September 30, 2023
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  • 4:35 pm Bailey County Senior Center to host vaccination clinic on Friday
  • 4:34 pm Special guests enhance learning during Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 4:32 pm Muleshoe Area Medical Center continues with repairs, old nursing home removal
  • 4:30 pm Week Five recap: Lockney, Sudan, Floydada earn big wins

He didn’t see it as a turning point at the time–this budding vocal artist who  

was belting out country songs at the Burger Box in Arlington. 

Craig Murphy, then age 40, might have been flipping burgers instead, trying to  

find a road that led somewhere instead of dead-end trails he’d followed for a  

couple of decades. 

He’d studied with diligence, applied himself and earned certifications in  

several fields, including auto mechanics, truck driving, law enforcement and  

radio broadcasting. However, all these pursuits lost their luster…. 


A few years earlier, worshipers at his small church near his home in Fort  

Worth–mostly senior adults–loved his singing. Modest then as he is now, Craig  

decided to embark on a musical career, despite being introverted and with  

limited talent.” 

He soon found happiness in singing, even though it required his lugging around a  

makeshift sound system, microphone and background CDs, initially limited to  

burger places. There, he earned a few dollars and received modest tips. 

With CDs providing background music for a couple of thousand songs, he had most  

of the lyrics memorized. The memorization came easy, since he had listened to  

country music driving 18-wheelers on trips–mostly at night–from New York to  

California. (A trucking school graduate, he soon learned that long-haul driving  

was not for him.)… 


Through luck or fate, the late Mrs. Johnny High heard Craig singing at a  

burger place, and immediately invited him to sing at the Johnny High Country  

Music Revue, a weekly show her late husband founded in 1974 and a Metroplex  

staple for some four decades. 

He was awestruck at the prospect. He quickly accepted, feeling fulfillment on  

the Arlington stage. Soon, he was invited to sing for residents at Arlington  

Villa Health and Rehab. 

That was a dozen years ago. At age 40, he was energized, thankful for what he  

felt to be a new life.” Thanks to encouragement from Mrs. High–who died at age  

91 a few months ago–he was singing outside the (Burger) box.”…. 


He had discovered his talent, as well as his audiences. He feels utmost  

delight in singing for residents of care centers, and the feeling is mutual.  

They love him back. 

Since then, he has sung at about 100 centers in Tarrant, Dallas and adjoining  

counties, often with three shows daily, monthly at most facilities. 

He has performed more than 6,000 times, calling many of his admirers by name as  

he moves among his fans, shaking hands and wishing them well, always with a  

disarming smile…. 


Even COVID couldn’t dissuade Craig from his mission, his call from God.” It  

knocked a hole in his scheduling, though. He felt almost as idle as his 1991  

Chevrolet pick-up that he’d bought new and finally warehoused about the time  

COVID hit. (Most of the odometer’s 300,000 miles were registered as Craig drove  

to and from entertainment venues.) 

Still, Craig averaged 200 dates annually–in 2020 and 2021–instead of 600,  

spending free time with a lawn service and putting his auto mechanic skills to work. 

Now, he’s back, never busier and never happier…. 


Most all the care centers have retained him, and happily so. Some residents  

ask friends and relatives to visit the nights Craig sings.” 

They have their favorites, of course, and one is his original composition,  

Anytime,” recorded in Nashville. He sang it on television’s Penny Gilley  

Show,” and it also is played regularly on radio. Its lyrics contend that any  

time is a good time for prayer…. 


Craig is also grateful to have found his “true love,” Cham, a valued employee  

of Arlington’s Fox Run Estates. 

A permanent American resident since 1985, she has overcome much. In her native  

Cambodia, she watched family members as they were slain by Communist-led  

genocide. Among some two million victims from 1975-79 were her father and four  

of her five sisters. 

Craig and Cham truly have much in common, including passion to serve others…. 


Dr. Newbury, longtime university president, writes weekly and continues to  

speak regularly throughout Texas.   

Don Newbury


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