Morna Anne Murray was born on June 20, 1945, in the small coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. She grew up around five brothers and was surrounded by music: her father would sing while he was shaving and her siblings would collaborate together.
“As far back as I can remember, I sang. The first time I became aware that I could sing maybe a little better than others, I was driving in a car. I was nine years old, and I was singing along to the radio. My aunt-to-be was in the front seat and she turned to my mother and said ‘My, Marion, she has a beautiful voice.’ I later found out that Aunt Kay was tone deaf, but I guess it doesn’t mean she couldn’t detect talent!”
Murray grew up singing along Buddy Holly, Connie Francis and Bobby Darin records. She studied piano and started taking classical voice lessons. She would drive two hours each way to her voice lesson with Karen Mills. A Grade 11 graduation performance that brought the audience to tears reinforced her love for music.
After high school, Murray spent a year at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She studied Physical Education at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was during this time she auditioned for Singalong Jubilee, a CBC television show. She didn’t get the part, but two years later, got a call back and nailed the audition.
Murray’s debut album came in 1968 on Arc Records that issued it in Canada. She switched to Capitol Records and released This Way Is My Way, which featured the Canadian #1 hit “Snowbird” that also hit the Top 10 in the United States. The album was the first to be certified Gold by a Canadian artist in the US.
Murray continued to score dozens of hits over her career. Music isn’t her only forte: 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!
Over 50 million records sold, Anne’s music will live on forever in the fabric of Canadian music.