In Black America Podcast: Legendary R&B and Gospel Singer Shirley Murdock
On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with veteran soul and gospel vocalist Shirley Murdock. Murdock started out singing gospel music in her hometown of Toledo, OH. Bandleader Roger Troutman hired her as a back-up singer for the funk band Zapp, who had several hits on Warner Bros. Records. Based on this success, Troutman began recording tracks with Murdock and lead singer Sugarfoot of the Ohio Players, at his Dayton, OH recording studio. Murdock and Troutman’s first charting single was a Warner single issued as Roger (featuring Shirley Murdock), “Girl, Cut It Out,” which charted at # 79 on the R&B chart in early 1985.
Murdock was signed to Elektra Records with “No More,” which made it to # 24 on the R&B chart in early 1986. Then came her signature hit, “As We Lay.” The tender, melancholy ballad shot up to #5 on the Billboard R&B single chart and also charted nicely on both the Top 40 adult contemporary and pop charts in 1986. Her LP Shirley Murdock went gold, also helped along by the follow-up hits “Go on Without You” and “Be Free.” She also released full-length albums in 1988 (A Woman’s Point of View) and 1991 (Let There Be Love). In early 2000, Murdock toured in the inspirational/gospel play, Be Careful What You Pray For with Cuba Gooding and David Peaston.
Murdock released Home, her gospel music debut album, in 2002 on T.D. Jakes’ Dexterity Sounds record label. She made her acting debut in the movie Sweating in The Spirit. Her latest release (CD/DVD) is entitled “Live: The Journey.”