Leanda “Rick” Murray (2/12/33-11/23/2021) became known as “the Soldier’s Voice” for his rich baritone vocals. A veteran musician, Rick’s life is remembered as much a veteran for his military service as well as a veteran of the service work he’s done for Cook County and the City of Chicago.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, his family moved to Chicago when he was three. Attending Phillips High School, he was schooled musically by well-known music educator, jazz trumpeter Zilmer Randolph. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the first black parachute batallion the "Triple Nickels" during the Korean War. Upon his return, he turned to music.
His musical pedigree includes work with saxophonist Cozy Eggleston, pianist Larry Novak, tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, jazz guitarist George Freeman; and he served a four-year stint with the Sun Ra Arkestra and later performing with the south side of Chicago jazz group, The Mudcats and recording at LightningLedge Studios.