#1: Shadows In The Moonlight by Anne Murray

City: Fredericton, NB
Peak Month: July 1979
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Position in Fredericton #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube: “Shadows In The Moonlight
Lyrics: “Shadows In The Moonlight

In 1945 Morna Anne Murray was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a coal-mining town. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a registered nurse. Growing up she took piano lessons for six years and began taking vocal lessons at age fifteen in 1960. Anne loved music. It was the age of rock ‘n’ roll, and growing up she sang along with all her favourites – Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin and Connie Francis. However, Anne was also inspired by a wide variety of musical styles, including the classics, country, gospel, folk, and crooners such as Patti Page, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. She loved them all. In 1962 she gave one of her first public performances singing “Ave Maria” at her high school graduation. She went on to be part of the CBC variety show Singalong Jubilee in 1967.

A document on display at the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia, dated May 30, 1966, informed her: “Your signature on four copies of this letter will serve to engage your services for the 1966 Singalong Jubilee series. It is understood that you will be required to function either as a singer for a fee of seventy-one dollars and fifty cents ($71.50) per show or as a soloist for a fee of ninety-nine dollars ($99.00).” Her first album, What About Me, was released in 1968. Her signature song, “Snowbird” went to #6 in Vancouver and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It established a following and 76 singles, 32 studio albums and 55 million record sales later, Anne Murray is one of the most awarded and honored recording artists in the Canadian music industry.

After “Snowbird” hit the charts, Anne Murray was in demand for television and stage appearances all over North America. She had hit the big time. The success of “Snowbird” was followed by hits on both the pop and country charts. She became a regular on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and her popularity increased even further. “Snowbird” was the first of three #1 hits in a row on the Canadian Country charts for Murray. A subsequent hit in Vancouver, “Sing High – Sing Low”, climbed to #5 in January 1971. Her fourth Top Ten on the Canadian Country charts was “It Takes Time”. It peaked on RPM Magazine’s Canadian Country chart at #6. However, it didn’t get any attention on the pop or country charts in the USA. Even on the pop charts in Canada it barely made the Top 30. However, in Vancouver the song climbed to #10. She released three more singles in 1971. The third, “Talk It Over In The Morning”, was her most successful that year.

Murray’s followup single was “Cotton Jenny” which made the Top 20 in Vancouver and numerous other Canadian radio markets. But it was her release of “Danny’s Song” later in 1972 that became her biggest hit to date, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974 Anne Murray won a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance for  “A Love Song”.

Anne Murray had more Top Ten hits in Vancouver during the 70’s. Her other Top Ten hits across the decade included “You Won’t See Me”, “You Needed Me” and “I Just Fall In Love Again”. From the ’70’s into the ’90’s, Anne Murray covered many songs. These include Doris Troy’s “Just One Look“, the Monkees “Daydream Believer”, the Beatles “Day Tripper” and “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”, Bobby Darin’s 1962 hit “Things”, Carly Simon’s “That’s Not the Way (It’s S’posed To Be)”, Bruce Channel’s #1 hit from 1962 “Hey! Baby”, Gogi Grant’s #1 hit from 1956 titled “The Wayward Wind” and the Chordettes Top Ten hit from ’56 called “Born To Be With You”.

In 1979, Anne Murray had two number-one hits in Fredericton: “I Just Fall In Love Again” and “Shadows In The Moonlight”.

Shadows In The Moonlight by Anne Murray

“Shadows In The Moonlight” was written by Charlie Black and Rory Bourke. Charles Black was born in Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. in 1949. He worked in construction, as a custodian, and produce delivery driver, before settling on songwriting. He moved to Nashville in 1971 hoping to become a country singer. But Tommy Overstreet began recording some of Black’s songs and they became Top Ten country hits: “I Don’t Know You (Anymore)” (1971), “Send Me No Roses” (1973), “I’ll Never Break These Chains” (1973), “(Jeannie Marie) You Were a Lady” (1974) and “If I Miss You Again Tonight” (1974).

Rory Bourke was born in 1942 in Cleveland. His first job was tracing lost railroad cars for the New York Central Railroad. Rory came to Nashville in 1969 as head of Sales and Promotion for Mercury Records Country and Western Division. Shortly afterwards he was signed to Chappell Music as a songwriter. In 1970 his song “Patch It Up” was recorded by Elvis Presley and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1973, Bourke’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” was a number-one country and pop hit for Charlie Rich. His other Top Ten country songwriting efforts were “Neon Rose” for Mel Willis (#3 in 1972), “Sweet Magnolia Blossom” for Billy Crash Craddock (#3 in 1974), “Honky Tonk Memories” for Mickey Gilley (#4 in 1977), and “I Just Can’t Stay Married With You” for Cristy Lane (#5 in 1978).

