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Landau Kicks Off His ’14 National Christmas Tour with Charity Performance in His Own Hometown

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Kicks Off His 2014 National Christmas Tour with Charity Performance in His Own Hometown of Logan, West Virginia on Friday December 5th

America’s Got Talent Winner will bring special celebrity guests from Temptations, Platters, and Drifters as part of benefit performance, and be Grand Marshal of City of Logan Christmas Parade

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the dreadlocked classic crooner vocalist who won season six of NBC Television’s America’s Got Talent, one million dollars, and a Columbia Records contract, kicks off his 2014 Murphy and Motown Christmas Tour in his beloved hometown of Logan, West Virginia on Friday December 5th with a holiday charity performance at the Coalfield Jamboree Theatre. Tickets will be available this Monday, November 10th HERE and will soon be available at the Logan County Chamber of Commerce.

Landau will be performing hits from his debut CD “That’s Life” and his holiday release “Christmas Made For Two” and will preview songs from his upcoming third CD slated for a 2015 release. Also appearing with Landau as his special celebrity guests Leonard, Coleman & Blunt, the former lead vocalists of the Temptations, the Platters, and the Drifters, who have sold over 100 million records worldwide and scored dozens of number one hits.

Landau is also sharing the stage with West Virginia Teen Idol’s Shana Nelson and Seth Bunting.

Every holiday season, Landau is dedicated to helping hometown charities: his tour kick-off show in Logan is no exception. The Salvation Army, Logan High School Prayer Club’s Canned Food Drive, and the Matt Patterson Christmas Toy Drive are all receiving benefits and support from Team Landau in Logan. Ticket holders who donate to these charities can attend a special pre-concert VIP reception with Landau and Leonard, Coleman & Blunt to meet the stars, take photos, get autographs, and spread the holiday cheer.

To help coalfield residents of Logan County whose funds may be a bit tight this Christmas season, Logan County School students from kindergarten to 12th grade will receive the opportunity to receive one free ticket with each adult admission purchase.

Landau will also be serving as the Grand Marshal of the annual City of Logan Christmas Parade starting at 6:30 pm. The Murphy and Motown Christmas Concert will begin after the parade at 8:00 pm.

All of the Murphy and Motown musicians will be available after the show to meet with fans and pose for photos. Landau will be autographing copies of his classic hit Christmas album, Christmas Made For Two.

The special event is made possible by:

The City of Logan, Dave Allen Communications,

Mike Ferrell Toyota and the new Mike Ferrell Ford in Williamson,

Gatti’s Pizza, Fountain Place Cinema 8, Logan Bank and Trust, and

Southern West Virginia Community College Foundation Harmony 365

The Hatfield McCoy Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

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Landau Celebrates Sinatra in San Fran Friday December 12th



Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. is proud to participate in a celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 99th Birthday on Friday night December 12th at Feinstein’s at the Nikko inside the Hotel Nikko at 222 Mason Street in San Francisco, CA. Feinstein’s at the Nikko is an elegant yet intimate 140-seat nightclub operated in partnership with multi-platinum, Emmy and Grammy nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein, the Ambassador of the Great American Songbook. This will mark Landau’s first Bay Area performance, although he did headline the California State Fair in Sacramento in 2012.

Citi card members receive VIP seating near the stage and a meet and greet with Landau and the other performers while supplies last. Go to, type in the keyword SINATRA and enter the passcode CITI99 when purchasing tickets. Tickets are also available at or by calling (415) 394-1111.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. won the sixth season of NBC TV’s America’s Got Talent after performing several of Frank Sinatra’s biggest hits on his way to the $1 million grand prize and the opportunity to headline a show at the Colosseum in Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas. Murphy was signed by Columbia Records and released his first CD That’s Life (produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell) which debuted at number one on the Billboard Jazz charts. Landau’s follow up album “Christmas Made For Two” and his memoir of his life story “Landau – From Washing Cars to Hollywood Stars” were both huge hits, and his third album was recently completed at Sinatra’s beloved Capitol Records Studio “B.” Landau has performed Sinatra standards and more around the world from The Apollo Theater in New York to the Hollywood Christmas Parade to the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, and for U.S. Troops in Europe via Armed Forces Entertainment.

