This coming Sunday, October 16, soul music legend Shirley Murdock will perform her current Top 40 radio hit “Dream” at the Morning Joy musical tribute that kicks off the official Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial unveiling ceremony where President Barack Obama will give the keynote address.
The powerhouse vocalist will be backed by The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Choir at the event, which takes place at 8 a.m. at West Potomac Park on the National Mall.
“Morning Joy will be an inspiring prelude to the King Memorial Dedication Ceremony,” says Rev. Nolan Williams Jr., Music Director for the Martin Luther King Jr. Dedication ceremony. “We are thrilled to have R&B sensation Shirley Murdock lending her voice to this special lineup to celebrate the life and work of Dr. King.”
Coming to Washington to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy is important to Murdock, who vividly recalls the day he was assassinated.
“I was almost 11-years-old,” she recalls. “I remember all the adults being absolutely grief stricken, as if a family member had died. There was a lot of hurt, disbelief and anger after Dr. King died. My mother was a praying woman, so as she placed her worries into God’s hands, I drew my peace from her peace. I heard him being referred to, as the Moses of our time. Like Moses, he didn’t make it to the promised land, but he let us know he’d been to the mountaintop and that his eyes had seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Murdock and her husband, Dale DeGroat, wrote her new radio hit “Dream” with celebrated evangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“My song is a reminder that God is the giver and the fulfiller of all the dreams He places in our hearts,” she says. “The dream is a glimpse of our future selves being more and doing more. It’s us at our BEST…fulfilling our PURPOSE…to loving one another, serving one another…celebrating and embracing our diversity and uniqueness.”
Back in the 1980s, Murdock set out to become a gospel singer but her path led to becoming a back-up singer for the funk band, Zapp. Bandleader Roger Troutman eventually snagged Murdock her own record deal with Elektra Records where she recorded Top 10 R&B hits such as the gold-selling “As We Lay,” “Go On Without You,” “Husband” and “In Your Eyes.” Then, in 2002, renowned evangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes made Murdock’s lifelong dream of recording a gospel CD come true when he released her first gospel album, Home, a Top 10 smash.
Her first live concert CD “Live: The Journey” (Tyscot Records) will be released October 18, 2011. Produced by Grammy Award winner Cedric Thompson, the set features collaborations with R&B divas Kelly Price, Regina Belle and gospel belter Beverly Crawford.