MUSIC: Legend of James Michael Murphy

Updated 6 years ago by David "Alligator" Williams
MUSIC: Legend of James Michael Murphy
“Will you cry for me when I’m gone?/ Will you party all night long?/ Will you drink from a bottle of ol’ cheap wine and think about this song?/ I bet you do, I bet you do”…those words musically drift out of local clubs and bars all over the Tri-State area.
 The legend of James Michael Murphy lives on.

Sadly, James Michael Murphy died in a fire May 29, 1995. His words and music are not known outside of the Tri-State area, but inside the region, they will live on forever. Bands and singers like Crisp and Davis, South of Heaven Band, Steel Horse Band, Kenny Joe Johnson and Kentucky Rain, Phillip Dain Powell, Larry Pancake, Alligator Jackson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bobby Cyrus, and many other local bands have performed and recorded his music.

His songs were truly a gift to the Tri-State that local music fans will treasure forever. Sadly, the only song he wrote that has received national attention was “Never Thought I’d Fall In Love With You.” Billy Ray Cyrus recorded and released the song on his debut cd “Some Gave All” which sold over 13 million copies. Billy has guested on his cousin Bobby Cyrus’s new version of Murphy’s song “The Milk Man’s Eyes”, (a new single getting airplay across the country)

But for now, The Huntington and Ashland area has musical treasures that can only be found in this area. Songs like “Ol’ Cheap Wine”, “Broken Man”, and “Appalachian Lady” will keep the legend of James Michael Murphy alive forever.

During his music career, his band, Zachariah, opened for Exile, Three Dog Night, Stepenwolf, Iron Butterfly, and Chuck Berry.

So next time you are out on the town in Huntington and you are hearing a local band, and you hear the following words begin a song “ It's hurtin' to say what I'm feeling/ It's tearin' me apart /I know when I tell you what's deep inside /It's gonna break your heart”: open and an ice cold beer and think about The Legend of James Michael Murphy and realize that you are enjoying a true gift that many music fans will never have the prviledge of hearing.
Here is a video of James Michael Murphy and Zachariah performing “Ol’ Cheap Wine”

Here are links to other artists performing his songs:
“Ol’ Cheap Wine” by Crisp and Davis
“Appalachian Lady” by Larry Pancake
“Broken Man” by Philip Dain Powell
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