"Courtney has been for me, one of the shining highlights of Australian Idol folklore. His distinctive gravel tones, his passion for music, and his desire to tell a story makes him a truly compelling performer" - Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson.
It seems all too easy to regard the average Australian Idol performer as a ‘flash in the pan’ overnight sensation, but the truth behind Courtney Murphy’s success is far more involved.
As one of the final three on ‘Australian Idol’ in 2004, still the highest rating season of the popular Network Ten program, Courtney, along with fellow finalists Anthony Callea, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Casey Donovan, quickly became one of the most recognisable new artists in Australia. His extraordinary voice and dynamic performances garnered him praise from the viewing public who embraced his soulful interpretations of popular hits and hidden gems, as well as his happy-go-lucky persona and quirky sense of humour.
Following the sell-out Idol tour of 2005, he rapidly became one of the hardest working and most sought after new artists in the industry, regularly headlining at festivals and corporate events throughout Australia,
joining the stellar cast of “Grease: The Arena Spectacular” later that year. Performing alongside John Farnham, Craig McLachlan and Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Courtney’s performance was hailed by critics,
“…blazing his sweet, deep voice…” (The Age) and demonstrated a natural acting ability to widespread audience acclaim.
“I learned a lot from working with those guys”, Murphy says “how to keep going night after night, watching Farnham was amazing”.
Courtney continued to make regular appearances for special events across Australia; appearances for charitable causes including the MS Society, awards nights and telecasts including ABC’s ‘Spicks and Specks’, Ten’s ‘Rove Live’ and more recently the televised Miss China Pageant, which was aired throughout Asia.
Along with an impressive touring schedule, Courtney has been writing and recording from the tender age of 12 with his brothers Chris (who followed Courtney with a successful turn on ‘Australian Idol’ in 2006) and Kieran in their band, Murphy's Lore. He is currently in the final stages of recording his debut solo album which is due for release in late 2009, featuring 10 original songs and his acclaimed version of ‘You Weren’t In Love” , a number one hit for Billy Field.
In addition to his national and international performances with Murphy's Lore, Courtney headlined a sell-out season of his show ‘Unplugged and Well-Fed - DownStairs at the Maj’ at Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre in 2006. This original show was well-received and he returned In December 2007, with ‘No Carols Allowed!’, a Christmas show without any traditional carols which received fantastic reviews and further cemented Courtney Murphy as a versatile and talented performer.
In late 2007, he was cast in the role of Rory Storm in a two-week season of the 50’s themed ‘Cruisin’ - The Musical’ at Perth’s Regal Theatre, alongside friend and hero, Glenn Shorrock.
Courtney Murphy's 2009 has been dominated by the recording of his long-awaited debut album ‘Big’. The album, recently mixed by US singer/songwriter Bleu, is expected to set a new precedent for independent Australian songwriters, and Courtney is extremely keen to showcase the original songs that have been praised by the likes of Kasey Chambers, Taxiride and Guy Sebastian.
The live performance schedule has hardly slowed though, Courtney and Murphy's Lore have continued to host intimate dinner shows, original showcases and performed for numerous outdoor festivals with Rogue Traders, Jimmy Barnes, Ross Wilson, Marcia Hines, Glenn Shorrock, Daryl Braithwaite and Youth Group.
“All I ever wanted to do was write songs and sing in a band”, Murphy says, “I can’t think of a better way to keep myself out of trouble!”