The Murphy Center and Entertainment Contracts for MTSU

Written by Rachel Smith, Graduate Assistant

Recently, I have been going back through the Records of MTSU Student Programming. The majority of this collection contains entertainment contracts that Student Programming made with performers when they came to Murphy Center on campus and for various events.


Each file contains a lot of correspondence and agreements about arrangements. Therefore, there is a lot of personal information about account numbers and Social Security numbers to pay crew members. I have been redacting this information so privacy will not be lost but our researchers can still use the materials.

Student Programming hosted a wide variety of entertainment. Anyone from Whitney Houston , the Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Who, World Wrestling Foundation, U2, Garth Brooks, Mötley Cruë, Amy Grant, the Royal Lipizzan Stallions, and Gloria Estafan came through. Elvis even performed here five times in the 1970s!

Within the contracts, there are normally lists of requirements for food. I like looking at what the bands desired to eat before their shows. They also include maps to show the layout of stages and the technical needs for elaborate productions. Therefore, there is normally paperwork for insurance coverage and permits for pyrotechnics.

Looking through the list of acts, I sometimes get jealous that I was not on campus to see these headliners! It is interesting to think about how the Murphy Center used to be the major concert venue for the area, serving the campus and the community.

The Murphy Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary. You can see an article from the MTSU Magazine about it here.

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