Bleeding Gums Murphy

The show business name of a saxophone player featured on the animated series THE SIMPSONS/FOX/1989+.


Murhpy Kenneth Hibbert, known as “Bleeding Gums Murphy” was a street musician and friend and mentor to little Lisa Simpson, who also played the saxophone. She aspired to be as good as BGM, and to be able to play the Blues as eloquently as he did.

BGM once explained the Blues to Lisa: “The blues isn’t about feeling better. It’s about making other people feel WORSE, and making a few bucks while you’re at it.”

The following is an script excerpt of when Lisa and BGM first met:

BGM: My friends call me Bleeding Gums.
Lisa : Eww, how’d you get a name like that?
BGM: Well, let me put it this way. You ever been to the dentist?
Lisa: Yeah.
BGM: Not me. I suppose I should go to one. But I’ve already got enough pain in my life as it is.

The appearance of the Bleeding Gums’ character is loosely based on the now deceased saxophone player LeRoi Moore, who played for the Dave Matthews band. The BGM ccharacter is believed to be a homage to saxophone player Sonny Rollins, who quit his jazz career to play by himself on a bridge.

Bleeding Gums died in 1995 at the age of 59 after suffering an apparent heart attack. The voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy was provided by Ron Taylor, while his saxophone playing is provided by Dan Higgins.

Note: Junk yard owner Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) on the sitcom SANFORD & SON/NBC/1972-77 favorite blues singers were Blind Mellow Jelly and B. B. King.  Fred’s favorite song was “If I Didn’t Care” by the Ink Spots.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Showbiz Nicknames

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