Murphey has had a long and varied career on the fringes of pop and country. Playing a number of stringed instruments, he initially found success as a songwriter, as artists such as Kenny Rogers and the Monkees covered his work. In Austin, Tex., in the early '70s he was part of a loose scene of singer-songwriters (including Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker) who were expanding the scope of country music. Throughout this time he steadily released records that found critical acclaim and regional success. Murphey hit pop pay dirt with his 1975 ode to a horse called "Wild Fire" -- it went to the top of the pop charts and made him a star. Since then he has cut a number of popular records of traditional Cowboy songs.