Billy Murray (singer)

Billy Murray ( born May 25, 1877 William Thomas Murray; † August 17, 1954 ) was an American singer. Murray is regarded as the most successful artists in the early recording industry.


Childhood and youth

Murray was the son of Irish immigrants and grew up in Denver, Colorado, to where the family was drawn in 1883. Early Murray interested in show business and was in 1893 -. Than young people - part of the Harry Leavitt 's High Rollers, an itinerant show



For the next ten years, Murray traveled around with minstrel and vaudeville shows. It was during one of these vaudeville, in which Murray was named "Billy". Head of Al G. Fields found that this better an artist and comedian, as Murray was to fit. His first recordings made ​​in 1897 with Matt Murray Keefe at a local Cylinder firm in San Francisco. Only in 1903 did Murray, likely for Edison Records, his first solo recordings. In the coming years, Murray played a large number of titles for the various major labels Columbia Records, Victor Records and Edison. Appeared in 1906, the first shots with Ada Jones, the hits were fast. Murray's tenor was well received and made ​​him one of the most sought after and most successful singers of his era quickly. For him, the American Quartet was formed which accompanied him on his recordings. For Edison was from the Quartet and the Premier Quartet with a fifth member from time to time and the Heidelberg Quintet.

Joel Whitburn, in his book Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music, that a total of 44 were from Murray's singles hits. His first he had, according to Whitburn in 1903 with Tessie.

1909 Murray signed a ten -year contract with Victor for plates and with Edison Cylinder recordings for what was a rather rare procedure of that time. Usually the artists stood at no label firmly under contract, but alternated between the record companies back and forth. Nevertheless, the exclusive contracts with Victor and Edison appeared to be a good train, because his career was 1909-1920 at the peak. His comedy and Noveltysongs sold extremely well. Murray is regarded as one of the "recording pioneers ," the pioneers of the modern recording industry.

Later career

1920, when the technology of the Cylinder was outdated, Murray signed with Victor again an exclusive contract, this time only for records. Nevertheless, its popularity began in the mid 1920s, particularly with the rise of other popular genres like jazz to wane. By 1927, Murray remained with Victor, then moved to cheaper labels. A talented and passionate comedian so he tried during the 1930s and played on the radio at the same time for RCA Victor's sublabel Bluebird and Joe Davis ' Beacon Records until the early 1940s, less successful plates a. A few years later, Murray withdrew due to heart disease from the music business.

Murray died in 1954 relatively unnoticed and forgotten.


Billy Murray is regarded as one of the pioneers of the record industry. He was since the beginning of the 20th century in business and is even regarded as the most successful singers of his era in the United States. His success was fundamental for the rest of the music industry.

Pictures of Billy Murray (singer)