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HSO, Foundation team up to give kids symphony tickets

Lori Wolfe/The Herald-Dispatch | Huntington Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees President Dr. Maurice Mufson gives free tickets for Saturday's performance to Alissa Stewart, executive director of Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA, on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in Huntington. The tickets will be distributed to youth at the J.W. Scott Community Center, operated by Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA, and the A.D. Lewis Center.

HSO, Foundation team up to give kids symphony tickets

Dec. 17, 2014 @ 12:01 AM

HUNTINGTON – Christmas came early for a bunch of young music fans as they received free tickets to Saturday’s almost sold-out concert with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra.

On Tuesday, Hogan Haas, executive director of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, was over at a couple Huntington community centers to help hand out about $500 in tickets for Saturday’s concert.

The donation of tickets was made possible through the HSO as well as through the Maudella Taylor Endowment administered by the Foundation for the Tri-State Community.

Youth from the J.W. Scott Community Center, operated by Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA, and the A.D. Lewis Center will be able to attend Saturday’s Huntington Symphony Orchestra event at no cost.

“I’m very thankful that the Foundation for the Tri-State Community and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra recognize that all individuals need to have an opportunity to experience the arts,” said Alissa Stewart, executive director, Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA.

Haas said the gift is a great way to kick off a busy week leading up to the concert called “A Hometown Holiday.” The concert at the historic Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center features 65 HSO members under the direction of Kimo Furumoto.

Special guests will be Murphy, his 11-piece big band, and his tourmates, special celebrity guests Leonard, Coleman & Blunt, the former lead vocalists of the Temptations, the Platters, and the Drifters, who have sold more than 100 million records worldwide and scored dozens of No. 1 hits.

Some tickets remain for the concert. Tickets are $20 for balcony, $35 for orchestra level 2, $50 for loge and orchestra level one and $65 for VIP. They’ll perform everything from “Get Ready,” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” to “O Holy Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “My Girl,” and the HSO traditional last song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Tickets are available by calling 304-781-8343 or stopping by the symphony office at 763 3rd Ave., Huntington.

Haas said Murphy is back by popular demand following his sold-out August 2013 performance at the symphony’s Picnic With the Pops.

Haas said the symphony, which brought in The Lettermen last year for its Christmas concert, knew they had to reel back in Murphy when he announced a December Christmas tour run that started in Logan. The concert includes his big band (made up entirely of regional musicians and many Huntingtonians, including band-leader Mark Smith).

“It’s very simple; he was the biggest Pops draw that we have ever had and he is just such a crowd pleaser,” Haas said. “You can’t help but love the man when he leaves.”

That feeling of love is mutual for Murphy, who won season six of NBC Television’s “America’s Got Talent,” $1 million and a Columbia Records contract in September 2011.

“I am just having a lot of fun with it and I want everybody else to have fun with it,” Murphy said of his show. “It is not just my show; when you buy a ticket it is our show and we all become one and part of that special moment from the little kids to the great grandparents who are there.”

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Holiday Store Special

LEM santa hat

Hey Landau fans! Just in time for your Christmas shopping, we have an unbelievable deal to pass along:

From now through December 19th (to ensure delivery by Christmas), we’ve reduced the price of Landau’s tour t-shirts from $24.99 to $9.99, AND with each t-shirt order, our Christmas elves will include a copy of Landau’s Christmas Made For Two CD featuring all your favorite holiday classics and two new original Christmas songs from Landau.

This offer is available on ONLY and while supplies last, so order NOW!

Wishing You a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Team Landau

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“Landau giving back, moving forward”

Kyle Lovern/WDNLandau Eugene Murphy, Jr. is pictured in the studios of WVOW radio after recording a public service announcement. Landau, a Logan native, will kick-off his nationwide tour in his hometown Dec. 5th.

This story is available online at
By  – – 304-235-4242
Kyle Lovern/WDNLandau Eugene Murphy, Jr. is pictured in the studios of WVOW radio after recording a public service announcement. Landau, a Logan native, will kick-off his nationwide tour in his hometown Dec. 5th.

Kyle Lovern/WDNLandau Eugene Murphy, Jr. is pictured in the studios of WVOW radio after recording a public service announcement. Landau, a Logan native, will kick-off his nationwide tour in his hometown Dec. 5th.

LOGAN – Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. strolled humbly into the studios of WVOW radio in downtown Logan, with his signature dreadlocks, right on time for his 4:00 o’clock interview.

A lot has changed for the crooning performer who won America’s Got Talent back in 2011. Before heading to New York to audition for the reality show, Landau was washing cars at a local car dealership and bussing tables at local restaurants to make ends meet. He had to borrow money to take that fateful trip to New York.


He is still the down to earth, southern West Virginia guy, but naturally things are different for him these days.


“I personally haven’t changed, but my life has,” Landau said. “With being on the show I’m definitely recognized.”


Murphy was wearing a modest hoody with a nice black jacket to protect himself from the unseasonably cold temperatures.


The Sinatra style vocalist received national attention for winning the sixth season of the NBC reality show America’s Got Talent (AGT). Fans now come up to him and ask for an autograph or to take pictures with the soulful singer. This is something he has had to get used to.


“A lot of people just want to talk to me and tell me how many times they voted for me,” Landau said of his life-changing appearance on AGT. “I appreciate it all and it is very humbling.”


