Hearne: Kansas City Radio Giant Mike Murphy Suffers Stroke, Dies

This just in from Roger the Plumber

Kansas City broadcasting legend Mike Murphy has suffered a stroke and is gravely ill, Roger reports.

"Mike Murphy had a stroke and he’s in a complete non responsive state," Roger says. He’s at his house and he had asked that he not be resuscitated. So he’s at his house waiting to die."

A sad eventuality that could go down any minute, Roger says he’s been told.

Murphy’s stroke comes on the heels of the recent deaths of Chiefs icons Tony DiPardo and Bill Grigsby.

Murphy lorded over KC’s radio roost for decades, From the days of crooners like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra to his UFO-loving, critter catching days in talk radio on KCMO-AM with guests like Marilyn Maye, Dale Robertson and Lamar Hunt.

"I’ll say this," Roger says. "Mike is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known. He made me laugh for 40 years and he never told me a single joke. He epitomized radio in Kansas City. Before he went into talk radio, he had ratings in the 25 percent area – higher than anybody else in the country percentage-wise. And talk radio’s just not the same anymore – everybody wants to talk politics. But Mike was in touch every aspect of Kansas City. He had a lot of friends and he was in touch with the pulse of Kansas City.

"I think these guys – Hank Stram, Lamar Hunt, Tony DiPardo and Bill Grigsby – those people were all strong and out there building the city, making a difference for the rest of us. And what do we have left? You know, we have Charlie Wheeler."

Oh and a gentleman who goes by the name of Walt Bodine

This entry was posted in Hearne_Christopher and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Hearne: Kansas City Radio Giant Mike Murphy Suffers Stroke, Dies

  1. Tracy Thomas says:

    Mike died at 6:20 pm. Rest in peace, King of the Irish
    Murphy has joined his late wife, Kathy, who died just a few months ago. She had perhaps the greatest funeral I have ever attended. Of course we will all turn out for Mike’s funeral. What a sensational man Mike was.

  2. BarKeeper says:

    R.I.P. Big Mike
    Mike gave us thousands of hours of radio entertainment over the years, and raised some serious money for charity along the way. He didn’t need profanity to make people laugh, and gave everybody a fair shot.
    Best show of all time: 1972 early morning show with guest Steve Allen in studio. Mike matched every witty comment Steve could muster. I laughed myself silly, and was late to work.

  3. Van Patrick says:

    The Great One
    Rest in Peace Mike. A kind, gentle, and truly funny soul. What a sweet man. There is absolutely nothing on the radio dial in KC today that even compares to the magic that this guy did during his long career.

    A Titan of the airwaves.

  4. craig glazer says:

    What A Fun Guy, Mike and Grigsby were KC
    Man oh Man, Bill and Mike. I must have done thirty radio shows with both of them at KMBC/Z in the 90’s. Mike was the man for years in this town on the radio air waves. If he didn’t have Len Dawson on, it was Bill Grigsby or Marilyn Maye. Mike was the first radio guy to regularly put my comics on the air in the early 90’s and had my Dad’s guys on in the 80’s. From Tommy Chong to Jimmy JJ Walker. Mike,Russ Johnson(also passed away too young) and Jack Possiger and Hearne all drank together in Westport in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

    Those were the days. Boy did Murphy have stories about well everyone. Didn’t see him much after he quit. He hated not being on the air, but he must have hated losing his true love, his wife even more. Rest in peace.

  5. Dan Flanders says:

    RIP Mike Murphy
    I have the honor of saying that during my short radio career I got to be the technical producer for Mike Murphy for a brief period of time during the early to mid-nineties. Mike was even funnier during breaks than he was on the air. In a business that is ego driven, Mike always treated everyone like you were one of his nearest friends. Kansas City has lost another jewel….Mike, thank you for your kindness, I will never forget it.

  6. smartman says:

    So Sad
    Leave it to Glazer to make Mike Murphy’s passing about HIM.

  7. craig glazer says:

    Dare Just Called In On This
    Johnny Dare who was handed the baton from Mike said, “It’s the passing of the GREAT ONE. He was always nice to me when I got started. He never felt badly or treated me differently as my career rose. He was always so damn nice and well it was a blow.” Tomorrow I will interview Johnny more on the Mike Murphy passing. Hopefully they will dedicate ST PARTRICKS PARADE AND DAY TO MIKE,TONY AND BILL, they sure deserve it. Smartman, come on now, those were kind words and I just let you all know I had a good relationship with Mike, thats all.

  8. Randy Miller says:

    Mike-I’ll miss ya
    I never even knew the Salty Iguana existed until I met Mike. One of the last bastions of real radio in the country. Had a knack for real conversations, and knew the local landscape better than anyone. I feel lucky to have known you.

