David Lee Murphy (born January 7, 1959 in Herrin, Illinois) is an American country music artist. Signed to MCA Records in 1994, Murphy made his first appearance on the Billboard country charts that year with "Just Once", a song from the soundtrack to the 1994 film 8 Seconds. A year later, Murphy's debut album Out with a Bang was released; overall, it produced four chart singles. His follow-up albums, Gettin' Out the Good Stuff (1996) and We Can't All Be Angels (1997) were less successful than their predcessors, and by 1998, Murphy was dropped from MCA's roster. A fourth album, Tryin' to Get There, was released in 2004 on Koch Entertainment (now E1 Music), with the Top 5 single "Loco" being released from that album before Koch closed its country division in 2005.
Murphy's four albums produced a total of thirteen singles on the country charts, including the Number One hit "Dust on the Bottle" from 1995 and four more Top Ten hits. Although he has not recorded since 2004, Murphy has co-written several singles for other artists, including the Number One hits "Living in Fast Forward" for Kenny Chesney and "Big Green Tractor" for Jason Aldean.
David Lee Murphy was born on January 7, 1959 in Herrin, Illinois. By 1983, he had moved to Nashville, Tennessee, seeking a successful career in country music. Two years later, he was spotted by record producer Tony Brown at a club in Nashville, although Brown did not sign Murphy to a record deal until nearly a decade later. In the meantime, however, Murphy did co-write album cuts for Reba McEntire and Doug Stone.
Murphy's first recording for MCA was the song "Just Once", which was included on the soundtrack to the 1994 film 8 Seconds. In 1994, "Just Once" entered the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, reaching a peak of #36. The same year, Murphy began work on his debut album Out with a Bang, released in early 1995. The album produced three hit singles overall, including "Party Crowd", which became the most-played country song of 1995, as well as "Dust on the Bottle", his first and only Number One single. Out with a Bang became the best-selling album for a new male country act in all of 1995, and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Gettin' Out the Good Stuff was the title of Murphy's second album, released in 1996. Although it produced back-to-back Top 5 singles in "Every Time I Get Around You" and "The Road You Leave Behind", the album did not sell as well as Out With a Bang had; in addition, its third and fourth singles both failed to reach Top 40. "Every Time I Get Around You" was also a #2 on the RPM Country Tracks charts in Canada, and was named as that publication's Number One country song for the year 1996.
Murphy's third and final album for MCA, titled We Can't All Be Angels, was released in 1997. In a 1997 interview, Murphy revealed that he had intended for this album to be experimental in nature, saying that he "wanted to create just a whole different tone, sonically. I just wanted a different sounding record." We Can't All Be Angels sold even lower than Out With a Bang had; its two singles, "All Lit up in Love" and "Just Don't Wait Around 'Til She's Leavin'", peaked at #25 and #37, respectively, on the country charts. By 1998, Murphy was dropped from MCA's roster.
By the 2000s, Murphy had shifted his focus to songwriting. One of his first cuts in the 2000s was the title track to Aaron Tippin's 2000 album People Like Us; this song was a Top 20 for Tippin in 2001. Trick Pony also entered the country Top 20 one year later with another one of Murphy's compositions ??? the title track to their 2002 album On a Mission. Murphy also co-wrote album cuts for several other artists, including Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, and Hank Williams, Jr.
Koch Entertainment signed Murphy to his second recording contract in 2004. That year, he released his fourth studio album, Tryin' to Get There. The album, whose title track was co-written by Waylon Jennings prior to his death in 2002, produced the Top Five hit "Loco", which reached #5 in 2004. The only other single from Tryin' to Get There was "Inspiration", a collaboration with singer and guitarist Lee Roy Parnell, which peaked at #48. Koch closed its Nashville division in early 2005, and Murphy was once again without a record deal.
Following the closure of Koch Nashville, Murphy continued working as a songwriter, scoring his first outside Number One with Kenny Chesney's 2006 single "Living in Fast Forward". 2007 produced three more chart singles co-written by Murphy: Gary Allan's "A Feelin' Like That" (co-written by Ira Dean, then a member of Trick Pony), Van Zant's "Goes Down Easy", and Blake Shelton's "The More I Drink". 2008 saw the release of Keith Anderson's "Somebody Needs a Hug" and the Eli Young Band's "Always the Love Songs", two more songs co-written by Murphy, and Jason Aldean topped the country charts in September 2009 with "Big Green Tractor", which Murphy wrote with Jim Collins.
In 2000, Murphy hosted a series of concerts in his hometown of Herrin, Illinois, raising $25,000 for the Jack Murphy fund, which David Lee started in honor of his father, Dr. Jack Murphy, a local civic leader and educator.