Where Are they Now: Michael Martin Murphey
I will never forget when I first heard “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphey. It was the summer of 1975, and I was playing out in front of my Grandmother’s house in Connecticut. The first strains of the piano started and I stopped cold. By the end of the song, I had tears in my eyes. Wow!
That wasn’t, however, the start of Murphey’s career. in the late 60′s, he established himself as a songwriter with the likes of Flatt & Scruggs, Bobbie Gentry and Kenny Roger recording his songs. Hid friend and now Monkees band member also had him write a song for the Monkees. “What Am I Doin’ Hangin Round” became a modest hit for the band.
In 1971, Michael Martin Murphy released his debut album, “Geronimo’s Cadillac”. Though it wasn’t a huge success, Rolling StoneMagazine dubbed him the best new songwriter in the country.
In 1975, Murphey recalled the legend of a ghost horse that his Grandfather had told him years earlier and then had a dream about it. the next day, “Wildfire” was born. it became a number one hit. Carolina In The Pines also rose up the charts quickly that year.
In the 80′s, Murphey wasa mainstay on the charts with “Still Taking Chances”, “don’t Count The Rainy Days” and “What’s Forever For.” In the 90′s, he left mainstream Coutnry for his true passion, Western Music. He ended up writing New Mexico’s state ballad “The Land of Enchantment.”
Michael Martin Murphey was the ignitor for the resurrgence of the Cowboy music genre, which is very popular today. Murphey has received five awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
And, yes, Murphey continues to record and play select concert dates, mixing Country, Cowboy and Bluegrass genres into his shows.
For more about Michael Martin Murphey, visit him here.
In 2007, Michael Martin Murphey made a rare TV appearance and on David Letterman sang “Wildfire.” OMG……chills! Enjoy.
Now, there’s no music video for many his songs, but this is a favorite.