Murphey, Michael Martin



Born in 1943 and raised in Dallas, Michael Martin Murphey had a love of cowboy stories from a young age. Murphey is a self-taught musician who initially made a name for himself as a songwriter (writing songs for many musicians, most notably The Monkees). He spent time in California in the 1960s and resides in Colorado but calls himself a "loyal son of Texas." He moved back to Texas in 1970, where he began releasing albums while helping to establish the roots of a "Texas music scene" (along with Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.) Murphey is perhaps best known for his 1975 album "Big Sky-Night Thunder," which featured the song "Wildfire." This was his first certified-gold album and inspired generations of musicians since.

For the last forty years, Murphey has been releasing immensely influential and popular albums, as well as touring all over North America. Particularly important to the Crossroads is Murphey's work in 1987, when he established a yearly cowboy and Western cultural festival called WestFest. Also in 1987, Murphey began performing The Cowboy Christmas Ball, an event that originated in Anson Texas. Due to his tireless efforts, this tradition has been introduced to thousands of people as he tours the nation, performing this concert every November and December. Murphey's work over the last twenty years has been focused upon promoting cowboy music and western culture, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame.

Overview of Collection:

The Michael Martin Murphey collection features thousands of photographs, many pertaining to West Fest. Also in this collection are extensive geneology records, other family documentation, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, promotional posters, and music recordings of various formats. Many of the manuscript materials have been scanned into digital files.

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