Joaquin Murphey

Earl James "Joaquin" Murphey (often spelled "Murphy", 30 December 1923 in Hollywood, California – 25 October 1999) was an American lap steel guitarist. Nicknamed "Joaquin" by bandleader Spade Cooley to refer to the San Joaquin Valley, Murphey was the cutting edge lap steel guitarist of his time due to his clean legato playing and "innovative" chordal style. He was discovered by Cooley in 1943 and was a member of Cooley's organization on and off for the next decade. He also worked with Tex Williams and the Western Caravan, a band formed in 1946 by Cooley's former vocalist and a number of his musicians. Murphey also recorded with the western band Andy Parker and the Plainsmen. Music historian Andy Volk described Murphey as "a jazz musician disguised as a cowboy".: 102 

He had a long-lasting friendship with inventor and guitar hardware manufacturer Paul Bigsby, who custom-built at least three lap-steels for him (a standard, a double neck and even a three neck model).

Murphey also recorded with various West Coast western swing and honky-tonk acts (Jimmie Widener, Johnny Bond, Smokey Rogers and many more) but seldom recorded on his behalf.

In 1980, he was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame

His contemporaries included Herb Remington, Leon McAuliffe, Noel Boggs and Speedy West.

Many illustrious steel guitarists such as West and Buddy Emmons claimed Murphey as their main influence and mentor. : 102 

  • 1947 steel guitar custom-built by Paul Bigsby

Birth and Death Data: Born December 30, 1923, Died October 25, 1999

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1944 - 1951

Roles Represented in DAHR: electric steel guitar, steel guitar, composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 47 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor E1VB-0679 10-in. 7/12/1951 Catch 'em young, treat 'em rough, tell 'em nothin' California Cowhands ; Hank Penny Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor E1VB-0681 10-in. 7/12/1951 I like molasses California Cowhands ; Hank Penny Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2150 10-in. 12/3/1947 That Miss from Mississippi Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2151 10-in. 12/3/1947 I met a miss in Texas Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2152 10-in. 12/3/1947 I'm a-rollin' Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2153 10-in. 12/3/1947 I'm gonna gallop, gallop, gallop to Gallup, New Mexico Billy Hill Orchestra ; Billy Hill ; Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2154 10-in. 12/3/1947 The kid with the rip in his pants Billy Hill Orchestra ; Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2155 10-in. 12/4/1947 Betsy Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2156 10-in. 12/4/1947 With a sweep of my sombrero Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2157 10-in. 12/4/1947 Old fashioned cowboy Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2158 10-in. 12/4/1947 Dusty Roy Rogers Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2176 10-in. 12/10/1947 Who cares, who cares? Dave Denney Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2180 10-in. 12/11/1947 If that's the way you want it (that's the way it's gonna be) Dave Denney Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2181 10-in. 12/11/1947 Everyone has someone but me Dave Denney Male vocal solo, with string band instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D7VB-2730 10-in. 12/22/1947 Sentimental, worried and blue Sons of the Pioneers Male vocal group, with instrumental ensemble instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D9VB-2606 10-in. 12/14/1949 Let's go west again Ken Curtis ; Sons of the Pioneers Male vocal solo, with string band and vocal chorus instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D9VB-2608 10-in. 12/14/1949 Love at the country fair Dale Evans ; Lloyd Perryman ; Sons of the Pioneers Female-male vocal duet, with string band, and vocal chorus instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Victor D9VB-2609 10-in. 12/14/1949 Wedding dolls (from your wedding cake) Ken Curtis ; Sons of the Pioneers Male vocal solo, with string band and vocal chorus instrumentalist, steel guitar  
Columbia H1157 10-in. 12/4/1944 Forgive me one more time Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia H1158 10-in. 12/4/1944 Shame on you Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia H1159 10-in. 12/4/1944 I guess I've been dreaming again Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia H1160 10-in. 12/4/1944 I've taken all I'm gonna take from you Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia H1161 10-in. 12/4/1944 A pair of broken hearts Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia HCO1488 10-in. 7/24/1945 You can't break my heart Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
Columbia HCO1638 10-in. 1/3/1946 Detour Spade Cooley and his Orchestra String band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, electric steel guitar  
(Results 1-25 of 47 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Murphey, Joaquin," accessed April 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/358037.

Murphey, Joaquin. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/358037.

"Murphey, Joaquin." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/358037

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