Dee Murray PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 April 2009 17:15

Dee Murray, 1984 Dee Murray

Born: 3 April 1946,  Southgate, London, England

Died: 15 January 1992, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Age: 45

Cause of death: Stroke following cancer battle.

Notable because: Bass player on the classic Elton John recordings, and also a featured harmony singer on many of the best Elton songs.

Dee Murray was an English bassist, best known as a member of Elton John's original rock band. Murray was a talented musician whose gift for melody, placement, and an understated, yet profound technique -- plus his standout work as a backing vocalist -- puts him in an elite class among rock bassists.

Murray was born David Murray Oates in Southgate, London in 1946. Before joining Elton John, Murray (and drummer Nigel Olsson) were members of the Spencer Davis Group in 1969-1970. Murray and Olsson first appeared on disc with Elton on the 1970 album Tumbleweed Connection, though they were first strongly featured on the live album 11-17-70. They were key members of the band through its glory years, including the milestone album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. In 1975, after recording Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Murray and Olsson were released from the band because Elton wanted to achieve a different sound; however, both musicians returned in 1981 and toured with Elton for another four years. Together, Murray and Olsson were arguably one of the best (and most underrated) rhythm sections in rock music. It is no coincidence that many consider the end of Elton John's "classic" period to coincide with the departure of these two musicians.

In 1977 Murray briefly joined Procol Harum on a North American tour promoting their last 1970s album, Something Magic although he never recorded with the group.

In the late Eighties, Dee moved to Nashville, where he embarked upon a career in the country music scene, supporting the likes of 1970s hitmaker Johnny Rodriguez. After battling skin cancer for a number of years, Murray died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after suffering a stroke in 1992; he was 45.

That March, John performed two tribute concerts at the Grand Ole Opry to raise money to support Murray’s family.


Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 07:48

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