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1000 Songs Ago - Gerry Murphy

 

 

 


The early 1970s in Liverpool was a far from being the musical melting-pot it might have been throughout the 1960s. There was a fatigue about the cultural life of the city which expressed itself most succinctly in the knocking-down of the original Cavern Club in 1973 and the decimation of the musical community. The city was tired out.

It was into this atmosphere of torpor I ventured into the smoky back room of Ye Cracke to hear denim-clad renditions of “The Days of 49” by Ray, a singer who somehow combined the lyricism of Bob Dylan with the directness of a young John Lennon. It was with a Yamaha FG guitar that I first began to play in the city centre with original songs and covers, gracing the boards at the Mitre Folk Club in Liverpool’s Dale Street in 1972. Within a year I was supporting Amazing Blondel at Durham University, Magna Carta and Ewan McColl in York where I was a student (less a case of what I knew, more who I knew).

Tiring of the student life, I decamped to Italy in 1975, learned the language and wrote a series of songs which would sustain live acoustic performances until the advent of the New Wave at the end of the 70s which so energised songwriting and swept away the banalities of the past. Having wisely, as it turned out, declined a “telephone-book” record deal brokered by associates of big-name songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan in 1976, my real formative years began.

From then on I set about learning the art and craft of songwriting, singing and playing everywhere from London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station to the recreated Cavern Club. Now back home in Liverpool, I found time to write a series of songs which have sustained me throughout a long career including “Sweet Liberty” which won the prestigious PRS John Lennon Award in 1987 and “Marvellous Marvin Gaye” which scooped a prize in the National Music Day Songwriter of the Year competition 1993.

Through playing in Scandinavia, the US, Spain and Italy during the period helped I developed a robust performing style which has stood me in good stead in the years on the road and stands as a tribute to Ray, in the back room of Ye Cracke who showed me how to perform. Since then I’ve played live on every big stage in my hometown and toured extensively particularly in Europe and America. I made friends and paid way. Music owes me nothing.

My 2011 album “Crescent City Daze” is a collection of songs dedicated to the culture of New Orleans which has done discretely very well.

1000 songs ago, And still...there’s plenty more where that came from!

 

Here is my Discography

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