Raised: Wallaceburg Ontario
Ralph Murphy (Raised in Wallaceburg)
The duo began in 1964 as folk singers who also play the acoustic guitar & banjo. Murphy, who was raised in Wallaceburg, left the community in 1965 to pursue a career in the music business and quite a career it’s been. He has earned a number of gold records for songwriting and producing and become one of the best-known people on the inside of the music industry.
Notes: 1965 – Ralph Murphy had his first UK Number One with ‘Call My Name’ recorded by James Royal. Back then Ralph was in a bunch of bands. He put out five albums as an artist. The last deal he had was just as Ralph Murphy solo, and that was 1974.
* At the start of the sixties, Murphy went to L.A., staying in Manhattan Beach and playing the coffeehouses down by the lighthouse.
* Murphy and his musical partner, Jack Klaeysen (a good guitarist from another school-days band) bought one-way tickets from New York and arrived in Liverpool on February 14, 1965. While on ship, they began playing in steerage. Word spread, and they were invited to first class. An agent named Collins heard them and gave them a referral to his brother, Joe Collins – an agent who initially managed the career of his daughter, Joan Collins – with a big agency in London. Murphy didn’t quite believe him – “I said, ‘Yeah, sure, pal,’ and stuck the card in my sock and kept playing for free drinks and carrying on with the actresses on board.”
*When they arrived in Liverpool, they looked for places to play and ended up at a club called the Birdcage. One night, Gerry and the Pacemakers were present and one of the band members began to talk to them. “They said, ‘Hey, man, you guys are really good! What are you doing in Liverpool?’ We said, ‘Hey, this is where it’s at!’ ‘No, it’s not! There’s nothing here! You need to go to London!’”
*Within four months of arriving in London, they had a record deal. Their deal was with Tony Hatch, the already legendary producer and writer for Petula Clark, under his label Pye Records. While they were auditioning for Tony Hatch, “Roger Cook stumbled in and heard us playing and said, ‘You’re gonna sign them, right?’” That encounter was the start of a long and productive relationship between Murphy and Cook.
* Their first album, a folk effort, was as the Guardsmen. Their second album was pop, and they were renamed the Slade Brothers. They cut a couple of their own songs,and also cut a Roger Greenway/Roger Cook song called “What a Crazy Life” that became a hit in early 1966, when they first heard themselves on the radio on Radio Luxembourg.
* In the fall of 1965, they signed a publishing deal with Mills Music, later Belwin Mills Publishing. Later that year, a song penned by Murphy and Klaeysen – “Call My Name” – was recorded by James Royal and became a hit. “It was earth-shaking, it was everything I wanted it to be. I was addicted,” recalls Murphy. “All I ever wanted to be was a stand-alone writer. I wanted to have everyone record my songs and I could sit and listen to them on the radio. I was
ready – bring it on!” The recording of that song also became the introduction for Murphy to another musical career – record producer.
*At that point, Murphy began getting work as a producer throughout town, including CBS, Decca, and Phillips.
Read More about Ralph here or his own page here.