David Lee Murphy’s “Dust On The Bottle” and “Party Crowd” have become staples at country radio and have gained a permanent spot on the repertoire of every country music cover act. “Party Crowd” was the most played song on country radio in 1995 and “Dust on the Bottle” spent two weeks at number one. Both songs were on Murphy’s debut MCA album Out With A Bang which went platinum and became the best-selling debut album by a male country artist in 1995. That same year The Academy of Country Music nominated Murphy for Top New Male Vocalist.
Growing up in Herrin, IL, Murphy honed his songwriting skills at an early age by studying the songs of his musical heroes Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck and others. After graduating from Southern Illinois University, he moved to Nashville and spent the next ten years writing songs and performing in clubs. His first taste of songwriting success came when Reba McEntire recorded “Red Roses (Won’t Work Now)” for her Have I Got A Deal For You album on MCA. Reba’s producer & MCA President, Tony Brown, was a fan and frequent attendee of Murphy’s live performances and eventually signed him to a deal with MCA Records. Brown produced Murphy’s three albums for the label which spawned the hit singles “Dust On The Bottle”, “Party Crowd”, “The Road You Leave Behind”, “Every Time I Get Around You” “Out With A Bang” to name a few . His debut single, “Just Once” was included in the motion picture Eight Seconds which starred Luke Perry as world bull riding champion Lane Frost. His song “We Can’t All Be Angels”, from the album by the same title, was featured in the motion picture Black Dog which starred Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis and Meatloaf.
After a three album stint with MCA, Murphy moved to indie label Audium/Koch and quickly returned to the Top 5 with his debut single “Loco” from the album Tryin’ To Get There. The album’s title track was penned by Murphy and Waylon Jennings. Soon after the release of the second single the label folded and Murphy decided to concentrate on songwriting for other artists.
Murphy quickly became one of Nashville’s most in demand songwriters whose compositions have been recorded by many of today’s country music superstars. Kenny Chesney’s “Living In Fast Forward” and “Live A Little” as well as Jason Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor” & “The Only Way I Know” (featuring Luke Bryan & Eric Church) all landed at the top of the charts. His song “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” was the first # 1 single for Thompson Square and quickly established the duo as a top selling act. The song garnered two Grammy nominations and six nominations for the 2011 American Country Music Awards. Murphy’s “Hell Yeah I Like Beer” as recorded by Kevin Fowler stayed at the top of the Texas Music Chart for six straight weeks and his compositions “Always The Love Songs” (Eli Young Band) and “Way Out Here” (Josh Thompson) became the first Top 15 Billboard country singles for each artist.
Other songs from Murphy’s catalogue that became successful singles include, “Anywhere With You” (Jake Owen), “Pirate Flag” (Kenny Chesney), “A Feelin’ Like That” (Gary Allan); “The More I Drink” (Blake Shelton); “On A Mission” (Trick Pony) and “People Like Us” (Aaron Tippin) among others. Murphy’s songs have also been recorded by Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Montgomery/Gentry, Ronnie Dunn, Rodney Atkins, Chris Young, Hank, Jr., Florida Georgia Line, Chris LeDoux, Jamey Johnson, Casey James, Joe Nichols, Colt Ford and others. 1 When not writing, Murphy is often in the studio producing demos of the songs he has written many of which have caught the ear of music execs and artists alike. Kevin Fowler and Ira Dean (formerly of Trick Pony) have both enlisted Murphy to produce songs for their recent projects. Murphy plans to produce other artists in the future.
His rigorous songwriting, recording and production schedule leaves him little time for touring. But the occasional David Lee Murphy live concert is still the raucous, rowdy performance his fans have come to expect and appreciate. Murphy performs his hits as an artist as well as songs he has penned for other country superstars making his concerts a virtual ‘greatest hits’ performance. His tours have taken him across America, Canada, Australia and France.
When not focused on the music, Murphy enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three sons on their farm south of Nashville. In a recent interview Murphy stated, “My family keeps me grounded and working the farm provides a source of relaxation and inspiration”. It was, after all, while riding on his ‘big green tractor’ that Murphy came up with the idea for one of Jason Aldean’s biggest hits to date.