floyd murphy sr. tribute
Floyd Murphy Sr
As a young guitar player on the Memphis music scene in the early 1950s he became what is known as one of The Beale Streeters, Murphy recorded classic sides with singer/harmonica player Junior Parker and The Blue Flames for Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Floyd's tricky guitar playing on Feelin' Good seems to actually sound like two guitar players. Mystery Train also recorded at these sessions, was covered by Elvis Presley and became one of Elvis' most popular recordings of the 1950s. Murphy's boogie style guitar work on Feelin' Good, influenced Blues guitarists Freddie King, Magic Sam, Big Jack Johnson, and many others "guitar boogie" styles. In video footage from 1972 at the Suger Bowl, the legendary Freddie King performed his boogie guitar tune Blues Band Shuffle, quoting Murphy's Feelin Good guitar riffs throughout. Jack Wolworth recalls, "Murph always played his own personal style, as heard on those classic Junior Parker records on Sun. He did point out to me that the first time he heard the song Feelin' Good, was he remembered a guy where he lived as a kid, who would ride around on horseback singing and playing a guitar and singing that song. He said the guys name was Lindsey Boga (He pronounced it “Bogay”). Murph played a great boogie guitar style on that record, and while he was teaching me how he played that groove, I asked if he would play it again on our upcoming recording session for my song Breakfast Tune. He agreed and we recorded most of our In The Red CD down at Sun Studio in Memphis a few weeks later. I think In The Red showcases Floyd's guitar stylings more than any other record".
Murphy moved to Chicago in 1956, and after a couple of years in the Armed Forces, relocated to Cairo, Illinois, working with many of Cairo's fine R&B musicians which included Eddie Snow and the Snowflakes, as well as playing freelance dates in the Chicagoland area.
In the early 60s, Murphy recorded the VeeJay Records release of Birdlegs and Pauline's tune Spring which rose to number 18 on the R&B charts. For the next 30 years Murphy continually performed throughout the midwest, often with Eddie Snow or Major Henry Hamberlin.
In 1990 Floyd collaborated with his brother Matt "Guitar" Murphy on the CD Way Down South for Antoine's Records in Austin Texas. Floyd Murphy recorded and toured with Geneva Red & The Roadsters from 1998 to 2002. Sadly he suffered a debilitating stroke during the 2002 Super Bowl, just a few months after brother Matt "Guitar" Murphy suffered from a stroke also. Murphy's home in the last decades of his life was in Rockford IL. He passed away March 27, 2014.
JUNIOR PARKER AND THE BLUE FLAMESMemphis, TN June 18, 1953Junior Parker (vcl); Floyd Murphy (gtr); William Johnson (pno); poss. Kenneth Banks (bs); John Bowers (dms); James Wheeler (sax).
78 RPM - Feelin' Good b/w Fussin' and Fightin' Sun Records #187
RUFUS THOMASMemphis, TN June 30, 1953Rufus Thomas (vcl); James Wheeler (sax); William Johnson (pno); Floyd Murphy (gtr); Kenneth Banks (bs); Houston Stokes (dms).
78 RPM - Tiger Man b/w Save That Money Sun Records #188
JUNIOR PARKER AND THE BLUE FLAMESMemphis, TN September/October 1953Junior Parker (vcl); Floyd Murphy (gtr); William Johnson (pno); poss. Kenneth Banks (bs); John Bowers (dms).
78 RPM - Mystery Train b/w Love My BabySun Records #192 - Feelin' Bad (unissued at the time) Sun Records EDDIE SNOWMemphis, TN July 19, 1955Eddie Snow (vcl/pno); Benny Moore (sax); Eddie Davis (sax); Floyd Murphy (gtr); Jeff Greyer (dms).
78 RPM - Bring Your Love Back Home to Me Sun Records #226 - Ain't That Right (unissued at the time) Sun Records BIRDLEGS AND PAULINEWisconsin, September 23, 1964Sidney Banks; Floyd Murphy (gtr); Fred Below (dms); Freddy Patton (org); Billy Duncans (sax); Frank Perry (bs); Julian Beasley (sax); Theotis Morgan (dms); Al Hamilton (gtr); Johnny Elam (org); Hudson (trpt).
LP - Birdlegs Cuca Records #K4000 BIRDLEGS AND PAULINE45 RPM - SpringVeeJay Records MATT "GUITAR" MURPHYAustin, Texas 1990Matt Murphy (gtr & vcl); Floyd Murphy (gtr); Tony Coleman (drm); Russell Jackson (bs); Derek O'Brian (gtr); Chester King (hrmca); Mel Brown (pno); Eugene Carrier (pno & org); Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff (sax); Angela Strehli and Donna Pearl (bkgd vcls).
CD - Way Down SouthAntones Records/Discovery #74205 GENEVA RED & THE ROADSTERSMemphis, TN and Chicago, IL 2000Geneva Red (harmonica/vocals); Floyd Murphy (gtr); Jackie 5 & Dime (gtr); Mark Sorlie (bs); Sam Carr (drms) and Earl Howell (drms).
CD - In The Red Full Cyrkle Records #FC333