Charlie Black and Rory Bourke became songwriting collaborators in the late 1970s. Anne Murray’s recording of their “Shadows in the Moonlight” became a No. 1 hit in 1979. Teaming up with Kerry Chater, they scored with “I Know a Heartache When I See One” by Jennifer Warnes in that same year. These hits led to Black being named SESAC Country Songwriter of the Year in 1979.

Black and Bourke were also responsible for Murray’s number-one country hits “Lucky Me” (1980), “Blessed Are the Believers” (1981), and “Another Sleepless Night” (1982). In 1983, another number-one hit for Anne Murray titled “A Little Good News” was named the CMA Single of the Year. It earned Anne Murray a Grammy Award and was nominated as the year’s Best Country Song at the Grammys. Black took home ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year honors in 1983 and 1984.

Over the years Charlie Black co-wrote many number-one country hits. These include “Do You Love As Good As You Look” by the Bellamy Brothers (1981), “Slow Burn” (1983) and  “Strong Heart” (1986) both by T.G. Sheppard, “Honor Bound” by Earl Thomas Conley (1985), “100% Chance of Rain” by Garry Morris (1986), “You Lie” by Reba McIntyre (1990), “Come Next Monday” by K.T. Oslin (1990) with Rory Bourke, and “Right On The Money” for Alan Jackson (1998). Between 1971 and 1998, Black penned 28 Top Ten country hits. Charlie Black died in 2021 at the age of 71.

While Rory Bourke co-wrote more number-one country hits: “You Look So Good In Love” for George Strait (1983), “Let’s Stop Talkin’ About It” for Janie Fricke (1984), “Where Do The Nights Go” for Ronnie Mislay (1987), and “Bye Bye” for Jo Dee Messina (1998). It happens that Rory Bourke also landed 28 songs he co-wrote in the Top Ten on Billboard’s Hot Country charts. Bourke was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.

“Shadows In The Moonlight” is a song about two lovers who meet at midnight to “find a little hideaway, where we can love the whole night away.”

“Shadows In The Moonlight” peaked at #1 in Fredericton (NB), Bakersfield (CA), St. Cloud (MN), and Bangor (ME), #3 in San Diego, and Fresno (CA), #4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Manchester (NH), #5 in New York City, #6 in La Crosse (WI), #7 in Winnipeg (MB), and Baltimore, #10 in Kansas City (MO), Portsmouth (NH), and Dayton (OH), #11 in Toronto, and #12 in Montreal.

The album “Shadows In The Moonlight” appeared on was New Kind of Feeling. It was the second of five albums which topped the RPM Country Album charts in Canada.

In 1979, another very successful hit on CIHI in Fredericton was “Broken Hearted Me”. In 1980, Anne Murray received another Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance for her recording of “Could I Have This Dance”.

In the 1980s, Anne Murray had more number-one hits on the Canadian Country chart including “It’s All I Can Do”, “Just Another Woman in Love”, “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do”, and “Time Don’t Run Out on Me”. Between 1970 and 1986, Anne Murray charted 22 singles into the number-one spot on the RPM Canadian Country chart.

She also released a single in 2000 covering the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World”. Over the decades she has released 32 studio albums.

Anne Murray is often cited as the woman who paved the way for other Canadian international success stories such as Alanis Morrisette, Nelly Furtado, Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan and Shania Twain. Murray is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win “Album of the Year” at the County Music Association Awards for her 1984 album A Little Good News. Murray has received four Grammy Awards and twenty-four Juno Awards. On the Canadian Country charts, Anne Murray had 40 Top Ten hits, including twenty-two number-one records.

She has been received a Juno Award for Country Female Vocalist of the Year on nine occasions, and a Juno Award for Female Vocalist of the Year five times. Murray has been awarded the Order of Canada, and the Order of Nova Scotia. She also appears on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame (in Toronto). On June 29, 2007, Canada Post issued the limited edition Anne Murray stamp.

The Anne Murray Centre, located in Springhill, Nova Scotia, houses a collection of memorabilia from both her personal life and professional career in a series of displays. The Anne Murray Centre, which opened on July 28, 1989, is a registered Canadian charity. As a non-profit association, all the revenue generated from its operation is used to provide employment for local people and for its ongoing maintenance. The Anne Murray Centre aims to foster tourism in the area and promote awareness of the music of Nova Scotia and Canada.

February 9, 2024
Ray McGinnis

Anne Murray Bio, Anne Murray.com
Anne Murray Centre, Springhill, Nova Scotia.
Anne Murray Talks Drugs, Divorce in ‘Painful’ Memoir,” CTV News, October 30, 2009.
Anne Murray Anne and Michael Posner, All of Me, (Vintage Books, 2009).
Rory Bourke bio,” rorybourke.com.
Robert K. Oermann,”Country Songwriting Great Charlie Black Passes,” Musicrow.com, April 26, 2021.

Shadows In The Moonlight by Anne Murray
CIHI-AM 1260 Fredericton (NB) | Top Ten | July 27, 1979

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter