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Country singer Michael Martin Murphy entertained a full house at Ragland
 by Gail Hildreth Whitsett 2/14/05.

International best selling country western recording artist Michael Martin Murphey entertained a filled Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls on Sunday evening February 13, 2005. He was in the area to help raise money for the Paragon Foundation, a legal advocacy group which helps with farm and ranch property and water rights issues.

Michael and his multi-talented three member band were accompanied by an eloquent cowboy poet from Texas, who provided comic relief in the form of rhyming stories of the old and new west. The audience enjoyed renditions of Red River Valley, The Streets of Laredo, among many traditional western songs, as well as the multi-million best selling song, Wildfire. Wildfire has now been played more than 4 million times on the radio and television, making it one of the world’s most played songs.

One of the most interesting aspects of the performance was Murphey’s description of the historical Irish origins of many of our traditional country western songs, which were incorporated into the program. His true and abiding love of the land and agrarian lifestyle was apparent throughout the performance.

The crowd was enthralled by Murphey’s description of the history surrounding the Jesse and Frank James gang and other post Civil War era songs.

A benefit dinner with Mr. Murphey following the concert at the Ross Ragland was covered by local television. Klamath County Farm Bureau president, Bob Flowers gave a heartfelt speech regarding the importance of farm/ranch water in the Basin, reminding the audience that some farms received less water during the summer of 2001, than the single bottle of water sitting on the table for dinner. It really brought the point home with everyone attending. Commissioner John Elliott also gave a speech regarding property rights, agriculture and water in the basin.

Michael then invited each of the attendees to introduce themselves and tell a little about their livelihoods and families.

It was apparent that he is a very caring and devoted family man who strongly believes in the causes we all embrace – freedom, the US Constitution, agriculture, cattle, horses, rangeland, water and private property. It was truly a remarkable evening and one that none of us who attended will ever forget!

Gail Hildreth Whitsett





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