Friday Five: Anne Murray

Ken Morton, Jr. | June 20th, 2014

The Canadian snowbird Anne Murray celebrates her 69th birthday today and, as a result, she lays claim to this week’s Friday Five. (I’m sure that this was high on her wish list.) Murray had an enormous amount of success in the 1970s and 1980s and curiously, doesn’t come up much in discussions about who might be next inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. 32 albums (15 of which went platinum), four Grammys, three American Music Awards, three CMA Awards, 47 charted hits on the US country chart, nine number ones and a record 24 Juno Awards are just the tip of some of her musical accomplishments. Perhaps it was her consistency of crossover into Adult Contemporary charts that keeps her from being discussed more, but Kenny Rogers’ and Ronnie Milsap’s inductions just might open that door. What’s your favorite Anne Murray song?

5. “Snowbird”

This one holds special meaning for me, as it was the title track of the very first album I purchased, on cassette no less.

 

4. “Daydream Believer”

Written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio and originally performed by The Monkees, this song was included on Murray’s 1979 album, I’ll Always Love You.

 

3. “Time Don’t Run Out on Me”

Written by Gerry Goffin (who passed away yesterday) and Carole King, this one was released in 1985 and was the second single from the album Heart Over Mind.

 

2. “Could I Have This Dance”

This one was featured in Urban Cowboy and won Murray a Grammy in 1980 for Best Country Vocal Performance.

 

1. “A Little Good News”

This one won the 1984 CMA Award for Single of the Year and, 30 years later, the lyrics still ring true.

  1. Doug Thomas
    June 20, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Keep up the excellent work, Mr. Morton!

  2. numberonecountryfan
    June 20, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I love Now And Forever You And Me from 1986. That was Anne Murray doing a very poppy number there. It essentially closed out her crossover era (1970-1986) on a #1 country, #92 pop, and #7 adult contemporary note.
    For the record, Murray has ten #1 country hits, eight #1 A.C. hits, and a #1 pop hit (You Needed Me from 1978).

  3. bob
    June 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I guess I’m a fan since I have 23 of her albums, 14 on vinyl. Some lesser known favorite AM songs of mine:

    A Stranger in My Place (Kenny Rogers & Charles Vassy)
    Song for the Mira (John McGillivary)
    Blue Finger Lou (Alan O’Day)
    Yucatan Cafe (Adam Mitchel)
    Wrong End of the Rainbow (Richard Leigh & Milton Blackford)

    My only disappointment with AM: my wife and I had tickets to see her at Carnegie Hall in Feb of ’79 only to arrive and find a notice posted that her show was cancelled due to illness. We saw her later that year at Radio City.

  4. Erik North
    June 20, 2014 at 10:22 am

    It should also be said that Anne had a very big distinction back in 1974: a double-sided hit, in which “He Thinks I Still Care” (originally “She Thinks I Still Care”, the George Jones classic) was a Top 10 country hit in 1974, and the other one was “You Won’t See Me”, written in 1965 by a couple of guys named Lennon and McCartney, got up to #7 on the pop chart.

  5. luckyoldsun
    June 20, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Definitely belongs in the “Easy Listening”/A.C. Hall of Fame.

  6. numberonecountryfan
    June 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Well, luckyoldsun, Anne Murray was ranked #10 in the all-time list of adult contemporary hitmakers in Billboard.

  7. Arlene
    June 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    As a guilty pleasure, I always liked “Danny’s Song,” her cover of the Loggins and Messina composition.

  8. luckyoldsun
    June 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    #1CF–
    Well I guess that makes my point.

    It’s a complete misreading to liken Anne Murray to Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap as far as country vs. pop/easy listening. Rogers and Milsap were country artists who maybe played down the twang and steel and reached the wider market. (Milsap also came out of R&B and probably could have been successful in that genre if his complexion were different.) Anne Murray was a pop artist who got played on country. Rogers and Milsap both had plenty of songs that were major country hits and never went pop at all.

    When I was a kid and I would see Kenny Rogers on the Today Show or the Johnny Carson show singing songs like “the Gambler” and “Lucille,” I recall that he was always called a country singer. When Anne Murray would appear on network TV to sing “Snowbird” or “You Needed Me,” she was never identified as country–She didn’t seem any more country than Carly Simon or Carole King. In fact, I was sort of surprised years later when I learned that she had a connection to country music!

  9. Barry Mazor
    June 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Maybe when Muzak offers an award for Big Time Emotionally Numb Musical Voids, they can give her some sort of lifetime achievement statuette. I think Karen Carpenter was already awarded that one posthumously. (ducking.)

  10. Paul W Dennis
    June 22, 2014 at 12:02 am

    1. Danny’s Song
    2. Snowbird
    3. Daydream Believer
    4. Cotton Jenny
    5. Shadows In The Moonlight

    Anne never claimed to be country, although she was at least as country as Crystal Gayle. Anne was a folk / MOR artist who country DJs and country audiences liked a lot.

    I don’t regard Anne as Muzak at all, although I do regard the Carpenters as Muzak

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