases that I normally do.

It might be an excellent year to send a submission.

I will accept any genre of music. I like a variety of styles, even on the same album!

So, please e-mail your mp3s, and please make sure it is an mp3 only, to

If you want a physical address or have other questions, please e-mail me at the same address. Because selections will be considered for more than a single year, there isn’t an expiration date at the present.

If you want someone who will actually listen to your music, I am that person.

If you want some recognition for working hard and baring your soul, that might be me, too. I can’t make any promises, but I will listen to your music.

If you are reading this and are not a musician but know someone who is, please forward this to them.

Good luck to all who participate!

My weekly radio show “Theme Attic,” can be heard Wednesdays, 1PM-4PM ET!

The show can be heard on WHFR 89.3 FM in the Dearborn-Detroit area of Michigan, or it can be streamed with this link:!

It almost always includes a weekly countdown of my favorite albums or songs  and some shows feature two countdowns!

There’s plenty of other musical things to browse on my website!

Here’s the link to the complete history of all the Fave Albums:!

Here’s a link for the complete history of all the Fave Songs:!

Another list that you might find interesting is my list for “The Most Awesomest Songs of the Day”:!

If you’d like to know what I think are even better than the awesome songs, have a look at “The Greatest Songs Ever Recorded”:! Occasionally, an “awesome song” crosses over to become a “Greatest Song!”

My somewhat unusual Hall of Fame can be explored here:!

Lastly, but most importantly, is my Philby Awards link! A Philby is my annual award for outstanding musical achievement!!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#Philby #Philbys








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