Billy Murray

William Thomas "Billy" Murray (25 May 1877 – 17 August 1954) was one of the most popular singers in the United States in the early decades of the 20th century. While he received star billings in Vaudeville, he was best known for his prolific work in the recording studio, making records for almost every record label of the era. Billy Murray was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Patrick and Julia (Kelleher) Murray, immigrants from Ireland. His parents moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1882, where he grew up. He became fascinated with the theater and joined a traveling vaudeville troupe in 1893. He also performed in minstrel shows early in his career. In 1897 Murray made his first recordings for Peter Bacigalupi, the owner of a phonograph company in San Francisco, California. As of 2010 none of Murray's Bacigalupi cylinder records are known to have survived. In 1903 he started recording regularly in the New York City and New Jersey area, when the nation's major record companies as well as the Tin Pan Alley music industry were concentrated there. In 1906 he waxed the first of his popular duets with Ada Jones.


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