All Of Me

Autobiography of Anne Murray


Over the annual Aruban vacation time, I read this book. It felt very à propos to read a piece of my Canadian culture in an environment filled with Americans, Arubans and Haitians. Many people recognized her photo on the sleeve, some knew her by name right away and others needed a little help to find the answer. The bits and pieces of conversation had a lot in common like the song Snowbird, Anne’s barefoot performances, her anorexic daughter, her failed marriage and her passion for golf.


I learned that Anne was a very aware person; she knew going into the music business was high stakes and therefore a crap shoot. She committed to sharing her passion for singing until the walls seemed to squeeze in around her and it was no longer a pleasant experience to go from tour to tour, small town to medium town to big town, here, there and eventually everywhere, including Japan where she had a huge following. Control, hers, had to be at the forefront of her thinking in order to keep ahead of the game. She did a pretty darn good job with multiple albums and an international audience. She feels she kind of overdosed Canadians and that is why she focused a lot of her gig commitments in the United States.  She had a nice long run in Vegas and even though the town was not so desirable, it guaranteed a pretty healthy income and enabled her to stay in one town for longer periods of time.


All of her business success was at the expense of her relationship with her two children who grew up feeling alone and lonely, and often abandoned. Her heavy drinking husband became a problem as a father and with a passive, slowly distancing husband-wife relationship, eventually something had to give. It was a slow boiling pot that eventually boiled over, leaving a lot of irreparable scars.  She realizes she can’t go back and do things differently, and is trying her best to be a good mom to her adult children from whom she does need forgiveness. In reading between the lines, I sensed a hint of regret and sadness, and loneliness, in her current life --- hiding in her golf games and delving in name dropping of celebrities with whom she has rubbed shoulders, many of whom are merely public figures at large private or public functions, watering down any hope of developing meaningful, real and committed friendships.


I would like to suggest that Anne return to Springfield, Nova Scotia, develop a compound of two-level homes, where her family and close friends can help her get back all that her success in the music industry took away from all of her.