Renee Olstead is a Warner Brothers recording artist who released her self-titled CD of jazz and pop standards in 2004 which was produced by David Foster whom she later performed with on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Olstead recorded with Trumpeter Chris Botti on his 2005 album To Love AgainThe Duets and his 2006 DVD Chris Botti Live. In 2009 she released her second CD Skylark.  As an actress her credits include the television sitcom Still Standing, The Secret Life of the American Teenager as well as the film 13 Going On 30.

Dave Damiani is an emerging new talent whose debut album Watch What Happens was released last year. He, and the nine-piece No Vacancy Orchestra, is the ideal choice to celebrate the legacy of Frank Sinatra on what would have been the Chairman’s 99th Birthday. Damiani was seen on the CBS drama Vegas; performed for Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Seacrest, David Spade, and Jack Klugman and has been engaged for private events by such corporate giants as Apple, E Harmony, Microsoft, and Monster Energy Drinks. Grammy Award Winning vocalist and Feinstein’s at the Nikko performer Steve Tyrell said: “The future is bright for this up and coming singer.”

Landau added that “it’s a terrific honor to salute the Chairman Of The Board on what would have been his 99th birthday. I owe my career to Sinatra and other crooners who paved the way for me to do what I love, and I’m humbled to be asked to participate.”

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Landau Lends A Hand to Southern WV Families this Christmas

Contact: Scott PauleyFor Immediate ReleasePhone (304) 676-9286

Contact: Jessica LloydTeam Landau/AMS LLC(703) 589-8960

Alum Creek Fire Dept Toy DriveLandau Eugene Murphy Jr. Lends A Hand to Southern WV Families this Christmas at 2nd Annual Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department Toy Drive Thursday November 13th and with special Murphy and Motown Christmas Homecoming Concert in Logan Friday December 5th

Landau Kicks off National Christmas Tour in his hometown with Celebrity Guest Stars

America’s Got Talent winner and native West Virginian, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. will meet and greet fans at Midway Elementary in Alum Creek, WV Thursday November 13, 2014, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM to help kick-off the 2014 Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department Toy Drive. Admission to the event is free with the donation of a new/unwrapped toy or a minimum of $10 to the ACVFD Toy Drive campaign. A limited number of tickets will be available at the toy drive for the kickoff concert of Landau’s Murphy and Motown Christmas Homecoming tour Friday night December 5th in Murphy’s hometown of Logan WV. The special Christmas concert will feature as Landau’s special guests Leonard, Coleman and Blunt, the former lead singers of the legendary Temptations, Platters and Drifters plus “WV Teen Idol” winner Seth Bunting. It’s all part of the City of Logan’s Christmas festivities including the annual Christmas parade where this year for the first time ever Murphy will serve as Parade Grand Marshall.

The Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department’s Toy Drive will run through December 18, 2014 to benefit area children. Toys may be dropped off every Thursday evening between November 13 and December 18, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM, at the Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Central Station, located at 2106 Childress Road in Alum Creek, WV. Toys may also be dropped off Monday through Saturday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM at Curry Brothers Monuments, adjacent to the fire department on Childress Road in Alum Creek.

A representative of the Fire Dept. will be available for interviews (phoners, on camera, in studio, etc) during the days leading up to the kickoff event and beyond. Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. will be available for phoners throughout the day on November 13 and will be available for in studio and/or on camera interviews Thursday afternoon prior to the event.

For more information on the Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department Toy Drive, contact Josh Powers or Austin McCormick at (304) 756-2011 or on Facebook at For tickets and more information for the Murphy and Motown Christmas Homecoming Tour including the first tour stop in Logan Friday December 5th, visit

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The Agency Group APAP Showcase in NYC



The Agency Group APAP Showcase

The Psychedelic Furs, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., Madeleine Peyroux, Sarah Slean

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Showtime @ 8:00 PM
Doors open @ 6:00 PM
Tickets $35 in advance, $40 day of show


The Psychedelic Furs

If you sit and talk to many of the alternative rock artists dominating today’s music, you’ll find that many of them pay homage to the The Psychedelic Furs. Led by front man and songwriter Richard Butler, the Furs won over fans and critics alike by combining poetic lyrics, innovative rhythms and melodies driven by an aggressive, punk desperation. Through it all, the band scored major hits with “Love My Way,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Heaven,” “The Ghost In You,” and “Heartbreak Beat” in all releasing seven studio albums and spawning several compilations, a boxed set, and a live concert DVD.

