Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Wonderful World' for Anne Murray Singer Finds Healing in Inspirational Work

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Wonderful World' for Anne Murray Singer Finds Healing in Inspirational Work

Article excerpt

The past few years have been hard for Anne Murray. Her 23-year marriage fell apart; her daughter battled anorexia; and her longtime manager, Leonard Rambeau, died from cancer. But those struggles weren't enough to kill the song inside Murray, a four-time Grammy winner and show business veteran.

This year Murray, now 55, has 80 tour dates and is busy promoting her latest work, a double-CD set of inspirational classics titled What a Wonderful World.

"People have asked me, 'Was this therapeutic? Was this something you've done to heal?' and I said, 'No, it was just a coincidence,' " Murray said in a phone interview. "But in hindsight, I realized that this really did help me heal. Here I was all ready to gracefully fade into the sunset, and here it is, the biggest CD I've done in almost 20 years."

Jacksonville audiences will get to sample songs from What a Wonderful World Tuesday when Murray performs with a 40-piece orchestra at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. But for those who have grown up with her tender vocals and soothing ballads, she'll be performing some older hits as well, songs such as You Needed Me and I Just Fall In Love Again.

The idea for her latest CD came from her record company, and it took some time before Murray felt totally comfortable with its format.

"There had been some chatting about doing this kind of album for a while," she said. "First it was gospel and then inspirational songs. At first, they wanted me to do a CD of hymns, but I was raised Catholic and all the songs they wanted me to do were Presbyterian and Baptist hymns, which didn't feel right. It wasn't honest, but I thought maybe we could do songs with an inspirational message. That's when it started to make sense, because when you put those songs together, they come together as classics, songs that everyone wants to sing."

Some of Murray's personal favorites include Softly and Tenderly, Song of Bernadette and In the Garden, which had touched her deeply as a child.

"When I was making the list of songs that I'd like to do, right on top of the hymns was In the Garden," Murray said. …

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