Blues Brothers Guitarist Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy Dead at 88

An incredible blues guitarist that mainstream audiences first got to know when he played fictionalized version of himself in the 1980 Blues Brothers film playing opposite Aretha Franklin. Remember that famous scene where Aretha warns him about going on the road with Jake and Elwood Blues while she sings her big hit ‘Think’? He was also in the film’s sequel ‘Blues Brothers 2000’ in 1998. He suffered a stroke 4 years after that movie was released which forced him into semi-retirement.

His nephew Floyd Murphy Jr, who performed with him, wrote on Facebook, “He was a strong man that lived a long long fruitful life that poured his heart out in every guitar solo he took,”

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi saw Murphy playing in a New York club in 1978 and that same year he played on the Blues Brothers debut album, ‘Briefcase Full of Blues.’

Murphy was born December 29, 1929 in Sunflower, Mississippi. He was just a kid when he first picked up the guitar. He moved to Chicago in 1948 – he was 19. That’s where he played in the Howlin’ Wolf band that, at the time, also featured Little Junior Parker.

He also played alongside legends like Etta James, Chuck Berry, Ike Turner, Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Memphis Slim and Joe Louis Walker.

No cause of death was given. – by John Beaudin


John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

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