Michael Martin Murphey To Be Inducted In Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame
Iconic American Songwriter / Singer Michael Martin Murphey will be inducted into the Traditional Country Music Hall during the 37th Annual National Old Time Country Bluegrass and Folk Music Festival, (Aug. 27 - Sept. 2) at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, IA. (www.ntcma.net)
Murphey’s induction is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. Other artists to be inducted during the week-long festival will be Lynn Anderson, Ed Bruce, Charlie McCoy, Terry Smith, John Rex Reeves and Ted Vigil.
“This is quite an honor,” said Murphey. “I grew up listening and learning what we now call traditional country music. It was great then and it’s great now. I’m thrilled to be part of this.”
For the past four decades, Michael Martin Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American Music Landscape with such huge hits as “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “What’s Forever For,” “Long Line of Love,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ Round” and Cowboy Logic, among others.
The number one selling artist of American Cowboy Music, Murphey has been inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, Western Music Association Hall of Fame, Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame and the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.
Murphey’s continuing exploration of the similarities between Cowboy songs and Bluegrass music earned him a Grammy-nomination in 2009 with his Buckaroo Blue Grass. His most recent album in the buckaroo series is Tall Grass and Cool Water.
The festival features 10 stages and continues for seven days with more than 650 performers. “It’s a constant parade of the best old-time traditional class country, folk and bluegrass music you’re going to find anywhere else on planet earth,” said Festival Organizer Bob Everhart. “What we do consistently try to do is to keep it ‘country.’ By that we mean the old styles, the old traditions, the old culture, the ‘rural’ connotation, whatever got us to this point in time.”
Michael Martin Murphey To Perform
At Famed Bluebird Cafe on September 12
Michael Martin Murphey’s reputation as a songwriter began in Los Angeles when The Monkees released his “What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ Round” on their multi-platinum Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd (1967).
Murphey will make a rare appearance focusing on his songwriting at the famed Bluebird Cafe on Wednesday, September 12 (9:00 p.m.)
As a recording artist, Murphey has topped the Pop charts with hits “Wildfire” and “Carolina In The Pines,” the Country charts with hits like “What’s Forever For” and “Long Line of Love” and the Western charts with hits like “Cowboy Logic.” A recipient of six gold albums, Murphey’s 2009 Buckaroo Blue Grass earned a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album.
Always at the core of his music for these past four decades has been a stubborn determination to be the best songwriter he can be, a focus that has led to his songs being covered by such artists as Lyle Lovett, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton, The Monkees and more.
“I grew up in a storytelling culture where you sat on the front porch and told stories in the evening,” Murphey explains. “That’s why I became a writer and why I became interested in writing songs.”
According to BMI, Murphey has 5 million-performance songs (“Wildfire” - 3.9 million; “Cherokee Fiddle” - 1.92 million; “Carolina In The Pines” - 1.65 million; “Talkin’ To The Wrong Man” - 1.21 million; and “Still Takin’ Chances” - 1.2 million), and a total of 11 award-winning BMI songs (6 in Country and 5 in Pop). Also, according to BMI, repeat, back to back performances of his award winning songs alone, with each song averaging 3 minutes each, would amount to 64 years of continuous airplay.
When Murphey moved from LA to Austin in the early 1970s, his songs became a cornerstone of The Cosmic Cowboy Movement that included Jerry Jeff Walker & Gary P. Nunn, and which opened the door for Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings and The Outlaw Movement.
“He was one of the formative voices and most sophisticated songwriters of the progressive-country boom that defined the city’s music in that era,” observed John T. Davis of The Austin American Statesman. “Murphey originals such as ‘Geronimo’s Cadillac,’ ‘Alley’s of Austin’ and ‘Backslider’s Wine’ remain among the most graceful and accomplished tunes to come out of Austin’s turbulent country-rock scene.”
At the time, Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed, "Michael Murphey is the best new songwriter in the country." The first artist based in Austin to be signed to a major record label (Epic), Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American Music Landscape with such important albums as “Geronimo’s Cadillac”, “Swans Against The Sky” and “Blue Sky — Night Thunder.”
Moving his base to Nashville in the 1980s, Murphey continued topping the charts with a string of 10 hits before turning his attention to American Cowboy Music, anchoring Warner Brothers’ Warner Western Label, and releasing Cowboy Songs, Volume I, the first album of Cowboy Music to be certified gold by the RIAA since Marty Robbins’ 1959 Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.
“In the past two decades, no musical artist has done more to chronicle, preserve and further the cowboy culture than Michael Martin Murphey,” wrote David McGee for BluegrassSpecial.com. “(His music) overflows with life, enough for many of us. To saddle up with Murphey is to come in closer touch with enduring truths.”
Murphey continues to push his musical boundaries as he continues his exploration of the similarities between bluegrass music and American Cowboy Music. In addition to the Grammy nominated Buckaroo Blue Grass, Murphey has released Buckaroo Blue Grass II: Riding Song and the third in the trilogy — his most current release — Tall Grass & Cool Water.
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