The Psychedelic Furs came together in England’s emerging punk scene in 1977 initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Paul Wilson (drums), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), and Roger Morris (guitars). By 1979, this line up had expanded to a sextet with Vince Ely replacing Wilson on drums and John Ashton being added on guitar.

The Furs debut, a self-titled album from 1980 was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The LP quickly established the band at radio in Europe and was a top 20 hit in the UK. The album also found success in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. The US version of the album was resequenced, yet failed to have as strong a commercial impact.

The Furs did find success in the U.S. with their next release, 1981’s Talk Talk Talk, which saw the band making its debut on the US album charts. In New Zealand, meanwhile, the band became immensely popular, as Talk Talk Talk reached the top ten in the charts, the first in a string of Furs’ albums to chart in the New Zealand Top 10.

In the UK, the album spun off two charting singles, “Dumb Waiters” and the original version of “Pretty in Pink”. The latter song served as inspiration for the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name, and was re-recorded for the film’s platinum-selling soundtrack.

In 1982, the Furs, now a four-piece with the departures of Morris and Kilburn, recordedForever Now, with producer Todd Rundgren in Woodstock, New York. This album included “Love My Way”, which became yet another UK and US chart hit.

Ely left the band after Forever Now, although he would return for the 1988 single “All That Money Wants” and the 1989 album Book of Days.

The Furs’ 1984 release Mirror Moves was produced by Keith Forsey, and featured the songs “The Ghost in You” and “Heaven”. Both charted in throughout the world, and “Heaven” became the band’s highest charting UK hit at the time. Strangely, however, “Heaven” was never released as a single in the U.S. Instead, Columbia Records opted for “Here Come Cowboys”, despite both international success and heavy MTV airplay for “Heaven”. “Here Come Cowboys” failed to chart, but “The Ghost In You” was a hit single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

By the mid-80s, the band had become a staple on both U.S. college and modern rock radio stations. Simultaneously, they were experiencing consistent mainstream success, placing several singles in the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1986, the band recorded a sax-infused version of “Pretty in Pink” for the soundtrack of the film of the same name.  Butler later claimed that the success of “Pretty in Pink” caused the band to be pressured into entering the recording studio to record a follow-up release before they were ready. The result was Midnight to Midnight, their biggest Top 40 success to date, but also a more overtly commercial effort than the Furs had ever recorded before. The album also featured the single “Heartbreak Beat”, which became the Psychedelic Furs biggest hit yet on the U.S. Top 40. The album also featured drummer Paul Garisto and sax player Mars Williams, both of whom continue to tour with the band.

In the wake of Midnight To Midnight, the Furs found themselves dissatisfied with their new commercial direction, and subsequently returned to a rawer sound with “All That Money Wants”, a 1988 track especially recorded for a best-of compilation album “All Of This And Nothing”. 1989’s Book of Days and 1991’s World Outside also saw a return to the earlier Furs’ style.

The Furs’ steady chart success continued with three #1 hits on the newly-established U.S. Modern Rock chart between 1988 and 1991. “All That Money Wants” was a #1 hit in 1988, while “House” topped the chart in 1990, and “Until She Comes” was #1 in 1991.

The band went on extended hiatus in the early 1990s, with the Butler brothers going on to create the band “Love Spit Love” along with guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Love Spit Love released two albums and enjoyed some chart success as well.

After spending most of the decade apart, the Butlers and Ashton reignited The Psychedelic Furs in 2000, and released a live album Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live, which also featured a new studio recording, “Alive (For Once In My Lifetime).” A DVD version of the performance included live versions of “Alive” and three other previously unreleased songs: “Anodyne (Better Days),” “Cigarette” and “Wrong Train.” Since then, lead singer Richard Butler has released an eponymous solo album produced by Jon Carin, and has hinted at the possibility of a new Psychedelic Furs album.

