Michael Martin Murphey is an American singer-songwriter….who is best known for writing and performing western music, country music and popular music…..as a multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has six gold albums….which included Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins in 1959…..whereas he has recorded the hit singles “Wildfire”, “Carolina in the Pines”, “What’s Forever For”, “A Long Line of Love”, “What She Wants”, “Don’t Count the Rainy Days” and “Maybe This Time”…..plus, Murphey is also the author of New Mexico’s state ballad, “The Land of Enchantment”…..and has become a prominent musical voice for the Western horseman, rancher and cowboy.
In 1971, Murphey returned to Texas and became part of the so-called Outlaw country movement….while playing alongside other maverick performers such as Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Waylon Jennings et al….while creating a unique sound that combined his country, rock and folk influences. It was during this period that Murphey co-wrote “Geronimo’s Cadillac” with the lyricist Charles John Quarto….which is a song about Native American rights that later became an unofficial anthem for the American Indian Movement in the early 1970’s.
Michael Martin Murphey was signed to A&M Records in 1971 by Bob Johnston ….who discovered him in a Dallas club, the Rubiayat…..as Johnston had produced some of the country’s most popular recording artists including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Simon and Garfunkel….so, in 1972, Johnston produced Murphey’s first album Geronimo’s Cadillac in Nashville, Tennessee. The sound of the album reflects Murphey’s love of country, folk and blues music….along with Murphey’s early gospel influences….which are also evident throughout the album. The title track was released as a single…..and reached the Top 40 on the US pop charts. In addition to the title track, the album included “Boy from the Country”, “What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ Around?” and “Michael Angelo’s Blues”….when Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed, “On the strength of his first album alone, Michael Murphey is the best new songwriter in the country.” ….when in 1973, he followed up with the album Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir….which continued the urban cowboy theme of the first album. The album included “Cosmic Cowboy, Pt. 1”, “Alleys of Austin” and “Rolling Hills”.
Throughout this period, Murphey’s band included Bob Livingston and Gary P. Nunn, the author of “London Homesick Blues”…..which he performed on a number of occasions at the famous Armadillo World Headquarters located in downtown Austin, Texas….as his photo was even used for the original cover of Jan Reid’s book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock…..but Michael Murphey’s musical vision was expanding beyond the confines of the outlaw country sound and moving toward a much more ambitious musical tapestry.
As seen in this video herewith….Michael Martin Murphey and The Great American Honky Tonk Band performs a song written for the cowgirls in West Texas with “Hard Partying Country Darling”….as a song that evolved from his time spent in Midland, Texas …..where our Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile was raised….so this “nugget of gold” is very special in our treasure chest of vintage memories here at ImaSportsphile.