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Anne Murray

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  • Born: Spring Hill, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Years Active: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Nova Scotia-born Anne Murray built her musical influences from the pop sounds that her parents listened to (Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como) and the Top 40 sounds that AM New York radio stations piped into Canada (Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee). Originally she intended to work as a physical education instructor, but she continued to pursue an interest in music. After she was turned down for a spot on a national TV show called Singalong Jubilee, she received a call from the show's producer two years later. He offered her a chance to make records, and when she agreed, she found herself with a million-selling crossover single in 1970, "Snowbird." Murray was frequently at odds with the trappings of success -- she even performed barefoot in Las Vegas -- and when she got married in 1975, she seemingly dropped out of the business. With her family established, she started working in 1978 with a new producer, Jim Ed Norman, who returned her to prominence with "Walk Right Back" and the million-selling follow-up, "You Needed Me." Throughout the late '70s and early '80s, Murray successfully walked the line between country and pop with a rich alto voice and a knack for romantic material.

As a child in Nova Scotia, music was always one of Murray's hobbies. While she was enrolled at the University of New Brunswick studying physical education, she auditioned for a spot on the Halifax-based weekly CBC television series, Singalong Jubilee, but she wasn't hired because they already had an alto singer. Following the rejection, Murray graduated from college and began teaching physical education at the high-school level. Two years after the initial Singalong Jubilee audition, the show's producer, Bill Langstroth, called her with the information that a new television show, Let's Go, needed an altoist. After some persuasion, Murray agreed to join the program, although she did not give up her teaching job. For the next four years, she sang on Let's Go, eventually striking up a professional relationship with the program's musical director, Brian Ahern.

Murray began her career as a recording artist in 1968. Early that year, she was still teaching when she received a call from Ahern, asking her to record for the independent label Arc. Accepting the offer, Murray recorded and released her debut album, What About Me, that year. The record was well-received and popular for an independent album, thereby earning the attention of Capitol Records, whose Canadian division signed her to a long-term contract in 1969. The following year, her debut single for the label, "Snowbird," became an international hit, reaching the Top Ten on both the country and pop charts in America, while reaching the British Top 40. Following the success of "Snowbird," Murray moved to Los Angeles, where she began to regularly appear on Glen Campbell's syndicated television show. However, she didn't like the Californian lifestyle, and she quickly returned to Canada.

Over the course of 1971, it looked like "Snowbird" would be Murray's only big hit, since none of her follow-up singles gained much attention; only "A Stranger in My Place" cracked the Top 40. A cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "Cotton Jenny" in early 1972 returned her to the higher regions of the country Top 40, peaking at number 11, while its follow-up, "Danny's Song," became a Top Ten hit on both the pop and country charts in early 1973. Following two minor country hits, she returned to the Top Ten early in 1974 with "Love Song." The single was followed by two Top Ten country hits -- the number one "He Thinks I Still Care" and "Son of a Rotten Gambler." Following those two success, Murray spent a number of years struggling to crack either the pop or country Top 40; during this time, she concentrated on raising a family (she married Bill Langstroth and had a son) more than her musical career.

Murray entered her period of greatest commercial success in 1978, as a cover of "Walk Right Back" climbed to number four on the country charts, followed shortly afterward by "You Need Me," her biggest hit since "Songbird"; the single reached number four on the country charts and topped the pop charts, going gold by the end of the year. For the next eight years, she had a virtually uninterrupted string of Top Ten country hits, highlighted by nine number one hits: "I Just Fall in Love Again" (1979), "Shadows in the Moonlight" (1979), "Broken Hearted Me" (1979), "Could I Have This Dance" (1980), "Blessed Are the Believers" (1981), "A Little Good News" (1983), "Just Another Woman in Love" (1984), "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" (1984), and "Now and Forever (You and Me)" (1986). Murray prospered during the era of urban cowboy, since her music drew as much from pop and easy listening as it did from country.

Murray's sales began to decline in the latter half of the '80s, primarily due to the shifting tastes of the country audience, which was beginning to seek out harder-edged new traditionalist performers. Nevertheless, she maintained a dedicated following during the late '80s and '90s through her occasional recordings ("Feed This Fire" became a surprise Top Ten hit in the summer of 1990) and her concerts. Murray recorded her first live album in 1997 and released What a Wonderful World in 1999. Five years later, she released I'll Be Seeing You in Canada; the album arrived in the United States as All of Me in 2005. Murray returned in 2007 with Duets: Friends and Legends.

