In Memory

Ron McMurphy (Class Of 75)


Ronnie Mcmurphy

First Name: Ronnie
Middle Name: G
Last Name: Mcmurphy
Birth Date: 10-1-1957
Death Date: 8-27-1998
First Known Location: Oklahoma
Last Known Residence: Norman, OK
Record Type: Death Record


I dated Ronnie my junior year in highschool.  A very gentle soul with a great musical talent.  Susie O'Dell Skaggs

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03/07/10 10:55 AM #1    

James Elvin Massie

The first time I saw Ronnie play, his band "Crystal" was playing down at the Andrews ampitheater in norman. What struck me at first was his look; very cool, laid-back with almost a british aire around him - very confident and focused. His guitar sound knocked me back a few steps. He was playing his ever-present Gibson Firebird and running it straight into an Acoustic amp turned to "12". At that time, the only place I had heard a guitarist play with that much bluesy / hard rock feel was on the radio when they would play something by Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Robin Trower or Jimi Hendrix. He had a VERY touch sensitive and expressive feel with his guitar and it showed itself and many forms from moody and soulful to quick, intense and explosive. He was an accomplished player with the blues at his core, but as with most music of the 50's, 60's and early 70's - the blues WAS the core of the music and that enabled Ron to expand into just about all the good guitar music that was available at the time. He had a HELL of a reputation with all the guitarists around and most would say when asked "Wow, that guy feels everything around him and retells the story through his guitar. He's really soulful and has a KILLER style, he scares me."
I came to know Ron as a friend after that. We had very different styles on the guitar and he had all the great things that I sorely lacked. I was a very technical speed style player (similiar to John Mclaughlin but not NEAR as good) but lacked the depth and emotion that Ron could convey with just a couple of notes. I learned from Ron as we would get together and play here and there. Things like ghostbends, pull-offs and roll-offs, double-stops and the like were out of reach to me until he took the time to sit with me and very camly explain how they worked. Thanks to Ron, a whole new entirely different world of the guitar opened up to me and I pray to think that maybe I carry a little of him with me and send him back out into the cosmos when I play.
We need to keep the spirits of those guardian angels that have helped us alive and keep their positive influence here. Ron was always confident but modest, kind but abrupt and everyone that new him respected that. You never had to wonder what he was thinking because he kept no secrets , but had no enemies. He was always very tactful and to the point about everything and you always knew where everything stood with him.
As the years passed and Ron had started the Full Circle band with Frank Barry, the MS began to takes its toll on him and he couldn't play anymore. I was asked to come into the band in 1990 and have been with them ever since. It was an honor to stand in the shoes of such a wonderful talented human being, but our hopes were that ronnie would recover enough to rejoin the band and we could all play together. Fate did not allow that to happen but Ronnie was still a part of the band in our hearts. He would show up for gigs here and there and Paul Boyer the bassist, Ronnie and I would hit music stores and shop now and then.
Ronnie will always be in our hearts with the music and friendship he left behind and I firmly believe that right now as I'm writing these thoughts, Ronnie is sitting up in heaven with a pearl white gibson firebird and next to him is Jimi Hendrix saying "Nice riff brother, now slow that down and show me that over-bend again...

James Massie

06/13/10 08:18 AM #2    

Cindy Ketner

Ronnie and his family went to the same church as my family.  I remember them being a very loving family.  He and his brothers were always well mannered, well spoken, and well dressed.

I shared alot of secrets with Ronnie.  It saddens me to the core to see his name here.   He was such a sweet young man.  I actually can say "I loved him" my brother in christ.  RIP

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