During the annual CMA International Reception held on Nov. 7 as part of festivities around "The 45th Annual CMA Awards," Ralph Murphy, songwriter, producer and VP of ASCAP Nashville, was given the 2011 Jo Walker-Meador International Award. The Award was presented by CMA CEO Steve Moore.
"The industry has been more than generous with all the Irish, the Canadians, the Norwegians, the Australians, the Dutch, the Germans - everyone who's come here to play Country Music," said Murphy. "And it's always been more than generous with me. You can't ask for more in life than a chance and an opportunity of someone being fair with you."
The Jo Walker-Meador International Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music's marketing development in territories outside the United States. It was named in honor of former CMA Executive Director (1959-1991) and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jo Walker-Meador.
Born in England and raised in Canada, Murphy scored his first No. 1 song with "Call My Name," released in 1966 by James Royal. He moved to New York City in 1969 and in 1971 had his first Country hit in Nashville with Jeannie C. Riley's "Good Enough to Be Your Wife." By 1976, Murphy and Roger Cook opened Picalic Music in Nashville, which published more of his hits, including Crystal Gayle's "Half the Way" and Ronnie Milsap's "He Got You." His book Murphy's Laws of Songwriting has been used in curricula by colleges, universities and songwriter organizations, where he is a frequent and in demand speaker.
An advocate for songwriters' rights, Murphy is a former President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), President of the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy, and has served the music industry in numerous other capacities including the board of the Canadian Country Music Association.
Previous winners of the Jo Walker-Meador Award include:
1994 Trisha Walker-Cunningham, TWI
1995 CMT: Country Music Television
1996 Bob Saporiti, Warner/Reprise Records Nashville
1997 Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Management
1998 Judy Seale, Refugee International
1999 Sarah Brosmer & Kate Farmer, MCA Nashville & Universal International
2000 Jeffrey Stothers, Gone Country Promotions
2001 Iain Snodgrass, Universal Music International, UK
2002 Sheila Hamilton, Canadian Country Music Association, Canada
2003 Meryl Gross, Australia
2004 Jeff Green, R&R, USA
2005 Greg Swain, Telstra, Australia
2006 Alan McBlane, Mcb3, UK
2007 Heather Ostertag, FACTOR, Canada
2008 Mark Moffatt, USA
2009 Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment, Australia
2010 John Lomax III, Roots Music Exporters, USA