Anne Murray (1945-)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Murray, Anne (1945- )
Singer, Recording Artist
Anne Murray, "Canada's songbird" was born June 20, 1945 in the coal mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia to Dr Carson Murray and his wife, Marion. Music and sports were enjoyed by all six of the Murray children. Four of her five brothers studied piano and Anne and her brother Bruce took voice training as well. Anne also learned to play the ukulele, later graduating to the guitar.
In 1964, Anne was at the University of New Brunswick studying Physical Eduucation, when she auditioned for Singalong Jubilee, a CBC television summer series out of Halifax. They already had more altos than they could use, so she didn't get the job. During her final year at university (1966), Anne received a call from Singalong host, Bill Langstroth, to return for a second audition. Reluctantly she agreed, and this time got the job and spent the summer performing in the chorus.
After her one and only year of teaching – 1966-67 – Anne returned to Singalong Jubilee in the summer of 1968 as a featured soloist. She also appeared on the teen series, Let's Go. Anne had made her decision. After much soul searching, she was going give a career in music a "go" and if it didn't work out, she could always return to teaching. Nearly fifty years later, she is still singing.
Singalong's musical director, Brian Ahern, proved critical to Anne's early success. Brian had moved to Toronto in 1967 and worked producing albums with a small Canadian record company named "Arc." In the summers he returned to Halifax to direct Singalong. In 1968, after much cajoling, he convinced Anne to join him in Toronto and record her first album, "What About Me."
A year later, Anne signed with Capitol Records of Canada and released her second album, "This Way is My Way", produced by Brian Ahern. "Snowbird" was released as a single in the United States in March 1970 and brought Anne her first Gold record in the U. S. Her first big hits, "Snowbird" and "Danny's Song" were soon to be joined by a legion of hits including "You Needed Me," "Could I Have This Dance" and "Love Song" (to mention just a few) which led to numerous television specials for the CBC and CBS.
For many years, Anne's recordings were seldom off the charts. Her 31 albums sold more than 26 million world-wide and she enjoyed sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Palladium in London, and of course at the O'Keefe in Toronto and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Anne is the proud recipient of four Grammy Awards, 31 Juno awards (which include the induction into the Juno Hall of Fame in 1993), a star on Nashville's Walkway of Stars, and another at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles as well as being inducted as a Companion of the Order of Canada. Anne also has the distinction of being the first Canadian solo female artist to receive a gold record in the U. S. ("Snowbird" in 1970)
In 1989, Anne returned to her hometown of Springhill to open the Anne Murray Centre which contained the memorabilia and awards from her illustrious career.
Anne Murray was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1997 when she had the opportunity to thank the assembled broadcasters for their support which helped contribute to her success.
Written by J. Lyman Potts - July, 1998