The Kansas City radio scene lost a great talent when Murphy Wells left us a few years back. As you may or may not know, Murphy is BACK! Murphy can now be found doing the midday slot on 97.3 MAX FM. I, as well as many, many other listeners, am thrilled to have Murphy back. Proving that success has in no way gone to her head, Murphy agreed to meet with Stephanie and me on a Sunday afternoon so we could help all you fans catch up with what youíve been missing. Murphy, accompanied by Chuck Nasty, another former Kansas City radio personality, joined us at the Kansas City River Market for the afternoon and we all had a great time. Check out Murphy on 97.3 MAX FM and stay tuned to hear about her upcoming involvement with this yearís Fight for the Kids event sponsored by Chad Osborne of Adrenaline Extreme Combat to benefit Bikers Against Child Abuse.
CC: Murphy, weíre glad to have you back in Kansas City. Where the hell have you been for so long?
Murphy: Not telliníÖ WellÖ after I resigned from the ROCK in June of 2004, I had a six-month noncompete, which means I couldnít work in Kansas City air waves for six months, so what am I going to do? Work at Wal-Mart? So I left and moved home with my son. My two older kids, one moved to Portland Oregon, the other moved to KU, and my son and I moved to Chanute where I grew up. I enrolled him in school there in my old junior high, which was a trip and a half. I worked at a radio station there. A good friend of mine from high school owned a radio station, so I did middays for about five months. Then my son wanted to move to Colorado where his dad was moving to Colorado Springs, so we moved to Castle Rock, which is a suburb of Denver, in January of 2005. I sold my motorcycle to fund that trip. That sucks. You can quote me on that. I cried for days. (This is drama). Then after six months of dad not seeing his son but maybe once a month and never calling, my son said he wanted to come home. Kansas City is home. Spring Hill is where he grew up, so we moved to Olathe and he attends Spring Hill Schools. I had no desire to be in radio in Kansas City, so I didnít even inquire because I just didnít care for corporate radio and all the stuff I went through. I didnít want to get back into that. So I became a para at my kidsí high school. A para is a paraprofessional who assists special ed students, ones with mental retardation, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. That was an awesome time for me. I did that all last year and then I did it part of this year. Then I found out that MAX FM was looking for day shifts, and then I found out from Dave Stewart, who used to be on my show for yearsÖ I called him because he is at 810, which is owned by Union Broadcasting, and I said, ďWhatís going on over there?Ē He said, ďI donít know; youíll need to call Chad, the general manager, and find out. He had heard some rumors, but he wasnít sure. I found out it is locally owned which makes a big difference, so I called him and we played phone tag for almost a month. Finally, just two to three weeks ago, I got in there and they said, ďWould you like to be a part of our team.Ē Absolutely! That, kind of in a nutshell, is where Iíve been for the past two years. I have one child left, and that is my priority. Thatís been my main deal, to make sure he is stable and in a good environment. Heís an excellent straight A student, plays saxophone in the jazz band and makes me very, very proud. Thatís my main thing; Iím a mom first. I miss my motorcycle. (Laughs). This opportunity I have with MAX FM is just incredible. Iíve just been there for a week. The first Friday on the air almost made me cry it was so awesome; all the listeners who wished me well and were so glad I was back. It was very good for me personally to hear that. I needed to hear that and so Iím very, very happy to be back.
CC: Weíve heard every rumor from marriage to Larry the Cable guy to nervous breakdown, and I want you to set the record straight.
