Michael Martin Murphey to headline next Yellow City Sounds concert

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Michael Martin Murphey will perform Aug. 5 for YCSL.

Western music legend Michael Martin Murphey will headline the next Yellow City Sounds Live concert in the Panhandle PBS studio.

The intimate concert — a joint production of Panhandle PBS and Amarillo College's FM90 — is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 5 in the Panhandle PBS studio, 2408 S. Jackson St.

Murphey will look back on his storied career as one of America's greatest songwriters in celebration of his latest album, Austinology: Alleys of Austin, a retrospective of the era that turned Austin into one of the music capitals of the world.

The concert is part of Panhandle PBS and FM90’s promotion of Country Music, the new eight-part series from Ken Burns premiering at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 on Panhandle PBS. Visit panhandlePBS.org/countrymusic  for more on the series and other local engagement initiatives.

Admission is $15. Space is limited, and tickets are required.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Empty seats will be released by 6:50 p.m. and given to someone on the waiting list. The show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live and filmed for later broadcast, so late arrivals inside the main studio are not allowed.

Those who can’t attend the concert can listen on Amarillo College’s FM90 (89.9 FM) or online (kacvfm.org) or watch a livestream on Panhandle PBS’s Facebook page (facebook.com/panhandlepbs).

Support for this concert is provided by the Gilliland Family Foundation, Reed Beverage and the Starlight Ranch Event Center.

Now 50 years after he began pioneering the Texas music scene and laid the foundation for what we now call Americana music, Murphey has released Austinology: Alleys of Austin.

Murphey has traveled extensively and engaged in ranching throughout the West, but remained a Texas resident through it all, even as he topped the International and National Pop, Country, Bluegrass and Western music charts with such huge crossover hits as “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “What’s Forever For,” “Long Line of Love,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac” and “Cowboy Logic.”

Through all the chart-jumping and genre busting, Murphey has remained constant to an honest, sincere approach to his songwriting. He is no more country than rock, no more bluegrass than classical, no more folk than jazz. He is, rather, a true American songwriter. His stubborn determination to be the best songwriter possible has led to his songs being covered by such artists as Lyle Lovett, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton, Cher, Manfred Mann, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, and more.

Murphey came of age in the local Southwestern folk music scene, starting with a Bohemian club called the Rubiyat in Dallas and other acoustic venues in Austin, Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Denver. After briefly attending the University of North Texas (which had its own thriving music school), Murphey transferred to UCLA and worked his way through college as a singer / songwriter while excelling as a student of poetry, songwriter and performer. 

But a growing family and the pull of his Texas Cowboy roots brought him back to Austin in 1968 – where he began a new musical movement with the help of Rod Kennedy (founder of Kerrville Folk Festival), Segle Fry (club manager and folksinger) and UT ethnomusicologist Roger Abrams. In May 2018, the Country Music Hall of Fame honored Murphey’s contribution as a founding member of  the Austin music scene as part of their three year Outlaws and Armadillos exhibit. He’s come full circle to his Cowboy roots, having recently been given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Major support for Country Music was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and Bank of America.

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