Wikipedia:

Morna Anne Murray CC ONS (born June 20, 1945), known professionally as Anne Murray, is a Canadian singer in pop, country, and adult contemporary music whose albums have sold over 54 million copies worldwide as of 2012.

Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her signature songs, "Snowbird" (1970). She is often cited as the one who paved the way for other international Canadian success stories such as Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, Céline Dion, Sarah McLachlan, and Shania Twain. She is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win "Album of the Year" at the 1984 Country Music Association Awards for her 1983 album A Little Good News.

Murray has received four Grammys, a record 24 Junos, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, and three Canadian Country Music Association Awards. She has been inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Juno Hall of Fame, and The Songwriters Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars in Nashville, and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.

In 2011, Billboard ranked her 10th on their list of the 50 Biggest AC Artists Ever.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Early life[edit]

Morna Anne Murray was born in the coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. Her father, James Carson Murray, was the town doctor. Her mother, Marion Margaret (née Burke) Murray, was a registered nurse who focused her life on raising her family and community charity work. Murray has five brothers. Murray's father died in 1980 at the age of 72 from complications from leukemia. Her mother died April 10, 2006, at the age of 92 after suffering a series of strokes during heart surgery.

After expressing an early interest in music, she studied piano for six years. By 15 she was taking voice lessons. Every Saturday morning, she took a bus ride from Springhill to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, for singing lessons. One of her earliest performances was of the song "Ave Maria" at her high school graduation in 1962. Following high school, Murray attended Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax for one year. She later studied Physical Education at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. After receiving her degree in 1966 she taught physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, for one year.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Contents

Career1.1 Early years1.2 Success1.3 1990s to present1.4 Television

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

In 1965, Murray appeared on the University of New Brunswick student project record "The Groove" (500 pressed). She sang two songs on the record - "Unchained Melody" and "Little Bit of Soap". On the label her name was misspelled "Anne Murry". While there, she was encouraged to audition for the 1960s CBC musical variety television show Singalong Jubilee, but was not offered a singing position. Two years later she received a call from Singalong Jubilee co-host and associate producer, Bill Langstroth, and was asked to return for a second audition. Following that second audition, Murray was cast for the show.

After a summer of singing in local venues across the Maritimes, Murray began teaching physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. After one year of teaching, she was offered a spot on the television show Let's Go, and returned to Singalong Jubilee. As a regular member of the "Singalong Jubilee" cast, Murray appeared on the Singalong Jubilee Vol. III soundtrack and Our Family Album - The Singalong Jubilee Cast records released by Arc Records. The show's musical director, Brian Ahern, advised Murray that she should move to Toronto and record a solo album. Her first album, What About Me, was produced by Ahern in Toronto and released in 1968 on the Arc label.

Success[edit]

Anne Murray's debut album was on the Canadian Arc label, titled What About Me (Arc AS 782). The lead single, the title cut, was written by Scott McKenzie and was a sizable Canadian radio hit. The project was produced by Brian Ahern, and covered songs by Joni Mitchell, Ken Tobias, and John Denver. After a year-long stint on Arc, Murray switched to Capitol Records in 1969 to record her second album, This Way Is My Way, which was released in the fall of 1969. It featured the single that launched her career, "Snowbird", which became a No. 1 hit in Canada. "Snowbird" became a surprise hit on the U.S. charts as well, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. It was also the first of her eight No. 1 Adult Contemporary hits. "Snowbird" was the first Gold record ever given to a Canadian artist in the United States (RIAA certified Gold on November 16, 1970). As one of the most successful female artists at that time, she became in demand for several television appearances in Canada and the United States, eventually becoming a regular on the hit U.S. TV series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

After the success of "Snowbird", she had a number of subsequent singles that charted both pop and country simultaneously. During the 1970s and 80s, her hits included Kenny Loggins's "Danny's Song" (1972) (peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100) and "A Love Song" (1973); "He Thinks I Still Care" and her Top 10 cover of The Beatles' "You Won't See Me" (1974); her all-time biggest Hot 100 hit "You Needed Me" (1978) — though, the biggest hit of her career (and her personal favorite) peaked at No. 4 country and No. 3 AC; "I Just Fall in Love Again", "Shadows in the Moonlight", and "Broken Hearted Me" (1979); her revival of The Monkees' 1967 No. 1 hit "Daydream Believer" and "Could I Have This Dance" from the Urban Cowboy motion picture soundtrack (1980); "Blessed Are the Believers" (1981); "Another Sleepless Night" (1982); "A Little Good News" (1983); 1984's "Just Another Woman in Love" and "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" (a duet with Dave Loggins of 1974's "Please Come to Boston" fame and cousin of Kenny Loggins); and "Time, Don't Run Out On Me" (1985).

