Saturday, June 16, 2018

RIP Matt "Guitar" Murphy

I was saddened to get an email from a friend saying that Matt "Guitar" Murphy passed away Friday.  He was 88.  Most people will probably know Matt from the 1980 comedy "The Blues Brothers".
Murphy's death was first announced in by his nephew Floyd Murphy Jr, who performed alongside his uncle. "He was a strong man that lived a long long fruitful life that poured his heart out in every guitar solo he took," Floyd Jr. wrote of Matt Murphy in a Facebook post (via Deadline). No cause of death was provided. In 2002, Murphy suffered a stroke that forced the guitarist into semi-retirement.
There are no details on the effects of that stroke, but I presume it hindered his ability to play, which would have been sixteen years of living in hell for a musician like Matt Murphy.   Murphy was probably hired for the Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi movie as a well known musician they had heard.  Rolling Stone says he was a product of the legendary Chicago blues scene of the Forties and Fifties, and had worked alongside artists ranging from Ike Turner (as members of Junior Parker's Blue Flames) and Etta James to blues musicians like James Cotton, Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson. 

One of the most popular scenes in the movie depicts Matt as husband to Aretha Franklin in small restaurant in Chicago.

Blues music has brought me tons of joy over the years.  RIP Matt, we loved your work. Some good old videos at the Rolling Stone link.


  1. RIP, Mr. Murphy. You mad a lot of people very happy over the years.

  2. That means he was FIFTY when the movie was released.


    1. My first thought was how young they all looked. Aretha Franklin looked really young to me. She was 38.