A man who was known throughout the world of both rock and country music for handcrafting legendary songs has sadly passed away. The English-born Canadian first got his start on the streets of Liverpool but later chartered a songwriting career with surprise country hits, incredible success, and great recognition.
Today we mourn the passing & celebrate the life of our colleague @RalphMurphy – songwriter, performer, publisher, producer, author & music creator advocate. Rest in Peace, Ralph. Your legacy lives on at ASCAP & in the hearts of the millions of people whose lives you touched. pic.twitter.com/LTMxAKRp2H
— ASCAP (@ASCAP) May 29, 2019
Ralph Murphy passed away on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 after battling an unspecified illness.
His songwriting was recognized through hits from Jeannie C. Riley, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, and others – but it was how he got into country music that really took him by surprise.
“I accidentally had a country hit – I was drawing on my roots – and I had a huge No. 2 hit with Jeannie C. Riley called ‘Good Enough to Be Your Wife,’” he recalled according to Variety. “I won an ASCAP Award for it in 1972, and flew down to Nashville because I had never been. I fell in love with the town. I was just having children and the kids were getting mugged in the playground [in early-1970s New York City]. Everyone and everything said, ‘Go to Nashville.’”
Later, he had hits other folks and even Randy Travis, Shania Twain, Don Williams, and Lynn Anderson cut a few of his songs.
Ralph Murphy, influential songwriter, record producer and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, has died. He wrote or co-wrote several country music hits that earned him Gold Record status & received the Special Achievement Awards by the Canadian Music Association and SOCAN. pic.twitter.com/E72v6A41j7
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) May 29, 2019
In recent years, he was most active in the Nashville songwriting community, but he battled quite a few health problems. It was after a visit to Toronto this year that he contracted pneumonia and that eventually lead to his death.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Truly, the world of country music is a darker place without him.