Murphy, Turk (Melvin Edward Alton)

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Murphy, Turk (Melvin Edward Alton)

Murphy, Turk (Melvin Edward Alton),Dixieland-jazz revivalist trombonist, leader, composer; b. Palermo, Calif., Dec. 16, 1915; d. San Francisco, Calif.,May 30, 1987. After studying music theory, he took up the cornet and trombone. He helped Lu Watters organize the Yerba Buena Band in the late 1930s and worked regularly with Waiters until 1947. He played with Marty Marsala in 1951, then worked consistently with his own band, including long residencies in C.A. during the 1950s and dates in New Orleans, N.Y., etc. From September 1960 through February 1978, he led a band at his own club in San Francisco (Earthquake McGoon’s); it became a major influence on the Bay Area traditional jazz scene. During that period, his band also played at various other venues including Disneyland, touring Australia and Europe in 1974. Murphy was featured at the St. Louis, Mo., Ragtime Festival in 1977. In January 1987, a concert was staged in his honor at Carnegie Hall, at which he made one of his last performances; soon after, his health failed and he died.


Turk Murphy, Vol. 1 (1949); Favorites (1949); Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band (1950); San Francisco Jazz, Vol. 1, 2 (1950); Turk Murphy with Claire Austin (1952); At the Italian Village (1952); When the Saints Go Marching In (1953); Music of Jelly Roll Morton (1953); Barrelhouse Jazz (1953); Natural High (1954); Dancing Jazz (1954); New Orleans Jazz Festival (1955); New Orleans Shuffle (1956); Music for Losers (1957); At the Newport Jazz Festival (1957); Turk Murphy at Easy Street (1958); Turk Murphy at the Round Table (1959); Let the Good Times Roll (1962); Turk Murphy and His San Francisco Band (1972); Turk Murphy (1972); In Concert, Vol. 1, 2 (1972); Many Faces of Ragtime (1973); San Francisco Memories (1985); Concert in the Park (1986).


J. Goggi,. Turk Murphy: Just for the Record (San Francisco, 1982).

—John Chilton Who’s Who of Jazz /Nicolas Slonimsky

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Murphy, Turk (Melvin Edward Alton)

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