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MURPHEY HAVIN' HIS BALL AGAIN 5TH COWBOY CHRISTMAS EXPECTED TO BE SELLOUT.

Byline: Daily News

PALMDALE - Singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey will present his Cowboy Christmas Ball with dinner, dancing and western music on Nov. 19 at the Palmdale Playhouse.

This will be Murphey's fifth annual show in Palmdale replicating an 1880s western Christmas get-together. Benefiting the Palmdale Playhouse's youth and community programs, it is expected to sell out.

``It usually does really well,'' Palmdale Playhouse spokesman Ted Huetter said. ``People come dressed up in all kinds of western garb.''

Wearing country-western clothing, they also bring nonperishable food to donate to the South Antelope Valley Emergency Services food bank, which provides help to needy local families.

In a tent big enough to seat 250 people outside the playhouse, the party will start with a catered dinner and dancing. Then Murphey and his Rio Grande Band will perform inside the theater. His songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Monkees and John Denver, and Murphey had a hit as a performer himself in the 1970s with ``Wildfire.''

On the menu for the dinner, to be catered by Steer N' Stein, are tri-tip steak and chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and vegetable salad. Dessert will be apple or peach cobbler. There will be a cash bar where those 21 and older may purchase beer, wine and margaritas, not included in the ticket price.

Murphey traces his Cowboy Christmas Ball tradition to Anson, Texas, in 1885, when ranchers began inviting cowboys in from the range for a holiday dinner, dancing and socializing with neighbors.

In Palmdale, a rustic barn dance will begin at 6 p.m. and the buffet dinner will be served at 6:30. The holiday concert by Murphey and his will start at 8.

Tickets are 50 percent tax-deductible. Tickets including dinner, dancing and the show are $65 for adults and $40 for youths 16 and younger. Concert-only tickets are $50 for adults and $35 for youths 16 and under.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (661) 267-5685. For more information, call the 24-hour recorded information line at (661) 267-ARTS.

A sound clip of Michael Martin Murphey is online at www.cityofpalmdale.org/departments/playhouse/sound.html

Murphey said his love of cowboys began when he was a 6-year-old boy riding horses on his grandfather's Texas ranch and lying awake at night listening to cowboy songs and tales. He began performing cowboy music in junior high school.

Murphey discovered and recorded Larry Chittenden's 1880s song ``The Cowboys' Christmas Ball'' in 1985. He began his annual Cowboy Christmas Ball concerts in 1987, which led to three albums and a DVD.

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Singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey and his Rio Grande Band will perform at the Palmdale Playhouse on Nov. 19 after a Cowboy Christmas Ball.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 7, 2005
Words:464
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