These days, the band continues to tour around the world. The current Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums).

The Psychedelic Furs »

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Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

When Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. showed up to audition for America’s Got Talent, he was singing to pass the time while grinding out a living washing cars, and the only “nice” clothes he owned were the ones on his back; a pair of jeans, a modest button down striped shirt and jacket.

Fortunately, you don’t need a large wardrobe to win America’s heart. You need talent and Landau has truckloads of that. Since wowing the judges with his interpretations of classics by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and walking away with the million dollar grand prize in front of 14 million weekly viewers on AGT, Landau has released his Columbia Records debut “That’s Life” (the CD hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and was produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell, who also helmed Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook album) and has performed all over the country, from the California State Fair to the New York’s famous Apollo Theatre, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to the Marina Civic Center in Florida and all points in between.

Along the way, he has appeared on The Today Show, The View, CNN, Fox and Friends, The Wendy Williams Show, The Talk, Anderson Cooper, Tom Joyner, Sirius XM, NPR and dozens of other outlets, was named his home state’s “West Virginian of the Year” (where he has performed a series of sold out concerts helping raise over a half million dollars for state charities), played a special command performance at the Governors Inauguration, won Reality TV Personality of the Year in Hollywood, and was honored to perform with his band for U.S. Troops in Germany.

But all that success hasn’t made Landau forget his roots. He was born in the Mountain State of West Virginia and continues to live there rather than move to entertainment industry hubs like Los Angeles or New York. “West Virginia will always be my home,” says Landau, “and home and family are the most important thing in the world to me. I can always fly out to L.A. or New York for work, but being here helps keep me humble and grounded. I’m just very fortunate to be living my dream.”

For many winners of television talent competitions, the ride is short, but for Landau, more than two years after winning America’s Got Talent, things couldn’t be busier. A book co-authored with award-winning writer Rick Robinson chronicling Landau’s All American success story called LANDAU: FROM WASHING CARS TO HOLLYWOOD STAR, debuted at #1 on the Jazz Book chart. Landau’s CHRISTMAS MADE FOR TWO is an album full of both classic and brand new original holiday favorites (“Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year”). The CD features a guest appearance by former Temptations lead vocalist Glenn Leonard reprising his role on “Silent Night” from the Temptations Christmas album. Landau’s Christmas CD is now a best-selling fundraising vehicle for The Children’s Home Society charity, and the holiday season found Landau guest hosting a show on the Sirius/XM “Holly” channel while crisscrossing the country on a sold out Christmas tour with his mentor Leonard and former lead vocalists from The Platters and Drifters. Landau also performed his first ever concerts with two complete symphony orchestras and visited Asia for the first time, at the headliner at a special charity benefit at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai China for AEG Live. But also penciled into Landau’s busy calendar is spending time at his modest new home in the West Virginia hills. “I’ve got my home studio, plenty of room for my family and a big beautiful mountain behind me. I’m so thankful to God everyday for giving me these blessings, and a bigger stage to perform on.”

And, yes, he still sings while he washes cars. But now, those cars belong to Landau.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. »

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Madeleine Peyroux

“The only thing that matters is the song,”

says singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. That conviction along with a ‘one of a kind’ voice, has carried the Jazz artist from busking on the streets of Paris, all the way to mainstream recognition.

Through intensely distinctive renditions of old classics and modern tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, Peyroux has proved to be an uncannily insightful ‘interpreter’ with her consistently impeccable choice of material.

Peyroux’s new album, The Blue Room, sees the genre-blending singer reworking some landmark musical gems, in a repeat collaboration with longtime Peyroux producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Walter Becker, Tracy Chapman, Herbie Hancock)

The result is a sophisticated album that rather than just ‘crossing over’, seamlessly fuses musical styles together to create an entirely new sound.

The Blue Room started life as Klein’s re-examination of Ray Charles’s classic, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, but soon moved away from being strictly an homage to that album.

“Madeleine and I decided to branch out to other songs we love,” explains Klein, so alongside tunes from the original ABC Paramount project such as “Bye Bye Love,” “Born To Lose,” “You Don’t Know Me” and the anthemic “I Can’t Stop Loving You” are Randy Newman’s “Guilty,” Warren Zevon’s “Desperadoes Under The Eaves” and John Hartford’s “Gentle On My Mind.”

