Tuesday, August 30, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Anne Murray
Album:The Best...So Far
Anne Murray was a big influence in the Canadian music industry. She was the first Canadian to break through in the US in a significant way. Snowbird was her first hit in 1970. I always thought it was interesting that Capitol Records in the US tried to sell her as a country artist. She's more of a pop singer than a country singer. She was born June 20, 1945 in Springhill, NS. Anne earned a degree in physical education at the University Of New Brunswick and planned to become a phys ed teacher. But she always wanted to be a singer. She took voice and piano lessons as a child. So she auditioned for the CBC variety show Singalong Jubilee. She was not hired at the time and was teaching phys ed at a high school in Summerhill, PEI. In 1968, she was hired for Singalong Jubilee by show producer and future husband Bill Langstroth. Eventually the show's musical director Brian Ahern suggested to Anne that she move to Toronto and get a record deal. Anne recorded her debut album What About Me for the small Arc label with Ahern producing. The album did well enough that she signed with Capitol Records and This Way Is My Way was released in Oct. 1969. Snowbird topped the Canadian charts and then reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. She was the first Canadian artist to earn a Gold record in the US. She moved to Los Angeles and became a regular on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour TV variety show. But Anne didn't like living in Los Angeles and moved back to Toronto. Snowbird was written by Canadian songwriter Gene McLellan. It's his best known song. Though Anne continued to have success in Canada, for a few years it looked like Snowbird would be her only US hit. She broke into the US top ten again with Danny's Song in 1972 and You Won't See Me in 1974. But she finally got her first number one pop single in the US with You Needed Me in 1978. By this time she was working with Nashville producer Jim Ed Norman and she would be a staple on the country charts for several years. You Needed Me was her only number one pop hit. She continued to remain very popular in Canada and is considered a living legend of Canadian music. This budget comp is a good intro to her music. Anne Murray still records but has retired from touring. Her daughter Dawn Langstroth is also a singer. Here's Anne Murray performing Snowbird on Singalong Jubilee 1970.