I never thought about Anne Murray until now. Now that I’m renting a farmhouse on the ocean several cottages away from hers, I think about her all the time. In the nearby village, I spent several hours in a second-hand shop, leafing through long-play albums, music probably brought to the shop following the death of a parent or a grandparent. The tastes tended to mainstream – Nana Mouskouri, Charley Pride, Jim Nabors, Perry Como and Nat King Cole. And there, in the middle of row three. I found a mint copy of Anne Murray’s very first album, “What About Me”, complete with vinyl wrap and a sticker which read: “Buy Canadian Records and Save. Only $1.99″. Anne looks really, really young on the album cover, which includes liner notes by Bill Langstroth, a former Halifax-based CBC TV Producer who married Anne. Several days later, I went back to continue my search and found her second album, “This Way My Way”, which includes “Snowbird”, the song which launched her musical career.
A few times, walking along the deserted beach at low tide, Anne Murray passes me. We nod hello. I do not invade her privacy. I am a tourist passing through; she lives here in the summers. In any case, I will have a chance to make her acquaintance once I get home, put her album on the turntable, place the diamond needle on track one and listen to some vinyl from 1967.
August 17, 2010