“Ray’s ‘cultural landmark’ album has always been a part of me,” says Larry Klein, “…the project naturally came to mind with Madeleine as a part of it.”

“Much like Charles who in 1962 jelled R & B, Gospel, Country and Jazz, Madeleine is at a nexus of styles, blending Jazz, Blues, Country and Pop’. The ‘cheerful on the surface’ songs have a ‘dark undercurrent’ which Klein ‘knew that Madeleine could naturally relate to.”

For The Blue Room Larry Klein has again called upon the talents of award-winning engineer/mixer Helik Hadar as well as stellar musicians Dean Parks, Larry Goldings, Jay Bellerose and David Piltch. To this ensemble however, the celebrated producer has added an inspired orchestral element in the shape of Vince Mendoza’s engaging string arrangements (Joni Mitchell, Robbie Williams, Björk and Elvis Costello)

Mendoza’s masterful string orchestrations perfectly complement Madeleine’s quest for open musical exploration. The sometimes eerie, often sparse arrangements prove the perfect canvas for Peyroux’s musical palette and seem to effortlessly blend with her voice.

With the sixth track on the new album, Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On The Wire,” Peyroux returns to the iconic poet’s work. She revisits the tempting power of Careless Love’s “Dance Me To The End of Love”, as Mendoza’s strings thoroughly intensify the experience.

With the sensitive accompaniment of Dean Parks’ guitars, Jay Bellerose’s atmospheric drumming, David Piltch’s bass and as in “Dance Me To the End of Love,” Larry Goldings deft piano, Peyroux sheds an enticing new light on the familiar classic.

The Blue Room feels like a landmark in the artist’s free-spirited musical journey which started in Paris, when ‘drawn to the music of the streets’, 15-year-old Peyroux left school to join a touring blues and jazz band.

“Someone gave me early Columbia recordings with Billie Holiday and instructed me to learn the songs.” Peyroux grasped not just the melody changes, choice of tone and phrasing but the power of the iconic artist’s presence. “It was by learning Billie’s mannerisms that I was learning to listen to my own,” she explains.

Years later, her talent was spotted at a New York club by Atlantic Records’ Yves Beauvais who signed her to the label and co-produced her 1996 debut album Dreamland. Peyroux’s husky voice enchanted punters and critics alike but it was the 2004 Careless Love that proved to be a milestone release for the artist, bringing mainstream recognition and marking the start of a four-album-long collaboration with producer Larry Klein.

It’s a long way from the streets of Paris to collaborating with some of the world’s finest musicians. Still, where others may be content basking in the glow of praising reviews, this charmingly humble musician bravely explores new grounds showing that like jazz itself she is willing to take new chances.

Madeleine Peyroux »

Madeleine Peyroux @ Facebook »


Sarah Slean

Described as “one of the most compelling acts Canada has to offer”, (TIME Magazine) and nominated three times for her country’s top music prize (The Juno Awards), multi-faceted Canadian singer/songwriter/pianist Sarah Slean seems to be hitting her stride. With her latest release, the ambitious double album “Land & Sea”, Slean has created what The Montreal Gazette calls “a masterpiece”.

Land is a big, warm, gleeful spasm of unabashed pop/rock full of Slean’s signature lyrics, big voice and powerful piano chops, produced by East Coast icon Joel Plaskett (Joel Plaskett Emergency), and mixed by Big Sugar/Grady front man Gordie Johnson and Vic Florencia (Nelly Furtado). Sea is a collection of nine cinematic, orchestral jaw-droppers, four of which were scored for 21- strings by Sarah herself. With the help of renowned producer/film composer Jonathan Goldsmith (Jane Siberry, Bruce Cockburn/Away From Her, Casino Jack) and award-winning engineer Jeff Wolpert (Loreena McKennitt) Sea is “an awe-inspiring panorama of the mature poet and musician” containing “echoes of Gustav Mahler, Leonard Cohen and Kurt Weill” (Toronto Star)

Over her 14 year career, with 9 recordings released in over 10 countries worldwide, Slean’s music has borrowed aspects of cabaret, rock, pop, and orchestral : all knit together by the startling poetry of her lyrics, virtuosic piano-playing, and that voice: “a 19th century Kate Bush” (Mersereau – CBC). In addition to headlining theatres across Canada, Sarah has also toured France, Germany, the US and Sweden and opened internationally for such artists as Ron Sexmsith, Feist, Alanis Morissette, Buck 65, Sarah Harmer, Andrew Bird, Chris Isaac, and Bryan Ferry.

