/// Murphey Western Institute ///
A Center for the Education, Preservation and Perpetuation
of the Arts, Culture, History and Legacy of the American West
Michael Martin Murphey
“In the past two decades, no musical artist has done more
to chronicle, preserve and further the cowboy culture than Michael Martin Murphey. (His music) overflows with life, enough for many of us. To saddle up with Murph is to come in closer touch with enduring truths.”
— David McGee for BluegrassSpecial.com
Michael Martin Murphey’s immensely successful music career has spanned four decades and has included such musical genres as folk, country, rock, Western, and cowboy music. As a singer, songwriter, and producer, he has contributed some of the most beloved songs of his generation and beyond. His songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Lyle Lovett, Roger Miller, and many other prominent musicians and performers. Murphey is a native Texan who is now in the Western Music Hall of Fame and has also been recognized and awarded by notable organizations such as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Academy of Country Music, The Grammy Awards, the Country Music Association, and the Texas Music Awards. Confirmed by BMI, his song "Wildfire" has been named one of the most played songs in radio history in all formats. He has made more than 35 albums over the span of his career, while also achieving success as a movie actor, script writer, and performer in films such as Lonesome Dove and Hard Country. Music enthusiasts from all over recognize Murphey’s name and certainly agree that the his works have become timeless masterpieces in the world of music.
On top of all that, Murphey remains a passionate and outspoken advocate of the American West, chronicling the lifestyle in both his music and personal life. In fact, The West defines Murphey as thoroughly as any encyclopedia could.
Frank Goodrich grew up in Hays, Kansas, home to Old Fort Hays and many great Westerners, such as Wild Bill Hickock, George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry. As a boy he started a lifelong fascination with those Wild West characters and others like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Jim Bridger.
Goodrich served in the military in the 70's in Texas and Missouri before returning home to Kansas, home to two of the greatest of the American West's military bases, Fort Riley, and Fort Leavenworth, which are still vital military installations with fascinating history. He and his wife, Judy, live at Rimrock Ranch near Council Grove, Kansas, a key town in the history of the Santa Fe Trail, in the heart of the Flint Hills where Tallgrass Prairie provides some of the best livestock grazing in the world.
Mark's love for music and his passion for the West culminated in a friendship with Murph and his desire to preserve the cowboy way of life through art, song, and poetry.
Mark and his wife Jan, live in Longview, Texas where they are surrounded by horses and log cabins. These cabins house 60 high school kids who are struggling through their teen years and spend a year with Mark and Jan in a program called Heartlight, a residential counseling center for adolescents.
Sporting a mustache from the 1880's, Mark and his boots travel every weekend leading parenting seminars across North America. His time in the recording studio is not for song, but to host the national radio program, Parenting Today's Teens, the National Religious Broadcaster's recipient of the “2014 Radio Program of the Year”. More of a story teller than an author, Mark writes about wisdom gained through years of hangin? with kids and horses, and shares a little cowboy logic, helping parents counter the effects that today's culture is having on their teen.
Born in the Lone Star state, Mark surrounds himself with family, faith, and friends. His destination of choice is sitting on his back porch around a fire telling stories, laughing out loud, and sharing about the cultural relevance for timeless Truth.