Dubbed as America’s Canadian sweetheart, Anne Murray has been a woman of success who achieved record-setting sales and earned an impressive award tally throughout her 45-year music career. But despite her successful run in the industry, she still experienced many lows.
In 2008, she revealed every bit of her swift ascent to the top to her personal hardships and even her long-term affair with TV producer Bill Langstroth in her tell-all memoir All of Me.
Who is Anne Murray?
Most popularly known for her breakthrough single “Snowbird” back in 1970, Anne Murray was born as Morna Anne Murray on June 20, 1945 in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is the daughter of town doctor James Carson Murray and nurse Marion Margaret Burke and was raised alongside her five brothers – Stewart, Daniel, David, Harold, and Bruce.
At a very young age, Anne already expressed interest in music, and then she started taking voice lessons at the age of 6. Aside from that, she also studied the piano.
After graduating from high school, she attended Mount Saint University in Halifax for a year. Then she continued her education at the University of New Brunswick, where she finished her degree in Physical Education in 1966.
Later on, she auditioned for the CBC musical variety TV show Singalong Jubilee, but unfortunately, she was not offered a singing position. Two years later, she was invited to take a second audition for the show, where she was finally cast. She worked on the show over the course of summer before she turned to a more stable career as a high school instructor for physical education.
All of Me: The Forbidden Love
Bill Langstroth first met Anne Murray when she auditioned for his TV show on CBC Singalong Jubilee. At the time, Bill was still married to Shirley Dennison and father to two young children, David and Margot. He became her boss and the two worked together.
But one trip to Charlottetown – marijuana and a kiss – changed everything and started a secret affair that would last for years. According to Murray, during those years, he was so unhappy in his marriage while she, on the other hand, was falling in love so fast. And she was powerless to do anything about it even though she knew he was her boss and fifteen years her senior.
They kept their relationship a secret for years while Langstroth remained married. The early years of the affair proved to be very difficult for her. Not to mention that it also led to rumors about her sexuality and even attracted a ‘legion of gay fans.’
Finally, Langstroth married Murray in 1975 after divorcing Dennison. The couple welcomed their first child William a year later, and then three years after, they had Dawn. But after 22 years of marriage, the two separated in 1997 and then divorced in 1998. Langstroth died in 2013. He was 81.
Meet Anne Murray’s Family: Parents and Children
Anne Murray lost her father in 1980 due to complications from leukemia. He was 72. While her mother died on April 10, 2006 at the age of 92, after suffering from a series of strokes.
As for her children, Dawn followed in her footsteps in music as a singer-songwriter. The mother-daughter duo has recorded several songs, including their 1999 duet of “Let There Be Love” for Murray’s What a Wonderful World album. Then in 2008, Dawn featured again for another duet titled “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” for Murray’s Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends album. But aside from being a musician, she is also a painter. You can take a peek at her collection on her official website.
Now, Anne Murray has settled back in her home province of Nova Scotia, where she happily rekindled relationships with family and friends. While she won’t be putting out a show anytime soon, she’s happy just sitting down with her old guitar and revisiting a few old songs just to find out if she could still carry out a tune. And of course, just for the fun of it.