Kings career on the rise
County-based band to play
New Years gig for Louisville mayor
Helen E. McKinney
SMITHFIELD, Ky. (December 2002) Michael Murphy
grew up in the craze of the 1960s era, a time when everyone wanted
to be in a band.
Since 1978 he has been a member of a band now known as the Vinyl Kings.
Murphy credits the Beatles 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan
Show as the inspiration to his forming a band with some high school
friends and work acquaintances.
The band began life as the Oafs and then evolved into
the present band lineup three years ago. Wanting to present a different
image, they changed their name.
In regard to the new name, Murphy said, We wanted something that
kind of told the story of vintage music.
Thus, the Vinyl Kings. Records used to be made of vinyl, and the band
strives to be the best, or kings, at playing the oldies.
Nancy Harris of Harris Entertainment encouraged the band members to
change their name. She said she gave them a better name because
theyre a better band.
Established in 1985 by Nancy Harris and Sam Harris, Harris Entertainment
is a franchised booking agency with the American Federation of Musicians.
Harris said she puts together a good promotional package for her clients
and tries to lead them in the right direction.
She really turned things around for us, said Murphy. We
owe a lot to Harris Entertainment.
Harris booked the Vinyl Kings as part of a musical series at The Summit
last year and for several corporate parties. Murphy said this is the
direction the band wants to go in, as opposed to playing late nights
at clubs and bars.
We dont want to compete with those who do it for a living,
said Murphy, a Louisville native who now lives in Smithfield, Ky. All
members of the band have families and day jobs and want to play quieter
venues, such as corporate parties, weddings, festivals, reunions or
Murphy said the band members dont see themselves searching for
fame in the business. That would take the fun out of it,
The band consists of founder Murphy, who plays rhythm guitar and vocals,
and is a blacksmith by trade; Rick Graves, a guidance counselor on drums
and vocals; Lee Wade, a graphic artist on bass and vocals; and Joe Campbell,
a UPS employee on lead guitar and vocals.
It was also Harris who suggested they cut a demo CD because, as Murphy
said, it was hard getting jobs with no original music to their credit.
The band performs songs they grew up listening to. Their repertoire
includes selections from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles and
Credence Clearwater Revival, among others.
The band has gone from playing three to four times a year to two to
three times a month, under the guidance of Harris and Steve Taylor of
SMT Music Production.
It was Taylors agency that got them a gig at Louisville Mayor
Dave Armstrongs Fourth Street New Years Eve Bash. It takes
place from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 31. The outgoing mayor has
been working to develop the Fourth Avenue corridor in Louisville.
When Taylor was asked to find a band for that performance, he said of
the Vinyl Kings, They fit the bill. They appeal to a wide audience
Taylor labeled them a niche group that appeals to teenagers
and people over 40.
Murphys band is really excited about this performance. He said
it is the idea of an upscale event on the horizon that keeps the band
motivated. Otherwise, theyd be stuck in what he termed the rehearsal
Taylor is also credited with booking the band at last years Oxmoor
Steeple Chase event. He said he considered Murphys connection
with the horse community (as a blacksmith) and thought it would
be a nice match.
Murphy doesnt plan to quit his day job. He owns his own business,
Murphy Horseshoeing Inc.
While in college he took a summer job at Glacier Park, Mont., as a trail
guide. While there he learned to shoe horses and has been in the business
for the last 20 years.
The band will be performing on Dec. 14 from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at Jolly
Mons in the Fern Creek area of Louisville. They are already booked
for a March 15, 2003, event at the Long Run Fox Hunt Club.
Also on next years agenda is Campbellsburg Day in August because
Murphy said the band prefers to play more local family-oriented festivals
For more information contact Michael Murphy at (502) 845-0419
or (502) 741-9647.
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