British born Murphy moved to Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada with his mother when he was six and over time taught himself how to play guitar. He relocated later to Salt Spring Island on the West Coast and at the age of 17 was playing gigs between Los Angeles -- living on Manhattan Beach and playing coffeehouses -- and New York.
He formed a duo with Jack Klaeysen back in Wallaceburg (while working a day job dredging the St. Lawrence Seaway). After hearing the Beatles, they knew they had to go to England. The bought one-way tickets on a ship from New York and arrived in Liverpool on February 14, 1965. They were bunked in steerage on board the ship and began playing for the other passengers. They met the brother of agent Joe Collins (father of actress Joan Collins) and he invited them to meet in London at his talent agency offices. Murphy didn't believe him, and the duo continued on to Liverpool
The British Invasion had already blown through the town and so gigs and audiences were sparse. They eventually met Gerry & The Pacemakers who told them to head to London where the music scene was thriving.
They began playing at the New Oxford Theatre opening for The Ivy Leagues, The Pretty Things, The Byrds, Martha and the Vandellas, and within four months had a record deal brokered by the agent they'd met on the ship - Joe Collins - on Petula Clark producer Tony Hatch's Pye Records.
Eventually, they renamed themselves the Slade Brothers and released four singles on Pye including the Roger Greenway/Roger Cook song called "What a Crazy Life" which became a hit in early 1966 with airplay on European station Radio Luxembourg. The act would do opening gigs around the UK for The Walker Brothers, The Kinks, The Troggs, The Byrds and others.
In 1965 Murphy and Klaeyson signed his first publishing deal with Mills Music (later known as Belwin Mills) in England after which his first hit song was "Call My Name" by James Royal in 1966. The same year Murphy started producing records for Parlophone, Decca, CBS, Fontana, Phillips, and Carnaby where he would also write hit singles for Billy Fury ("Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt"), and The Casuals ("Touched").
Murphy formed Harper and Rowe in 1967 (he was Harper) who put out several singles and a full-length LP in 1968.
At the end of the Israeli War in 1968 a touring Hebrew act called The High Windows had Murphy translate their songs into English to try and find success in the UK and Europe. After the departure of one of the band members, he joined the act under the name Raffi Murphy.
Murphy's next move was to head to New York as Director of Production for Belwin/Mills Publishing, where he produced demos for Broadway musicals such as 'Pippin' and 'The Magic Show'. He also started two successful record labels - Double M Records (distributed by London Records), and a dance label - Hard Core Records (distributed by GRT Records).
Among the many dozens of acts he produced during that time were Magnificent Men, Chris Bartley, The Alibis, Sea Dog, Mashmakhan, Rock Garden, Studebaker Hawk, New City Jam Band, Shooter and April Wine who Murphy produced two gold albums for. Under his Double M Records he released a number of solo singles and had a successful run with a country song called "Genevieve" as well as a pop act under the pseudonym Roadhouse - which featured some of New York's finest session players including Tony Levin (bass), Jimmy Young (drums) and Elliott Randall fresh off recording his iconic solo on Steely Dan's "Reeling In The Years". Roadhouse would have a Canadian hit with the song "Good Times (and Loving You)".
Having a country hit in 1972 by Jeanie C. Riley "Good Enough To Be Your Wife" under his belt, Ralph went to Nashville to pick up his award and eventually moved there in 1976 after producing Walter Zwol's band Brutus for GRT Records. He often flew back to Canada to continue producing acts including both Shooter albums.
With partner Roger Cook - who he'd met the day the Guardsmen had auditioned for Pye Records back in England - he formed the Picalic Group & Pic-A-Lic Music Publishing and has had more than twenty number one records including hits by Mickey Gilley, Travis Tritt, Shania Twain, Ray Price and the 'Song of The Year' award winning song "Talking In Your Sleep" by Crystal Gayle. Pic-A-Lic became one of the most successful independent publishers in Nashville and was eventually sold to EMI.
Murphy started a new company Kersha Music with Richard Perna of Hamstein Music and then in 1994 joined ASCAP as part of Connie Bradley's Nashville staff.
He is a past president of NSAI and past president of The Nashville Chapter of NARAS and currently serves on the board for Canadian Country Music Association. He now resides as ASCAP Vice President International & Domestic, Membership Group and works on many committees and teaches seminars held throughout North America .
|9230-1062||Ralph Murphy||Star Born Every Minute (LP)||GRT||9230-1062||Canada||1976||Sell This Version|
Singles & EPs
|F R 13430||Ralph Murphy||Sing Me One (7", Single)||Decca||F R 13430||UK||1973||Sell This Version|
|155||Ralph Murphy||Sing Me One (7", Single)||Big Tree Records||155||US||1973||Sell This Version|
|BDN 38049||Ralph Murphy||Star Born Every Minute (7", Single)||Baal, Pye Records||BDN 38049||UK||1977||Sell This Version|