NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) Ralph Murphy, 75, influential songwriter, record producer and inductee of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, died in Nashville today, May 28.
Murphy began his career as a folksinger in Wallaceburg, Ontario, in the early 1960s and produced April Wine’s platinum-selling albums in the 1970s while working in New York. He wrote or co-wrote several country music hits that earned him Gold Record status and Murphy eventually moved to Nashville in 1976. Since then, he has received the Special Achievement Awards by the Canadian Music Associaton and SOCAN for his contributions to Canadian music.
He toured North America and England, achieving initial success in Europe as a songwriter with acts like Billy Fury, Vanity Fair, and James Royal. As a composer, he achieved major success with Gayle’s “Half The Way.”
“I am so saddened that we have lost our wonderful friend, Ralph Murphy,” Gayle told CelebrityAccess. “Ralph was a great songwriter and a fun, warm-hearted person. I was very fortunate to have met him early in my life and to have shared the success of his song Half the Way. Ralph definitely stood above the crowd.”
Gayle and her husband had recently attended Murphy’s 75th birthday party.
In Nashville, alongside Roger Cook, Murphy established Picalic Inc., which represented Roger Cook Music, Cookhouse Music, Murfee-zongs, Chriswood Music and Mother Tongue Music. Picalic had 10 Top 100 singles including “Too Many Lovers” by Crystal Gayle and it received the BMI Burton Award for Gayle’s “Talkin’ In Your Sleep,” BMI’s most performed song of 1979. He is also the author of Murphy’s Laws Of Songwriting.
Murphy also served as vice-president of ASCAP and taught songwriting around the world.