Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Still Taking Chances" by Michael Martin Murphey

Song#:  1298
Date:  01/08/1983
Debut:  88
Peak:  76
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  With a label change to Liberty, Murphey released a self-titled album that did well thanks to the single "What's Forever For." The song became his first #1 country hit while also reaching #4 AC and #19 pop. This next single wasn't as successful at pop or AC (#28), but it was another Top 10 country hit that peaked at #3. Although this song would be his last pop chart entry, Murphey would continue to place songs on the country chart through to 1991. Overall he would end up with twelve Top 10 country hits that would include two #1's. His switch to more country-oriented music would prove to be popular enough to win him the Academy of Country Music's New Male Vocalist of the Year award in 1982 (he beat out a newbie who became a country legend - George Strait).

ReduxReview:  I was sure I had not heard this song before, but as soon as the chorus kicked in the song came right back to me. The chorus is quite strong so I'm not surprised that it took up residence in the back of my brain. Its pop showing is disappointing since similar sounding songs by Ronnie Milsap and Alabama were hitting the Top 40 at the time. At least country radio got on board and made it a hit as it certainly deserved to be one.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Growing up in Texas, Murphey became fond of old western Cowboy music. During his country hit making days in the 80s, he got opportunities to perform these songs in themed shows with various symphony orchestras. His love of the western songs grew until eventually he released a full album of them. "Cowboy Songs" was released in 1990 and it featured many western standards like "Home on the Range" and "Red River Valley." It was a hit with critics and fans of the genre and would end up becoming a surprise gold seller - the first western-based album to do so since 1980. Murphey followed up with several sequels to the album and still continues to record western and bluegrass music. In 2009, Murphey was nominated for a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. He has also won several awards from various organizations for his Cowboy music.


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