Murphy: Larry and I are good friends. Didnít marry Larry. Heís happy married, and just had a baby, I believe. I heard I went to Seattle, heard I was dying of cancer, heard I was a crack addict, heard I had a baby, heard I divorced Johnny Dare, married LarryÖ so I was amused for a few months there. It was kind of like ďWhereís WaldoĒ when I left. I understand that, but I take the high road on this. I had to do what was best for me and my family, and the best thing for me was to get healthy again because I did develop hypothyroidism (look it up), lots of people get it. I got it severely from stress, from working there, so my doctors told me that I could not go back to work indefinitely. I had to accept it and acknowledge that I had to go to be healthy and to be a good mom, and thatís what I did. I do not regret my time at the ROCK at all. I had a great time there, a good run. It was awesome, and I have a lot of great memories because of a lot of the things we did, especially a lot of the motorcycle runs and the good people who are involved in motorcycle runs, as you know. I will never regret my 10 years there. I wish things wouldnít have happened the way they did, but I think things happen for a reason. What has happened has been very good for me personally. I left in a good way. They know what happened, and a lot of the listeners I know donít understand, but believe me it was because of my health, because of the stress working there. You know what Iím saying. I did the right thing. I know I did the right thing because I was very relieved when I signed the paper when I resigned. My children are happy and healthy; Iím happy and healthy, and thatís all that matters.
CC: I know if it were me, selling my bike would kill me, so I know it had to kill you too. Is there going to be another bike in you future any time soon?
Murphy: I canít imagine not having a bike; itís been hard. I see a lot of bikes out now. In fact, I laid pretty low for the past year that Iíve lived here in Kansas City. I didnít go out very much at all. A few months ago I went down to a bar where a lot of my biker friends go to and ran into some of them. Iím sure eventually Iíll get a bike, donít know what kind. You know Iím a Yamaha rider, but Iíve always been a Suzuki-Yamaha rider since I was a kid, so that just makes sense for me, but weíll see. I hope to get in with some motorcycle shops here in Kansas City and do a lot of charity runs. Iím looking forward to that. Maybe if I save up my money I can buy one and Iíll do that, except for a Harley. Theyíre too expensive.
CC: Cycle Connections and Chad Osborne with Adrenaline Extreme Combat along with Josh Baker, teamed together to do a ride for Bikers Against Child Abuse this summer and weíll be doing that again next year. Would you even be a little interested to come along, and maybe be our celebrity for that ride?
Murphy: Your honorary chairperson? Absolutely! I have worked with them (BACA) over the years. Great organization! In fact, on my helmet I have one of their stickers still. I still kept my helmet. Couldnít give that up. Absolutely! I would love to be involved in any charity ride. Being a broadcaster, I feel itís my obligation. Yes, itís cool, and itís fun, itís a great job to entertain all of you and to play rock-n-roll, which I love, but I would be an idiot if I didnít take advantage of this opportunity where I can help people. We all need to help people. I think weíre all born to serve, so to me that is serving the public, being able to use the air waves to get the word out to help anybody thatís in need.
CC: Everybody Iíve talked to, all my friends, a lot of our readers, missed you from the day you left, and everybody is excited that youíre back now. Does it take you aback to know that over that time period your following is still as strong as it was?
Murphy: Itís been really incredible. Iíve been here for a year in the Kansas City area and I canít shake that Murphy thing. Not that I want to, but I havenít been on the air for a year, and you donít know what it feels like. I appreciate it so much that I meant that much to people because Iíve always felt Iíve been very sincere with everyone, and when I do things, I mean them. Itís just incredible, the love, if you want to call it that, that everybody has given me. Especially the first day I was on the air, all the callers were just fabulous. One guy said, ďWillie Roaf has retired from the Chiefs and Murphy Wells is back. The universe is complete.Ē Whatever that means. How kind of him to say that. It is pretty overwhelming sometimes that people think that much of me and are glad that Iím back. I really, really truly appreciate it.
CC: On behalf of myself and all the staff of Cycle Connections, weíre glad youíre back. Weíll look forward to seeing what we can do together to help the riders of Kansas City, and any type of charitable endeavors that you want to be involved with. In closing, is there anything you want to say to all your listeners out there?
Murphy: I would like to say please take advantage of me being on the air. I really love riding and I donít care what kind of bike you ride; never have, never will. Call me. Iíd be glad to try to set up anything to help out this community, because you know Kansas City has an awesome community.
Interview by Loney and