Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll,” played Murphy Center five times between 1974 and 1975.
“Every time before a show…it was just like it was the first Elvis had ever performed…nervous as he could be. But as soon as that orchestra started to 2001 Space Odyssey theme, you could see the nervousness drain right out of him. And he’d go onstage and kill.” – Harold Smith
On November 25, 1975, The Who played Murphy Center as part of a 20-city American tour coinciding with the New York film premiere of Tommy, the rock opera written by songwriter and guitarist Pete Townsend. Harold Smith recalled, “The thing that worried me about that show was that I was afraid [drummer] Keith Moon would burn the facility down. He’d been known to do things like that. Every once in a while, he’d throw a drumstick at [bassist] John Entwistle. But he was pretty well-behaved!”
“When my father retired from the Air Force in 1974, our family relocated from Tucson, Arizona to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. My older sister and I were devastated and experienced quite a culture shock; coming from the big city of Tucson to the small town of Murfreesboro. When my sister (who enrolled in the fall 1974 MTSU semester) came home from school and told me that she had tickets for us to go see The Who in concert at Murphy Center, I couldn’t believe it. When The Who took the stage and Murphy Center was filled with the sounds of Pinball Wizard, I closed my eyes and was back in the big city of Tucson. When I opened my eyes, I realized that I was still in Murfreesboro, but I knew then that we were going to be ok here.” – Teresa E. Watson (1977-1981)
Elvis, “Let Me Be There,” 1974
The Charlie Daniels Band, “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again),” Volunteer Jam II
The Charlie Daniels Band, “Whiskey,” Volunteer Jam II
The Marshall Tucker Band & Charlie Daniels, “24 Hours at a Time,” Volunteer Jam II