Born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating high school, entered the US Navy as a recruit musician on clarinet and saxophone, attending the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C., later assigned to a cruiser division fleet band out of Boston. Upon completion of service duties, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a professional musician. While there performed with several combos and went on the road with the Claude Gordon orchestra, and recorded an LP with them in the Capitol Towers. Next came a road tour with the Les Elgart orchestra in the jazz tenor chair. Upon completion of that tour, and deciding the possibility that a professional career was not a viable option to provide for his family, entered the California State University at Los Angeles to earn a teaching degree, with a Masters in Music Education. After four years of teaching in Glendale, CA, returned to his native Pennsylvania, eventually teaching for thirty years in a suburban Philadelphia district in Lower Merion Township, retiring in 1995. Upon visiting Sarasota on a vacation decided this is where the culture was, and purchased a home in 2007. Since then Murphy has performed with the Anna Maria Orchestra and Suncoast Concert Band and the Gulf Winds (Wind Quintet), all on Bassoon, and the Suncoast Jazz Ambassadors, in lead tenor chair. Acting as a regular alto sax substitute with the Sarasota Jazz Project has been a highlight in his musical experiences.