Michael is a proud son and life-long resident of Texas, where his family settled in 1858. He divides his time between ranches in the Panhandle of West Texas, Northern New Mexico, Southern Colorado and the Oocooch Mountains of Wisconsin. Native Texan Michael Martin Murphey is now in the Western Music Hall of Fame. He’s won numerous awards and honors from such organizations as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Academy of Country Music, “The Golden Smokey Award for Outstanding Service in Conservation from the U.S. Department of the Interior, The Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, “The King of the Cowboys” Award for Western Entertainment, The Academy of Western Artists and Performers, Texas Music Awards, Charlie Russell Red Sash Award for Western Heritage, National Day of the Cowboy Keeper Award, and given a rare Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Quarter Horse Association. BMI has confirmed that his song “Wildfire” is one of the most played songs in the history of radio - in all formats.
Michael has made over 35 albums, with hits and millions of sales. He’s the first Singing Cowboy to attain a Certified Gold Album in Cowboy Music since Marty Robbins. His songs have been recorded by Lyle Lovett, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and a host of other recording artists. He’s played concerts at the best of Performing Arts Centers (including Carnegie Hall and Bass Hall), Cowboy Christmas and Westfest festivals, fairs and rodeos – and on his trail rides.
He has performed with over 50 symphony orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra. Michael is also a movie actor, script writer, and performed music in films like Lonesome Dove and Hard Country. His television appearances and music scores include PBS/RFD-TV hit series “America’s Heartland”, “The Tonight Show”, “David Letterman”, “Austin City Limits”, “CMT”, and “TNN”. He hosts the highly-rated outdoors television show “The Best of the West with Michael Martin Murphey”. He’s a respected writer and spokesman in publications such as American Cowboy, and Range Magazine. He’s been featured in countless newspaper, magazine and books, including Rolling Stone, Time, The London Times, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Denver Post.
Michael’s lifestyle is that of a lover of the outdoors, a rancher of horses and cattle and having run ranches in New Mexico, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. His accomplishments as rancher have lead to being chosen as a spokesman and entertainer for The American Farm Bureau Federation and Society of Range Management. The John Wayne Family approved him to organize and perform for John Wayne’s 100th Birthday Celebration in 2007, commended by the White House.
Michael, his wife Karen and six children are all involved in the family businesses of music, ranching and recreational as well as competitive horseback riding. The Murphey family divides personal family time between residences in Colorado and Wisconsin, and land on a private fishing lake in Linden, Texas, near where the Murphey pioneer family came to Texas in 1858.