Sarah Slean »

Sarah Slean @ Facebook »

Sarah Slean @ Twitter »

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Performance in sunny and beautiful Cocoa Beach, Florida!





Announcing an up-close and intimate performance in beautiful Cocoa Beach, Florida!

Don’t miss your chance to see Landau at Heidi’s Jazz Club on Wednesday, August 21st at 7pm AND at 9PM!

Heidi’s Jazz Club has been the number one hangout for jazz lovers and jazz musicians on Florida’s Space Coast since Heidi and Eddie opened the club in 1992. Featuring live music every Tuesday through Sunday with featured performers on selected Friday and Saturday evenings and Heidi’s Open Jam Session every Sunday evening starting at 7 PM.


To purchase your tickets for the show and to learn more about Heidi’s Jazz Club, visit their website at or call 321-783-4559.


Buy your tickets NOW before the additional show sells out!

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Landau in LA Splash Magazine



Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Interview – The America’s Got Talent Jazz Singer Winner Tells His Story

by Eman Al-Hassan


Sitting down on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills with Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., I am immediately taken by his enthusiasm. Before saying anything else the jazz singer mentions how beautiful the weather is and takes a moment to admire the view. Landau is smiling cheek-to-cheek soaking in the afternoon sunshine and just seems so ridiculously…happy. The winner of America’s Got Talent clearly is not jaded by fame.


Originally from a small town in West Virginia, raised in Detroit, Landau Murphy has a great understanding of humble beginnings. Murphy, now thirty-nine, spent most of his life struggling to make ends meet and jumping from job to job. While in Detroit he worked at a car wash and after losing that job due to injury Murphy lived in his car for a while; as he puts it “I would sleep in this car under the bridge…fortunately for me God gave me enough talent, so I would cut hair and do things like that to keep gas in my car so I could turn the heat on when it was cold…I slept under bridges…and tried to find out where my next meal was coming from…and if I needed to take a shower I would just go play video games with my buddies…”


After facing homelessness in Detroit, Landau Murphy moved back to his original home in Logan, West Virginia where he reunited with his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Carter and the two married in 2005. During this time Landau was singing at charity events and small gigs at restaurants; he says that he was just singing to pay the bills at the time, but still, just barely affording to live. Even when he and his wife were hardly affording to live, the two would decline payment when they performed at some charity events because they believe that helping others is always more important than helping themselves. Landau explained to me how service to others was always his top priority: “a lot of times they tried to pay me, but my heart was telling me ‘no’…they need it more”.



While Landau performed just enough to barely get by, times got even harder in 2010 when Landau’s home was robbed and virtually everything that he owned was taken from him. He describes the robbery as being “cleaned out” and says “they took all the clothes…all the furniture…they took the copper out of the walls”, leaving him and his wife with literally nothing. Landau explains that this was rock bottom for him and he was “down to absolutely zero again”, which felt like a reoccurring cycle for him; while he couldn’t understand why this was all happening, he was looking for a sign to tell him what to do next. After the robbery Landau was sitting on his bed at his mother-in-law’s house questioning what his next step in life should be:


I thought to myself ‘I’m thirty-five years old, married…what am I going to do? You know, I was thinking of all kinds of crazy things…things that would get me locked up eventually…and I’m sitting there and then God spoke to me in plain English and said “Son all you need is a bigger stage”. I wondered what that meant and then I got this cold chill over my body and right at that moment Howie Mandel came on my TV screen and asked “Are you the next winner of America’s Got Talent?” So I went right into my mother-in-law’s bedroom and signed up on the Internet…to audition for the show.


