Lyle Murphy enjoyed 75 years of success in many areas of the music industry. He was first highly regarded as a performer, playing all the woodwind instruments and several brass instruments, and was a distinguished soloist in various small groups.
He then became one of the legendary arrangers who ushered in the Big Band Era. He was the chief arranger for both Benny Goodman and Glen Gray, and wrote over 200 stock arrangements — commissioned by the Robbins-Feist-Miller Music Corporation — which are still being played around the world.
Moving from live performance to film, he was hired to compose and arrange for Columbia Pictures under Morris Stoloff, where he worked on over 50 films, including several by Fred Astaire. He also composed the music for “The Tony Fontaine Story” for Youth Films, which was dubbed in 18 languages and exhibited in 68 countries, winning the Neff Award for the best music score in its category.
During this period he was also recording albums of his own original compositions in the Jazz, Fantasy, and Modern Classic genres. He recorded for Contemporary Records, GNP, Decca, Liberty, and various other labels.
He studied conducting with Ivan Boutnikoff, former conductor of the Brussels Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bolshoi Ballet. For over 3 years Lyle was the leader of his own orchestra in Los Angeles and New York, including a period as conductor of a network radio program airing weekly from New York on NBC.
Lyle became a renowned educator, and wrote 26 books on various topics such as instrumental techniques and theory. His crowning achievement is his completely original 12 volume course in composing, arranging and orchestration for the professional musician titled “The Equal Interval System.” His students are highly enamored of their teacher, and have gone on to be successful in Film, TV, Records and Live Performance. Some of his better known students include Oscar Peterson, Gerald Wiggins, Buddy Collette, Walter Bishop Jr., Marcos Valle, Chase Jones, Scott Page, Ernie Felice, Dell Hake, Glenn Jordan, David Blumberg, Dan Sawyer, Tim Torrance, Jim Venable, Mary Ekler, Steve Marston, Sara Engle, Bennie Maupin, Anthony Marinelli, Richard Firth, and Doug MacDonald.
Lyle was a member of ASCAP and a charter member of ASMAC, the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers. He also served as its president from 1965-77. He also taught a special course for composers and arrangers at the Mt. Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Canada. In addition, Lyle served on the Board of Directors of the Professional Musicians Union, Local 47 for over 25 years, and was responsible for negotiating better wages for fellow orchestrator, arrangers and copyists.
He received so many awards, it would be difficult to list them all. Some significant ones are commendations from the Mayor of Los Angeles, The Golden Score Award, and being voted the Educator of the Year by the LA Jazz Society in 1990.
He was also an accomplished world traveler, astronomer, photographer, “Titanic” historian, and one of the most charming people you could have ever met. Mr. Murphy was born in Berlin, Germany. He went to his next existence on August 5, 2005, in Los Angeles, California.