IRON RIVER—The Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo will welcome country music artist David Lee Murphy to the Iron County Fair Grounds as the headliner of the fifth annual rodeo concert here Friday, July 19.
Murphy, a singer and songwriter, made his first appearance on the Billboard country charts in 1994 with “Just Once,” a song from the soundtrack to the film “8 Seconds.” A year later, Murphy’s debut album “Out with a Bang” was released; overall, it produced four chart singles. He followed with the albums “Gettin’ Out the Good Stuff” (1996) and “We Can’t All Be Angels” (1997). A fourth album, “Tryin’ to Get There”, was released in 2004, including the Top 5 single “Loco.”
Murphy’s four albums produced a total of 13 singles on the country charts, including the No. 1 hit “Dust on the Bottle” from 1995 and four more Top 10 hits. Although he has not recorded since 2004, Murphy has co-written several singles for other artists, including No. 1 hits “Living in Fast Forward” for Kenny Chesney, “Big Green Tractor” for Jason Aldean and “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” for Thompson Square. Murphy has sold over 500,000 records according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Opening at the rodeo will be a local group, Pyramid. According to band member Doug Budzak, “The band was formed in 1974, shortly after the band Tree had disbanded. Original band members were Dave Regozzi (lead vocals), Bob Turbessi (bass, vocals), Scott Radloff (drums), Paul Sundquist (guitar, vocals), Doug Budzak (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Kim Upperstrom (lights).
“Regozzi left the band in early 1975. Paul Sundquist left for college in fall, leaving us with four members. They went with that lineup until early 1976, when Rich Soronen joined on lead guitar. He left in August 1976, and the final Pyramid lineup had Rich Sarber on lead guitar and Melody Timbrook on vocals. That line up performed from September through December 1976.”
Budzak continued, “The junior class of 1976 chose Pyramid’s song ‘Raindrops’ (written by Bob Turbessi) as the theme for the Junior Prom. They are the only local band to have had an original song chosen for the prom.
“Even after the band disbanded in 1976, we never lost contact with each other, even forming other bands with some of the members (Spektrum, Thee Eyes, etc). After years—decades actually—of the guys saying ‘We should get together again and play,’ we finally did our first reunion shows in 2004.
“The response was fantastic, so we did more shows in 2006, 2009 and 2011. We’ve also been formulating plans to record an album of original music. Maybe that will happen sometime in this decade.”
Brought back by popular demand will be local/regional entertainers Next Myle.
Originally formed in 2003, Next Myle currently consists of Kevin Richtig, Kevin Fraker, David Sweig, Kristan Nordine and Darwyn Aberly.
The group performed at the 2011 and 2012 U.P. Rodeo concerts, and their mix of country, rock and oldies were crowd pleasers then and are sure to be again.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and U.P. Rodeo Concert tickets will soon be available at the Iron County Chamber of Commerce, Angeli’s Central Market and online at www.uprodeo.com .
Advanced tickets will be $20, and tickets purchased at the gate will be $25. Visit www.facebook.com/upprorodeo for regular updates.
The show is for all ages, and food and beverages will be available on the grounds. The concert is held in conjunction with the 46th annual Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo, which takes place July 20-21.