OTD: Murray’s ‘Good News’ tops Billboard country chart

On today’s date in 1983, Anne Murray’s single A Little Good News reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart for the week of Dec. 3.

A Little Good News was released in September 1983 as the lead single from Murray’s 20th album, which shares the same name. It would become her seventh No. 1 hit on the Billboard Top Country Songs chart.

In Canada, the song reached No. 1 on RPM’s country chart and the second spot on its adult contemporary chart.

In the U.S., the single stayed on Billboard’s country chart for 20 weeks while reaching #10 on the adult contemporary chart and #74 on the pop chart.

That year, A Little Good News also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance. The song was also named “single of the year” by the Country Music Association.

LONG CAREER

With a career spanning almost four decades, Murray is well-known in Canada.

Born on June 20, 1945, in Springhill, N.S., her musical talent was apparent from childhood, and she began training in piano and vocals at a young age. In addition to 24 Juno Awards, her many accolades include four Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, three Canadian Country Music Association Awards and an induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Juno Hall of Fame. She has also been named a Companion of the Order of Canada.

CANADIAN RECORDING ARTISTS

In June 2007, Canada Post commemorated Murray (Scott #2221c) alongside fellow Canadian music icons Gordon Lightfoot (SC #2221a); Joni Mitchell (SC #2221b); and Paul Anka (SC #2221d) on a set of four domestic-rate stamps. The Canadian Recording Artists series followed the previous summer’s Canadians in Hollywood issue.

Printed on Tullis Russell Coatings coated paper by the Lowe-Martin Group, the multi-coloured stamps feature stylized images of each artist.

“I was deeply honoured to be chosen by Canada Post to grace a stamp this year,” Murray said, in 2007. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime acknowledgment and I’m pleased to be a part of this series.”

The series also featured Canadian music legends Joni Mitchell (SC #2221b), Anne Murray (SC #2221c) and Paul Anka (SC #2221d).

‘LIVING LEGENDS’

The CD-shaped Canadian Recording Artists booklets also put a new spin on this type of collectible. In addition, a souvenir sheet, official first-day cover and postcards were available.

Robert Peters, of Winnipeg’s Circle Design, said his design team was enthusiastic about working with “living legends” while developing the Canadian Recording Artists issue.

“We tried to portray the distinctive personality of each performer, and we wanted to depict them at a significant moment in their careers,” said Peters.

Inspired by album covers, each stamp is square in format and features a photo of the artist along with distinctively styled fonts appropriate to the era. As some of the photos were taken over 30 years ago, obtaining suitable originals and approvals involved a significant amount of research.

To reflect the glamour and prestige of the recording artists, Peters incorporated a distinctive MetalFX process.

“The MetalFX process involves under-printing in metallic silver ink, then over-printing with other colours,” he said. “The result gives a lustrous sheen to the artists’ portraits and lends a ‘platinum album’ feel to the shiny, disc-shaped stamp booklets and souvenir sheet.”

The stamps went through various design refinements before reaching their final form.

“Like human gestation, designing a stamp is a simple but complex process. It takes about nine months to do, and you can’t rush it.”

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