Johnny Burke and Ralph Murphy will be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame this September. The inductions will take place during Country Music Week in Saskatoon, Sask., from Sept. 6-9, 2012. Their inductions will be commemorated with plaques displayed at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, located in Merritt, B.C.
Burke: from the Horseshoe Tavern to the hall of fame
Burke’s first professional group was the Blue Valley Boys, followed by a four-year stretch at the Horseshoe Tavern backing visiting stars such as Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and Bobby Bare, to name a few.
CTV launched the Country Music Hall, a half-hour weekly show for country and western music, in 1964. Burke was invited to play bass with the show’s band, the Maple River Boys. In 1966, Burke recorded his first single for Columbia Records, called “Loving You.” The next year he formed the Caribou Show Band for the TV program At the Caribou. In 1972, the Caribou Show Band eventually changed its name to Eastwind, and they became regulars on the syndicated TV show Opry North. The band released several albums and became the house band on CTV’s The Funny Farm.
Burke has released 14 albums and is a four-time Big Country Award winner. He’s had hits with songs like “Wild Honey” and “Judge My Soul Again.” In 2005, Burke was inducted into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame. Burke now makes his home in Haliburton, Ont., where he actively performs.
When informed of the announcement, Burke had this to say to the Canadian Country Music Association: “What a tremendous honour this is to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. I am truly thankful and would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Canadian Country Music Association for this honour; this is something I will never forget. Playing country music has always been an important part of my life and I have loved every minute of it.”
Murphy: proud Canadian living in Nashville
Fellow inductee Ralph Murphy was born in England and raised in Canada. Murphy was 11 when he formed his first band, and started playing in bars a couple years later. In 1964, he heard the Beatles and decided to travel back to England. While Murphy had some success as an artist, it was his songwriting and producing skills that would earn him his notoriety.
In 1965, Murphy had his first number one hit, producing and writing the song “Call My Name” by James Royal. Murphy went on to produce many hits in England, but returned to Canada in 1969 to produce Canadian rock band April Wine.
In 1971, Murphy had his first country hit with Jeannie C. Riley’s “Good Enough To Be Your Wife.” Murphy went to Nashville to collect his first ASCAP Country Award, and he enjoyed the city so much that he set up shop there. Together with his friend Roger Cook, Murphy started a publishing/production company. In their first year, Murphy and Cook won song of the year for “Talking in Your Sleep” by Crystal Gayle.
Murphy and Cook had five number one hits with Gayle, and three with Don Williams. Murphy’s songs have been recorded by artists like Randy Travis, Shania Twain, Ronnie Milsap, Mickey Gilley and many more.
Murphy is the only Canadian to have been president of the Nashville Songwriters Association, president of the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy (NARAS) and a National Trustee of NARAS. Murphy has served on the Canadian Country Music Association board, and been honoured by the Country Music Association for his services to country music worldwide.
Murphy has recently gained fame as an author. His Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting: The Book has become a bestseller with songwriting and academic organizations around the world.
“I am so honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in the Industry Builder category,” said Murphy of his induction. “To be able to work with such amazing people throughout my career I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the industry. This is something I am very proud of and would also like to congratulate my fellow inductee Johnny Burke for his Artist induction.”
on Jun 20, 2012