This is an article about the man who wrote "True Love Is a Golden Ring," with Alan Jackson several years ago, it's one of the songs on Alan's new album, Freight Train (due March 30).
News: Songwriter Publisher Roger Murrah to be Honored as Poet and Prophet
BMNN wrote: on Feb. 18, 2010:
Nashville, TN -- Prolific songwriter and successful music publisher Roger Murrah will be honored on March 6 as part of the Museum's quarterly programming series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m. program, which will be held in the Museum's Ford Theater, is included with Museum admission and free to Museum members. The program will also be streamed live at www.countrymusichalloffame.org
Museum Editor Michael Gray will conduct an in-depth, one-on-one interview with Murrah, illustrated with audiovisual elements from the Museum's collection, including recordings, photos and film clips. Immediately following the program, he will sign autographs in the Museum Store (visit the Museum's Web site for signing details).
In addition to his successful music publishing career, Roger Murrah ranks among country music's most prolific songwriters, with hit songs spanning over four decades. Murrah has written or co-written a host of memorable country songs, including "Don't Rock the Jukebox" (Alan Jackson), "Goodbye Time" (Conway Twitty, Blake Shelton), "It's a Little Too Late" (Tanya Tucker), "High Cotton" (Alabama), "Life's Highway" (Steve Wariner), "Only Love" (Wynonna Judd), "Ozark Mountain Jubilee" (Oak Ridge Boys), "Where Corn Don't Grow" (Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt) and many more. Murrah also co-wrote Al Jarreau's breakthrough pop and R&B hit "We're in This Love Together." Murrah is Bug Music's senior vice president, Nashville.
Roger Murrah was born in 1946 and raised on a family farm in Athens, Alabama. After his father traded an old pick-up truck for a piano, Murrah and his five siblings taught themselves to play by ear, and he was composing songs by age 13. Although Murrah initially eyed a singing career, it was his songwriting craft that began to flourish. While serving in the Army in 1968, he scored a staff writer position for music publisher and FAME Studios owner Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
After completing his service duties, Murrah opened his own recording studio in nearby Huntsville, Alabama, where he met songwriter and recording artist Bobby Bare. In 1972, Murrah relocated to Nashville to work for Bare's publishing company, Return Music, earning a bare-bones salary of $50 a week. Murrah became inspired by fellow songwriters Dallas Frazier, Mickey Newbury, Curly Putman, Billy Joe Shaver and Joe South, and began finding his own voice as a songwriter. He penned his first nationally charted song, Wynn Stewart's "It's Raining in Seattle," in 1973.
However, Murrah's steady stream of songwriting success didn't begin to flow until 1980, when he scored his first #1 Billboard country hit with Mel Tillis' "Southern Rains." The following year, Murrah co-wrote Jarreau's international hit "We're in This Love Together," which cracked Billboard's Top Twenty pop and R&B charts and went on to earn a BMI award for 3 million performances. A multitude of hits followed, as top country artists including Lee Greenwood, Patty Loveless, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers and Clay Walker, among others, began cutting Murrah's songs.
Additionally, Murrah's close collaboration with Waylon Jennings on his 1987 autobiographical album, A Man Called Hoss, produced one of Jennings' last Top Ten hits, "Rough and Rowdy Days." Jennings also performed the album as a one-man theatrical production.
In 1990, Murrah started his ownpublishing company, Murrah Music Corporation, placing emphasis on nurturing songwriters and helping them develop their talents. The company's roster of songwriters, including Murrah, has delivered a number of hits for contemporary country artists Luke Bryan, Tracy Byrd, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Reba McEntire, and more. In 2009, Bug Music acquired a portion of Murrah Music Corporation and named Murrah its senior vice president, Nashville.
Murrah was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. He also served two consecutive terms as president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and is currently serving his fifth term as chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. He still writes, and today's stars continue to record his material. "True Love Is a Golden Ring," a song he penned with Alan Jackson several years ago, appears on Jackson's new album, Freight Train (due March 30).
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music history. Previous Poets and Prophets honorees include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Curly Putman, Whitey Shafer, Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund. These programs are also made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.