Song of the Week – I Ain’t Blue & Magazine Lady, Willie Murphy


A few weeks ago my friend Ray C. sent me an email with a link to a website and said “This is an old friend in Minneapolis, who was one of the charter members of the MN Music Hall of Fame. Thought you’d like a listen.”

The link directed me to the homepage for Willie Murphy, whom I’d never heard of. I watched/listened to the videos Murphy posted and they were very good. So I started to poke around the internet to educate myself about him.

It turns out he’s most famous for his collaboration with folk/blues legend “Spider” John Koerner on an album they released in 1969 called Running, Jumping, Standing Still. (His second greatest “claim to fame” is that he produced and performed on Bonnie Raitt’s 1971 debut album.)

Today I’ll offer two SotW from Running, Jumping Standing Still. The first is “I Ain’t Blue.”

Despite its title, it is a blues number that was covered by Raitt on the above mentioned album.

The next song is “Magazine Lady.”

It’s a rollicking, jug band, folk song with Murphy’s saloon, honkytonk piano adding a lot of personality to the groove. The lyrics put it on the list with “Pictures of Lily”, “She Bop” and “Turning Japanese” as songs about… well you can figure it out.

But I don’t mean to sell Murphy short by highlighting his associations with Koerner and Raitt. After all, he was one of only three charter inductees into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame – the others being Dylan and Prince. (Not bad company.)

He has also performed onstage with Wilson Pickett, Muddy Waters, James Brown, WAR, John Lee Hooker, Neville Brothers, Etta James, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and backed the likes of Dr. John and countless others.

Thanks for the tip, Ray!

Enjoy… until next week.

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