She performed "O Canada" at the first American League baseball game played in Canada on April 7, 1977, when the Toronto Blue Jays played the Chicago White Sox at Exhibition Stadium. She reprised the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 3 of the 1992 World Series at the SkyDome. Following the last game at Maple Leaf Gardens, she concluded the arena's closing ceremony by singing "The Maple Leaf Forever" at center ice wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.

Murray was a celebrity corporate spokeswoman for The Bay, and she also did commercials and sang the company jingle ("You Can Count on the Commerce") for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

Murray's last Hot 100 hit was "Now and Forever (You and Me)" from 1986; it also was her last No. 1 on both the American and Canadian country chart. Her last charting single in the U.S. was 1991's "Everyday", which appeared in Billboard's Country Singles chart, and her last charting single in Canada was 2000's "What a Wonderful World".

1990s to present[edit]

In 1996, Murray signed on with a new manager, Bruce Allen, who also has managed careers for Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé, Martina McBride, and Jann Arden. She recorded her first live album in 1997 and in 1999, she released What a Wonderful World, a platinum inspirational album, which went to No. 1 Contemporary Christian, No. 4 Country and No. 38 pop. She released Country Croonin' in 2002, the follow-up to her successful 1993 album, Croonin'. In 2004, she released I'll Be Seeing You in Canada only, which features a collection of songs from the early 20th century through to the mid-1940s. The American version, titled All of Me, features a bonus disc containing many of her hit singles, followed in 2005. The album is dedicated to her friend Cynthia McReynolds who died of cancer.

On December 26, 2004, Murray joined other Canadian music stars in the Canada for Asia Telethon, a three-hour, tsunami relief concert broadcast on CBC Television (January 13, 2005) to support CARE Canada’s efforts. Bryan Adams and Murray closed the show with a duet, "What Would It Take".

Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends was released in November 2007 in Canada and January 2008 in the U.S. The album comprised seventeen tracks that included many of Murray's biggest hits over her four-decade career, re-recorded as duets with other established, rising, and – in one case – deceased female singers. These artists included Céline Dion, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Nelly Furtado, Jann Arden, Québec's Isabelle Boulay, Murray's daughter Dawn Langstroth, Olivia Newton-John, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, Shelby Lynne, Amy Grant, Carole King, the Indigo Girls, Irish sextet Celtic Woman, Dusty Springfield, and Sarah Brightman. The duet with soprano Brightman was of her 1970 hit song, "Snowbird".

Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends was recorded in four cities - Toronto, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. According to Billboard magazine, the album reached No. 2 on the Canadian pop album charts and was certified Double Platinum in Canada after merely two months, representing sales of over 200,000 units. The album was the second-highest debuting CD on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart for the week ending February 2, 2008. It entered the chart at No. 42, making it her highest-charting U.S. CD release since 1999's What a Wonderful World, which peaked at No. 38 on the Top 200 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Also for the week ending February 2, 2008, the CD debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and at No. 3 on its Top Internet Albums chart. Murray was nominated for the 2008 Juno Award for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.

Murray's album What a Wonderful World was re-released in July 2008 in North America as a 14-song package. A new Christmas album, titled Anne Murray's Christmas Album with bonus DVD was released in October 2008. Sony BMG Music also released an Elvis Presley Christmas album, titled Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, on October 14, 2008 featuring a virtual duet of "Silver Bells" with Murray.

On October 10, 2007, Murray announced that she would embark on her final major tour. She toured in February and March 2008 in the U.S., followed by the "Coast-to-Coast – One Last Time" tour in April and May in Canada. Murray's final public concert was held at the Sony Centre in Toronto on May 23, 2008.

On August 25, 2008 Murray appeared on the popular TV program Canadian Idol as a mentor. On February 12, 2010, Murray was one of the eight Canadians who carried the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Television[edit]

Murray has had five highly-rated US specials on CBS (over 40 million viewers each) and several Canadian specials on CBC including Anne Murray in Nova Scotia, Intimate Evening with Anne Murray, Anne Murray RSVP, A Special Anne Murray Christmas, Legends & Friends, Greatest Hits II, What A Wonderful World, Ladies Night Show, Anne Murray in Walt Disney World and Anne Murray's Classic Christmas. Her 2008 television special, Family Christmas, garnered a 43 per cent share on CBC with 4.2 million viewers.