  9. Dennis St. John says:

    The Greatest Radio Guy Ever!
    I only met him once. But I was addicted to his show. He seldom cracked a joke, but always had me laughing. It broke my heart when his wife passed away. I was afraid he’d soon follow. They’re together again. All’s well. Rest in peace Mike.

  10. Dan Flanders says:

    RIP Mike Murphy
    I have the honor of saying that during my short radio career I got to be the technical producer for Mike Murphy for a brief period of time during the early to mid-nineties. Mike was even funnier during breaks than he was on the air. In a business that is ego driven, Mike always treated everyone like you were one of his nearest friends. Kansas City has lost another jewel….Mike, thank you for your kindness, I will never forget it.

  11. Fred Broski says:

    My hero
    There are many in the business we look up to. We try to emulate them. We fail. We cannot do it because they are so special and we just cannot do what they can do. We do our thing. The best we can do. But yet, we so respect the pros like Mike. Mike was alway in his own zone. Don’t ever try to go there. You can not compete. He controlled it completely. What a wonderful talent. We in the business respect him so much. We are happy to have had on air appearances with him and a few drinks from time to time and a few discussions about the business. But, not try to compete with him, it ‘s like playing poker with Lloyd Brunson,,you don’t have a chance. What wonderful memories.
    I’ll always love and respect my pal, Mike Murphy, one of a kind. Fred Brosk

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    Hold it right there; I never drank with Mike. I do recall the night Craig, Russ, myself and greg Hall convened at Stanford’s in Westport and some of the wildest, beyond imaginable Mike Murphy tales were told. Russ promised to show me the video of his but never came through.

  13. Hearne says:

    The legends come out for Mike Murphy
    Randy Miller, Fred Broski – even Dennis St, John and Van Patrick. Quite a tribute.

  14. NEED A PLUMBER CALL... says:

    FOR ALL YOUR PLUMBING NEEDS …CALL
    “”This just in from Roger the Plumber…””

  15. Rick in PV says:

    How the mighty have fallen!

  16. Nathan Granner says:

    The pic
    Hey Hearne, could you possibly find a better picture than from his saddest day? Please? Mike was such a present man and for the majority of the time I knew him, he was smiling and had a kind word for most everyone. Even if he didn’t like someone, he’d call ’em a “no good so and so.”

    People knew him to be a kind and jovial friend, who made the world a better place. I know I’ll miss him. And for those who were really close to him for years, I cannot tell you how much I feel for you right now. You always supported him and he darn sure supported you. The amazing times you had.

    Yes, in the late days, Mike was sad sometimes. Totally reasonable.

    But that does not mean that he deserves to have an image of him at his wife’s funeral on this page for those who would celebrate the real good this guy and Kathy did in their lives.

    It’s just my opinion.

    All best gang.
    NG

  17. Jack P. says:

    Murphy Video
    Hey Hearne,
    I was there that night with you, Craig and Russ Johnson when the topic of Murphy’s ‘secret’ was dropped on us. Did’n’t Russ actually have all the sordid details or was it Craig.
    Either way IF that video exists—all I can say is WOW!

  18. craig glazer says:

    I Agree Change Photo Hearne
    They are right, he deserves better. Change the photo.

  19. TRACY says:

    Jack and Hearne, you are disgusting and disrespectful
    To allude to something, at this time, is boorish, rude, inappropriate and way over the line.
    Stop it, boys.
    You should be banned from the funeral.
    You don’t deserve to attend.

    Hearne, you started a whisper campaign in the lobby of Cathy Murphy’s funeral. Disgraceful. Stop it!!!
    Do not poke the dead.
    Ever.

  20. Hearne Christopher says:

    That’s cool, Nathan. Understand where you’re coming from. But wanted to use the most recent shot of Murphy with this news story about his stroke and passing. I’ll be doing a retrospective in a day or so, looking through stories I wrote about him over the years. I had more than 100 stories and/or items where he was mentioned, so there’s a lot to dig through.

  21. Mancow says:

    Mike Murphy died?
    I loved HIM. Great talent!

  22. max floyd says:

    Hey Pal
    He was my pal. After the gang of Ky102 was fired..he invited Tanna, Moffitt and myself to do his show on KCMO. It was a great morning. I will miss him.

  23. smartman says:

    The Kid Stays in The Picture
    Nothing wrong with that picture. It’s real, raw and captures his sense of sorrow and humanity. Don’t take it down. You learn more about a person in one moment of sorrow then you do in hours of joy. Mike always came across the airwaves as someone who loved what he did and truly wanted to make the world a better place. Whenever you were having a shit day you could tune in to Mike and he’d put a smile on your face. In Mike’s world you always knew things would get better. God Bless You Mike Murphy. Job Well Done.

Comments are closed.