By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.
Let’s sit down at a piano keyboard. As fingers start to move across the keys, a beautiful sound is generated from the heart of the piano. Where does this piano come from? Today we’ll learn about a remarkable Kansas business which is selling pianos across the nation and beyond.
Dan Murphy is the founder and owner of Mid-America Piano in Manhattan, Kansas. He grew up near the rural community of Keats, in Wildcat Township which has a population of 834 people. Now, that’s rural. Dan’s grandparents were dairy farmers and apparently that work ethic stayed with him.
Dan grew up in a musical home. “I played piano since I was a little kid,” Dan said. “My grandmothers and my mom played piano, my dad played guitar, and my sister played the saxophone. Sometimes we’d go play music at the nursing homes in the area.”
After graduating from Riley County High School, he attended Cloud County Community College where he played trumpet in the jazz band. His plan was to attend Kansas State University, but he also wanted a part-time job. Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Dan Murphy, Mid-America Piano”