Many remember watching the show when he first came out onto the stage. He was nervous, chewing gum. When one of the judges mentioned it, he put the gum in his jeans pocket.


Then he simply blew the judges away with his first performance of “I Got You Under My Skin.”


He shed tears of joy when judge Howie Mandel told him his “life would never be the same” after that first audition.


The rest is history as Landau went on to win the popular reality show on September 14, 2011.


“I’m thankful for all of the blessings I’ve had,” Landau said.


Landau, known as ‘Dooney’ by his close friends in the Logan area, is now making a living doing what he loves – singing to audiences at a variety of venues.


He is literally a rags to riches story, but Landau is giving back. He participates in a variety of charitable drives and organizations around Logan County and southern West Virginia.


Every holiday season, Landau is dedicated to helping hometown charities. His tour kick-off show in Logan is no exception. Some of his charities include The Salvation Army, Logan High School Prayer Club’s Canned Food Drive, and the Matt Patterson Christmas Toy Drive. He has also done events for Hospice in the Charleston area.


Landau’s life has changed a lot in the past three years.


He went from singing in local venues in Logan to performing as a headliner in Las Vegas and other locations across the U.S.


“I want to give back,” Landau said, about how things have changed in his life. “There are always good causes out there. It should be an all-around year thing. I’ve been blessed and I’m trying to be a good humanitarian. Hopefully it will rub off on others who can give back.”


He can relate to being down on his luck. At one point in his life, Landau had been homeless at age 19, sleeping in his car.


Landau knows that the economy is really in dire straits for the coalfields. Many miners are laid off and families are finding it tough to make ends meet.


“Murphy’s father was a coal miner. His parents divorced when Murphy was 8-years old. He then moved with his mother and his two brothers and two sisters to Detroit, Michigan. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade to take care of his family.


“I just hope I can spread some joy, especially through the holiday season,” he added, “and throughout the rest of my career. That is something I should have been doing anyway, regardless of my situation.”




After his first CD “That’s Life”, he released a Christmas album last year, “Christmas Made For Two.”


Half of the proceeds from that holiday release went to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.


He will be launching a nationwide tour at the Coalfield Jamboree in Logan on Friday, December 5. Before the performance he will be the Grand Marshall in the Logan Christmas parade.


“Kicking it off in Logan will really be fun,” he said. “You’re in front of your hometown and the people who know you.”


“It’s funny to look out in the audience and see people who you know and live around. It’s like family and they’re watching you do your show – that’s amazing,” Landau said with a wide smile.


After that it will be shows back to back at several locations.


Landau will be performing hits from his Billboard No.1 ranked debut CD and his follow up holiday release.


He is currently working on a third album.


“I am working on the third one,” Landau said with a smile. “We are working out some kinks.”


This new CD will have some original songs, as well as going back to the Sinatra style that has made him famous.


“I throw some curves in there,” he stressed. “It will be interesting when people hear it. I can really get into it.”


There is no release date, but Landau hopes it will be out in the spring.


Hollywood beckons too and Landau has been talking to some producers about appearing in a movie.


Landau is also working with some local singers and rappers and helping them produce a CD.


“I’m helping some of the guys I grew up with,” he said with a laugh. “Doing some rapping and singing – it’s going to blow people away when they hear it. I’m really looking forward to that. There is so much talent in West Virginia. I’ve been around it for a long time. I have a nice little circle of people who are ready to pursue their career.”


Landau wants to help them fulfill their dreams.


He has people listening to his style known now as “Great American Songbook” music. That was a popular term that refers to the genre of music from performers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others. It was influenced by the jazz, big band and swing styles of that era.


“I want to continue to bring back memories for the grandparents out there and also share that music with the younger generations,” Landau added. “You’ve just got to really love it – it’s a package – I try to bring those emotions into those songs. There are some great lyrics, but you have to sing them like they were meant to be sung.”


“It’s a part of a team, with the band and everyone coming together,” Landau said of his sound. “You need to connectwith the audience. It’s all fun and I want to continue to do that.”




One release Landau had in the past, when things weren’t always going so well, was playing basketball. He played in church leagues and pickup games.


“Basketball was the only thing that got me out of the house and kept me going,” he recalls.


He still likes to get out and hit the hardwood when time permits. His hectic schedule will not allow him to play as much as he would like.


“I haven’t had the time to play, but when I get the chance, I still like to go hoop,” Landau said. “It’s fun – it is my first love.”




After winning AGT, Landau signed to Sony Records and Columbia Records.


He performed in LasVegas and had other stops at the historic Apollo Theatre and the DTE Energy Center in Detroit. He has performed with former members of The Temptations and Platters, and has headlined appearances in his home state of West Virginia and across the nation.


He made a Super Bowl appearance, had a televised performance at The Hollywood Christmas Parade and a string of sold out headlining shows across the U.S.


He also had the television talk show tour which included The Today Show, Anderson Cooper, The View, The Talk, The Wendy Williams Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, The Tom Joyner Show, Scott and Todd on WPLJ, Good Day LA, and many more.


He has also sung the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden and at WVU’s Mountaineer Field, prior to a West Virginia University/LSU football game, and also at several other public events.


(Kyle Lovern is the News and Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)

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

120514 Coalfield Jamboree - Christmas flyer

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 Marshall 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 Marshall 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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