ANNE MURRAY AND ME!

Anne signing

Like a lot of girls growing up in 1960s Nova Scotia, I idolized Anne Murray and admired her effortless, pure singing voice. The idea that a young woman who grew up just down the highway from me could become an international singing sensation boggled my mind. I’ve always liked to sing and I could sing along to a lot of Anne’s songs, but I was crazy-shy and had no aspirations about following in her footsteps. But when I set out to write The Power of Harmony, about a girl who does want to be a famous singer, I had to include Anne. And I did, including setting the story in her coal-mining hometown of Springhill, NS.

After the book came out in 2013, I mailed Anne a copy, and she responded by email, thanking me. She also tweeted about the book during Canadian Children’s Book Week in 2015, reaffirming my belief in her being a down-home, thoughtful, genuine person, despite her fame.Anne July 30, 2016

Finally this weekend, I got to meet Anne, at her annual meet-and-greet at the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill. By the time Shannon and I arrived, she’d been smiling for over five straight hours, but she seemed genuinely happy that I’d stopped by, and she remembered the book (she didn’t, however, say she’d read it (yet), but that’s okay:) She’s 71 now, and she looks fantastic, as you can see! I got her to sign a copy of my novel for me – possibly it’s the only one-of-a-kind autographed item I’ll ever own.8ee011c0-6e82-4308-bbf7-ef4ee3e106af

How about you? Ever met anybody famous? Were they as nice and personable as Anne?

About janlcoates

I'm a Nova Scotia children's author. My first picture book, "Rainbows in the Dark", was published in 2005, by Second Story Press. My young adult novel, "A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk" was published in the fall of 2010, by Red Deer Press.
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10 Responses to ANNE MURRAY AND ME!

  1. Laura Best says:

    Wow, Jan! You got to meet Anne Murray. That’s pretty darn cool! And to have her autograph you book. I’m jealous. 😉 Who have I met whose famous? You mean besides you? 😉 I guess I’d say Margaret Atwood.

  2. Darlene says:

    How wonderful that you got to meet Anne Murray! I am not surprised she is a genuine, warm person. I have met a few famous people and it is always special, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Jane Goodall were the most memorable.

    • janlcoates says:

      I’d love to meet Jane Goodall! I see some of Atwood’s books are making it to the big screen soon – and that she’s about to publish a graphic novel – pretty good for a 76-year-old!

  3. mirkabreen says:

    LOVED hearing Anne Murray again… I was so young when this song was a hit, but I remember the distinctive voice and gentleness of her rendition as if it was fused to my heart. So beautiful that you saw her and paid tribute here to share with us.

    • janlcoates says:

      Glad you enjoyed that, Mirka. I’ve always thought she’s the real deal – both as a person and a singer. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have total strangers coming up to you all the time and telling you that your music made a difference in their lives. Super rewarding, I’d think!

  4. That is so cool!

    I’ve met Margaret Atwood as an adult; I sold her a notebook when I worked at a pen store and told her a joke and made her laugh. Apparently she was also my nature instructor at camp when I was 9, but I don’t remember that! She used my surname as the surname of one of the characters in Life Before Man.

    And I met (and interviewed) James Houston, the Canadian author-illustrator-artist-glass designer-screenwriter.

    • janlcoates says:

      Hey, Barbara – thanks for stopping by. I’ve heard Margaret Atwood on CBC so many times, I feel like I’ve met her in person – especially because her voice is so distinctive. Cheers!

  5. Lynn says:

    Hi, Jan,
    I met Rita MacNeil after one of her concerts. She was shy and gracious.
    I also met and corresponded with Budge Wilson, a wonderful lady who has written many books, including Before Green Gables. I could name several other authors – such as yourself and Laura Best, but how famous is famous? 🙂

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