OTD: Canada’s songbird tops Billboard charts

On today’s date in 1978, Canadian songbird Anne Murray’s single You Needed Me reached the top of the Billboard charts.

Before 1960, almost all records sold in Canada were by foreign performers; however, this is far from the truth today. Not only have Canadians focused their attention on homegrown stars but Canadian performers are also capturing the spotlight on the international stage.

Murray was born amid this change 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.

After her 1966 graduation from university, she was offered a spot on CBC’s Singalong Jubilee. Her popularity increased with the release of her first hit single, Snowbird.

With Snowbird, Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts and also the first to earn a gold record.

Her hits often made both the pop and country charts – and sometimes simultaneously – and her success drew national and international respect. Her accolades include four Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, three Canadian Country Music Association Awards, 24 Junos and an induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Juno Hall of Fame.

She has also been inducted as a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Murray is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars in Nashville and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.

2007 MURRAY STAMP

In 2007, Canada Post issued a 52-cent stamp (Scott #2221c) featuring Murray as part of its Canadian Recording Artists series. Printed on Tullis Russell Coatings coated paper by the Lowe-Martin Group, the multi-coloured stamp features a stylized image of Murray.

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

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