She has appeared on Solid Gold, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Dean Martin Summer Show, Singalong Jubilee, Dinah!, The Today Show, Dolly!, The Mike Douglas Show, Christmas in Washington, Boston Pops, The Helen Reddy Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, Perry Como's Christmas in New Mexico, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Night of a 100 Stars, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Pat Sajak Show, Royal Canadian Air Farce and Good Morning America. Her 2005 CBC special Anne Murray: The Music of My Life broke ratings records for a Thursday night, with more than 7 million Canadian viewers tuned in.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Contents

Personal life1.1 Marriage and children1.2 Philanthropy1.3 Hobbies

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, Murray released her autobiography, All of Me, and embarked on a 15-city book signing tour, starting in Nashville on October 27, 2009 and ending in Ottawa on November 24, 2009. The tour also included a special In Conversation interview with Michael Posner at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 30, 2009.

Marriage and children[edit]

Murray married music producer Bill Langstroth in 1975. They have two children - William (born 1976) and Dawn (born 1979), a singer/songwriter and artist who has recorded with her mother a number of times, including the duet "Let There Be Love" in 1999 for Murray's What a Wonderful World album. Murray and Dawn were featured in a mother-daughter duet of "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" on Murray's hit 2008 U.S. CD (released in late 2007 in Canada), Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends. Murray and Langstroth separated in 1997 and divorced the following year. Langstroth died in May 2013.

In January 1998, Murray and her daughter Dawn performed at a benefit concert for Sheena's Place, an eating disorder treatment center in Toronto. Murray and her daughter have spoken publicly about Dawn's struggle with anorexia nervosa, which developed when Dawn was 10 years old. Dawn has since sought treatment and continues to pursue a career in music.

Philanthropy[edit]

Murray has always kept ties with her hometown, Springhill, Nova Scotia, located about an hour south of Moncton, New Brunswick, and two hours north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Anne Murray Centre, located in Springhill, houses a collection of memorabilia from both her personal life and professional career in a series of displays. The Anne Murray Centre, which opened on July 28, 1989, is a registered Canadian charity. As a non-profit association, all the revenue generated from its operation is used to provide employment for local people and for its ongoing maintenance. The Anne Murray Centre aims to foster tourism in the area and promote awareness of the music of Nova Scotia and Canada.

Murray was involved in the construction of the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia. She served as the honorary chair of the fundraising campaign to replace the town arena that collapsed after a peewee hockey game in 2002. Named for her parents, the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre sports an NHL-size ice sheet with seating for 800 people, a walking track, multi-purpose room, community room with seating for up to 300, and a gym. The Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre has become an integral part of the Springhill community since opening on September 15, 2004.

Murray has also been involved in a variety of charitable organizations. In addition to being the Honorary National Chairperson of the Canadian Save The Children Fund, she has served as a spokeswoman for many charities throughout her career - most recently Colon Cancer Canada. On May 20, 2009, Colon Cancer Canada launched the inaugural Anne Murray Charity Golf Classic. Over $150,000 was raised through the event.

Murray has been a public supporter of Canadian environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge.

Hobbies[edit]

A longtime golf enthusiast, Murray made history in October 2003 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, by becoming the first woman to score a hole-in-one on the 108-yard, par 3, 17th hole at the Kaluhyat Golf Club. On May 11, 2007, Golf For Women magazine named Murray the world's best female celebrity golfer, noting her 11 handicap.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Awards and honours[edit]

Anne Murray is the winner of four Grammys (including one in the pop category), three American Music Awards, three CMA Awards, and a record 24 Juno Awards.

Murray was ranked No. 24 in Country Music Television's 40 Greatest Women of Country Music in 2002.

Murray is a Companion of the Order of Canada, the second highest honor that can be awarded to a Canadian civilian. She was a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia in its inaugural year.

In 2006, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame chose her and Leonard Cohen as recipients of the Legacy Award for their contributions to and support of the Canadian songwriting industry. Murray was recognized for her support of Canada’s songwriters, through her performances and her recordings.

On June 29, 2007, Canada Post issued the limited edition Anne Murray stamp. She was recognized along with three other Canadian recording artists: Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joni Mitchell.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

In popular culture[edit]

On February 17, 2013, Family Guy devoted the "Chris Cross" episode to Murray. In the episode, Stewie and Brian become obsessed with Murray's music. Murray also appears in animated form contributing her voice.

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