Long Time Dallas Moore Guitarist Chuck Morpurgo Dies

Chuck Morpurgo with Dallas Moore (photo: Cathy Pippin)

This story has been updated.

For 27 years, if you saw country music modern Outlaw Dallas Moore perform, you very likely saw guitarist Chuck Morpurgo along with him. Even when Dallas Moore went on solo acoustic tours or played one-off shows, Chuck Morpurgo tagged along as accompaniment. And if you’ve heard any of Dallas Moore’s recorded music over the years, you heard Chuck Morpurgo too. For over a quarter century, they were inseparable road warriors out there trying to save country music.

Dallas Moore and Chuck Morpurgo were one of those duos only country music can create, like Willie Nelson and his drummer Paul English, or Waylon Jennings and his drummer Richie Albright. They were brothers in arms. And now that pairing has come to an end. Chuck Morpurgo has passed away due to Cancer.

Nicknamed “Lucky Chucky” by friends and fans, Charles Edward Morpurgo was born in the Chicago suburb of Des Plains on November 25, 1962, and raised in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Chuck started playing music at the age of 9, including with his brother Rich. Rich was the singer, and Chuck was the guitar player. One of Chuck’s early bands was called The Whiskey Band, even though Chuck was only 18 at the time and couldn’t legally drink. They played tunes from the Allman Bros, The Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other Southern rock icons.

With his brother Rich, Chuck Morpurgo also played in bands such as Brothers By Choice and Deep Blue Funk. Rich Morpurgo helped ignite the music scene in Bloomington, Indiana, and is a producer and studio owner in the city.

Eventually Chuck Morpurgo moved to Ohio, and this is where he met Dallas Moore, playing on Moore’s first album released in 1994. Soon the two became more like brothers than bandmates, and toured relentlessly trying to keep the Outlaw traditions of country music alive. Morpurgo was one of those rare souls in music who had little desire for the spotlight himself, and was perfectly content being the accompaniment, and #2. Though for many guitar players, he was just as much the center of attention, and his humility and kind heartedness made him #1.

“Lucky Chucky was the one and only musician to play on every single recording I’ve made since my first album ‘My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,'” recalls Dallas Moore. “The last song Chucky ever recorded was the closing track for ‘The Rain’ album which was ‘In My Last Days,’ which I had written for my friend Randy Napier.”

“In My Last Days” now holds special meaning after Chuck Morpurgo’s passing.

Recently Chuck was splitting time living in Cincinnati, Ohio and Universal City, Texas along with Dallas Moore. Morpurgo also collaborated with Willie Nelson guitar player Jody Payne before Payne passed away in 2013. Chuck had ceased touring earlier in the summer, and was admitted to hospice on October 28th. Before he passed, a Facebook group was set up where friends, family, and fans could post remembrances of Chuck that he could read before he died. He passed away on November 4th at the age of 58.

“After 27 Years together making music, memories and ‘Hittin’ The Note’ (to quote his hero Duane Allman) my Brother In Christ, in music and of the road, Best Friend, Confidant and Compadre has left this Earthly World peacefully and set sail on his journey into the mystic,” Dallas Moore said while announcing his passing. “A master musician and a humble hero, champion and friend to the end. For the rest of my days I will see to it that his Life, Legacy, Music and Memory will always be honored and carry on. Godspeed Old Friend. Live Forever…”

Chuck was the recipient of the 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Best Outlaw Group with the rest of the Dallas Moore Band. He leaves behind his son George Morpurgo.

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