Anne Murray: Canada's Songbird
Anne Murray plays guitar barefoot on a 1968 episode of Singalong Jubilee. The barefoot performances became a well-known trademark for Murray. (CBC Still Photo Collection)
Anne Murray was born June 20, 1945, in Springhill, N.S. She grew up in a very musical household and began taking classical voice lessons at age 15. She later credited sibling rivalry as her inspiration to excel.
"I often think that perhaps the reason I became a successful singer was that, as a kid, I could never do anything as well as my brothers. I wanted to do something better than they did," she has said.
As a student at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Murray auditioned for CBC Television's Singalong Jubilee
in 1964. She wasn't offered a part on the popular program. But, two years later, she auditioned again and was offered a spot on the show. Bill Langstroth was the co-host and associate producer of the show and in 1975, she married him in a surprise ceremony. The two later divorced, after a long mariagge.
Murray performed on Singalong Jubilee
for a summer and then taught physical education at a Summerside, P.E.I., high school. After one year of teaching, Murray decided to dedicate herself to her music.
She was offered a spot on the teen television show, Let's Go
, and also returned to Singalong Jubilee
during the summer as a featured soloist. She initially participated in a Singalong Jubilee cast album before the show's musical director, Brian Ahern, eventually convinced her to record her first solo album.
In 1968, Murray recorded and released her first album What About Me
. A year later she signed with Capitol Records and released the hit single Snowbird
from her second album This Way Is My Way
In 1978, Murray became the first Canadian woman to reach the top of the American pop charts with her single You Needed Me
Murray has recorded 34 albums over the course of her long career and has won many honours including 24 Juno Awards and a 1993 Gemini Award.
In 1975, Murray was made an officer of the Order of Canada, in 1984 she became a companion of the Order of Canada, in 1998 she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and in 2006 she received the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Legacy Award.
Hear Murray talk to Peter Mansbridge about her career:
Posted on Sep 7, 2011 6:00:00 AM