SAN MARCOS – Michael Martin Murphey, “America’s Singing Cowboy,” rides into town Oct. 24 performing his acclaimed Sagebrush Symphony at Texas State University-San Marcos.
Murphey will perform accompanied by the Texas State Symphony Orchestra, directed by Howard Hudiburg. The show will begin at 8 p.m. in Evans Auditorium and is presented by the University Performing Arts Committee, with Frost Bank as corporate sponsor. The Center for Texas Music History will also host a pre-performance fundraiser dinner in conjunction with the show.
Michael, a native of Dallas now divides his time between Texas, New Mexico and Wisconsin, Murphey is the best-selling singer of American Cowboy music today, as well as one of the best-selling, award-winning winning artists in pop and country music. His legendary song “Wildfire,” a monster crossover hit from 1975, is one of the most played songs in the history of radio. He is also an actor, film producer, director, environmental award-winning rancher, writer and seminar teacher in American studies and music.
While attending U.C.L.A. in the late ’60s, he became one of the instigators of the Alternative Country and Western scene in Southern California. His friends in the same music scene included John McEuen and Jeff Hannah of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Don Henley of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, and many others. Returning to Texas, he helped spark the Austin music scene, inspiring Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker to move there. His first album, Geronimo’s Cadillac was recognized by Rolling Stone as a classic when Chet Flippo pronounced him "the best new singer-songwriter in America.”
Self-taught in music, Murphey currently serves as an adjunct professor of music and American studies at Utah State University, where he consults with the faculty and teaches workshops and seminars. He specializes in teaching songwriting from an historical and cultural perspective.
Murphey is a five-time award winner in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, taking home the award for Best Album (Cowboy Songs Vol. 4) and Best Song (Summer Rangers, from Cowboy Songs Vol. 4) in 1999 from the Academy of Western Artists. He also founded Westfest, a festival celebrating cowboys, Indians, country and western music, rodeo, western art and the world of the American west.
For advance ticket information, call (512) 245-2204. The Evans Box Office will open at 5 p.m. the night of the performance, with all seats reserved. Ticket prices are $10 for the general public and $5 for students.