In a rare TV interview, Canadian music legend Anne Murray opened up Monday about the highs -- and lows -- of her record-setting career, and spoke about how she’s using her retirement.
The four-time Grammy Award winner, and 24-time Juno Award winner, who rocketed to the top of the U.S. charts in 1970 with “Snowbird,” no longer performs in public but has just released a new compilation album, Anne Murray: The Ultimate Collection.
The famous singer-songwriter quit the stage nine years ago and says she has no guilt about stepping away.
“You don’t really slow down. You either do it or you don’t,” she told CTV News Chief Anchor Lisa LaFlamme. “I knew it was time to pack it in. I was in my 60s … I could still sing but I didn’t want to get to that point where people feel sorry for me.”
While she doesn’t sing in public, she does make some rare exceptions. “I sing happy birthday every now and then,” she says. “I have a little grand-daughter and she’s three … She loves ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic.’”
Murray says she doesn’t even miss performing, although “I miss my road family.”
“We had a reunion this summer. We get together every three years.”
Murray says that while some of her 40-year-career was thrilling, it was also hard work that occasionally prevented her from spending as much time with her children as she would have liked.
‘I didn’t have a life’
“I didn’t have a life,” she says. “Basically, for 40 years it was my work and my nose was to the grindstone the whole time,” she says.
She also says that her years spent doing two shows a day in Las Vegas while her children were young were really tough, although she didn’t see herself as having a choice.
“I was the breadwinner in the family at the time,” she says. “The door was open. What do you do? My kids suffered because I wasn’t home enough.”
“Not that I didn’t have some good times,” she adds. “Of course I did. But I don’t look back. As someone said, ‘It’s fine to look back, just don’t stare.’”
Remembering Glen Campbell
Times that she does look back with fondness include her days singing on stage and in dressing rooms with Glen Campbell, who died in August of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81.
“He was a wonderful man and he was so good to me,” Murray said. “Every time that I ever asked him to do anything … he was here for me always.”
Murray says she last saw the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer when he opened for her in the early 2000s.
“I noticed that there was something ... a little different about him. A little off,” she says. “I spoke to his daughter about it and she was travelling then. She didn’t elaborate then, but I had a feeling.”
Trip down memory lane
Choosing the songs for her compilation album was a “trip down memory lane,” she says.
But it wasn’t difficult to choose the songs in the sense that there are certain ones that fans requested in the late days of her career that kept “coming up over and over again.”
Murray says there aren’t even any songs she’s tired of.
“And I had to sing ‘Snowbird’ a lot,” she says. “But I never tired of it, ever.”