Famed ‘Cowboy Christmas Ball’ returns to Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 23, 2010

Michael Martin Murphey’s famed “Cowboy Christmas Ball” returns to Texas State University-San Marcos for the 2010 holiday season with a 7:30 p.m. show Saturday, Dec. 4 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.

Murphey will be joined by the Texas State Symphony Chamber Orchestra, which he previously collaborated with for performances of “Cowboy Christmas Ball,” “Sagebrush Symphony” and “Cowboy Christmas: Orchestral, Part I.” Ticket prices are $25, with proceeds benefitting the Orchestra Scholarship Fund. Free parking is available in the LBJ Student Center parking garage.

The Texas State engagement traditionally marks one of the few times Murphey performs his entire “Cowboy Christmas Ball” outside of its historical Anson venue. The Central Texas Cowboy Christmas Ball features the original orchestral accompaniment by Orchestra Director Howard Hudiburg and the Texas State Symphony Chamber Orchestra.

“Cowboy Christmas Ball” is presented by the University Performing Arts Committee. To purchase tickets online, visit http://uweb.txstate.edu/gao/ffa/cowboychristmasball/ or call (512) 245-3501 for more information.

About Michael Martin Murphey

Murphey is the best-selling singer of American Cowboy music today, as well as one of the best-selling, award-winning winning artists in pop and country music. His legendary song "Wildfire," a monster crossover hit from 1975, is one of the most played songs in the history of radio. He is also an actor, film producer, director, environmental award-winning rancher, writer and seminar teacher in American studies and music.

While attending UCLA in the late '60s, he became one of the instigators of the Alternative Country and Western scene in Southern California. His friends in the same music scene included John McEuen and Jeff Hannah of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Don Henley of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees and many others. Returning to Texas, he helped spark the Austin music scene, inspiring Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker to move there. His first album, Geronimo's Cadillac was recognized by Rolling Stone as a classic when Chet Flippo pronounced him "the best new singer-songwriter in America."

Self-taught in music, Murphey currently serves as an adjunct professor of music and American studies at Utah State University, where he consults with the faculty and teaches workshops and seminars. He specializes in teaching songwriting from an historical and cultural perspective.

Murphey is a five-time award winner in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, taking home the award for Best Album (Cowboy Songs Vol. 4) and Best Song ("Summer Rangers," from Cowboy Songs Vol. 4) in 1999 from the Academy of Western Artists. He also founded Westfest, a festival celebrating cowboys, Indians, country and western music, rodeo, western art and the world of the American west.