I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and thank you for supporting Footprints in the Dew!
Welcome back. The weather outside was brutal, the snow was coming down hard and it was already over the top of the girl’s boots as she went out to feed her horse. It was the night before Christmas and all through the house happiness abounded. Her brothers and sisters were running around playing while the mom was cooking and the dad tried to wrap everyone’s presents in secret.
All that remained for her was one last chore to be done before they all went to bed in anticipation of opening their presents on Christmas morning. A year earlier the girl had gotten what she’d always wanted, a pony, and he was her best friend. She made sure he was always fed and had clean water and just hours before she had put him in his stall. Now she just wanted to check on him one more time. The horse’s name was Wildfire and when she got to the barn she discovered he had busted down his stall and in a blizzard he was lost. The little girl kept calling out his name, she kept calling Wildfire.
If all this sounds just a little familiar to you it because it comes from a song titled “Wildfire” which was sung by someone who had been around the music scene for years but was little known to the general public at the time, Michael Martin Murphy. Now a big time entertainer, Murph as his friends call him, has been performing Christmas shows around the world for years and is someone I have worked with in the past. On Friday night I had the chance to hang out with Murphy again, partying it up with around 900 other guests.
It would take much more space than I have here to list all of Murphy’s travels through the 53 years he has been performing professionally. Just briefly, he was born in Dallas, Texas and as a youth he enjoyed the music of Hank Williams, Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie. After making a name for himself in Texas, he moved to Los Angeles where he enjoyed further success playing in bands with Willie Nelson, Michael Nesmith of the Monkeys and dozens of others.
In 1975 Murphy released Wildfire which sold over 2 million copies in the U.S., earning him Country Music’s Best Male Vocalist of the Year Award. Composer of the New Mexico State ballad, renowned singer, songwriter and musician, Murphy has done it all but like the story of the ghosts of a woman and her horse that his grandfather used to tell him, he keeps going on and on, singing the song of a dream he had as a kid where that girl lost her horse and keeps calling Wildfire…
The Michael Martin Murphy- Express Employment Professionals Christmas Show marked the twenty-first time that the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage has presented this event. It is a completely family oriented performance, with no alcohol of any kind and of course no smoking. The event began in the main hall of the museum with a special party hosted by Express. After the party came dinner time which featured a buffet with all the trimmings. I had several serving as I sat in the big atrium watching dozens of kids dancing up a storm on the giant dance floor before Murphy took the stage. Once he began singing the kids were joined by hundreds of adults dancing throughout the two hour show. By the time it was over Murphy had even the most Scrooge like among us looking forward to Christmas.
It was a special night and one that Murphy announced will happen again next year. As soon as you get that 2016 calendar mark that date for sure.
As for me, I spent the night in Oklahoma City in the motor home and was up early for a book signing in Edmond and that’s a story I’ll save for another day.
Merry Christmas to all and till next time I’ll see ya down the road….