Landau went on to explain that when he went in to try out for America’s Got Talent he was literally down to his last everything; because of the robbery Landau was wearing the only clothes he owned on the day that he auditioned. All he wanted at the time was the opportunity to work and make enough money to support himself and his wife: “All I was thinking about was just getting on the TV show…I thought if I could just make that first audition and make it on the show someone will call me to sing at a restaurant or a cruise ship.” Landau says that his goal was to simply get his name “out there” so that small businesses might hire him to perform…he was just looking for work.


Landau’s wholesome and humble intentions ended up opening the gateway to a life that he never suspected he would have. Shortly after his audition, Landau’s wife received a call from the studio telling them that Landau would be on the show. Mrs. Murphy thought the phone-call was a joke and hung up. After the studio called back and confirmed that Landau did, in fact, make it to the first round his life was never the same. After surviving round after round of the show, Landau eventually was deemed the winner of America’s Got Talent’s 6th Season in 2011. He received a grand prize of $1 million and was signed withColumbia Records and Sony Records. Landau believes that everything happens for a reason and says that if he hadn’t been robbed and left with nothing, he wouldn’t have had the need or motivation to audition for the show; but the desperate times called for a desperate measure, which lead him to a flourishing music career. Landau produced his first record That’s Life with Steve Tyrell in 2011; the album debuted in theBillboard 200 and was ranked #1 in the Billboard Jazz chart.


Landau is currently on tour promoting his jazz album and tells me that he always knew that this was the genre of music for him. Landau says that he had been listening to classics and ‘oldies but goodies’ since he was a kid and would hear this type of music in Looney Tunes cartoons and daytime TV shows. Landau says that he picked jazz for many reasons – mostly regarding the message being sent to listeners. He believes that hip-hop and rap music insults people and explains that so many people love these songs but if you actually listen to the lyrics, they are all demeaning, degrading put-downs. Landau says that he wanted to perform “blue-sky, puffy-cloud music”, the kind that  is uplifting, puts people in a good mood and makes them feel good about themselves. Landau found that kind of power to influence others with jazz. He goes on to say that in addition to the mainstream genres, hip-hop and rap, sending negative messages, these types of music are all so saturated with artists that it can be difficult for anyone to find his or her voice in it. “How can you find your own lane in all this traffic?”, Landau says as he emphasizes how jazz pulled him aside from the massive crowd of singer-hopefuls he had to compete with.


Even after Landau Murphy established his unique voice in and made a name for himself in the industry, he never let the attention change the beliefs he has always had in his heart. Landau says that going out in the middle of the day can get hectic because he always spends time to talk to every single fan that approaches him. He says this is a mandated standard for him because he feels like “the world is responsible” for him winning the show. Landau explains that his fans took the time out of their days to vote for him when he was on America’s Got Talent and without them, he wouldn’t have anything. The humble singer says that without an audience there is simply no show, so he will always give all of his fans the gratitude that they deserve for their support.


After hearing his story, I am so taken by Landau’s humility, strength, and integrity that I almost cannot believe this man. But of course, actions speak volumes louder than words. Landau preaches about how people need to be treated with respect and manners and gratitude and then I witness him act accordingly. After the interview I attend his performance at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, where he performs all of the songs from his album, That’s Life in celebration of his thirty-ninth birthday. Not only is his voice silky smooth and outstanding, but his presence lingers even after he leaves the stage. The audience, including myself, is moved by the astonishing jazz performance where Landau sings a duet with his wife and even cracks jokes and tells stories in between the songs. His energy radiates through the hall and makes every single one of us feel ignited with happiness. Landau’s performance is mesmerizing, and the way he carries himself is noteworthy, but when I see Landau and his wife stay in the hall after the show to spend time with every single fan,  I knew, with absolute certainty that this guy was genuine and meant every word he preached to me earlier. As I watch Mr. and Mrs. Murphy sincerely enjoy signing endless autographs and taking infinite pictures, I realize that not everyone who is exposed to the fame of Hollywood deviates from their virtues and principles.


I look at the singer and it’s so hard to believe that just a few years ago the man was sleeping in his car in Detroit, and now he is headlining shows at some of the biggest venues in the world, living a life that most only ever dream of. The chain of events that got him here is astonishing, somewhat miraculous, but then again, that’s life.


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