Singer/songwriter Shirley Murdock is best known for the ethereal ballad "As We Lay," which was produced by Roger Troutman. Murdock started out singing gospel music in her native Toledo. Troutman hired her as a background singer for his family's group Zapp, who had several hits on Warner Brothers (or its Reprise imprint). Based on this success, Troutman began recording tracks with Murdock and lead singer Sugarfoot of the Ohio Players, among others, at his Dayton-based recording studio Troutman Sound Labs.
Murdock and Troutman's first charting single was a Warner single issued as Roger (Featuring Shirley Murdock), "Girl, Cut It Out," which charted at number 79 R&B in early 1985. Murdock was signed to Elektra Records with the pumping "No More," which made it to number 24 R&B in early 1986. Then came her signature hit, "As We Lay," written by Zapp's Larry Troutman and keyboardist Billy Beck (of the Ohio Players). The tender, melancholy ballad made it to the R&B Top Ten and peaked at number 23 pop in 1986. Her LP Shirley Murdock went gold, also helped along by the follow-up hits "Go on Without You" and "Be Free." She also released full-lengths in 1988 (A Woman's Point of View) and 1991 (Let There Be Love). In early 2000, Murdock toured in the inspirational/gospel play, Be Careful What You Pray For with Cuba Gooding and David Peaston. ~ Ed Hogan