Canadian chanteuse Anne Murray was well into her vocal stride by 1973, with a host of No.1s on the country and easy listening charts in her own country. That had been complemented by some significant success on the corresponding bestsellers in the United States, especially with 1970’s “Snowbird” and late 1972’s “Danny’s Song.”
Now she was to hit the target again by returning to the songbook of the man who had written that last-named hit, Kenny Loggins. The latter singer-songwriter and his recording partner of the day, Jim Messina, recorded “A Love Song” (written by Loggins with Donna Lyn George) and released it just a few weeks earlier on their Full Sail album.
But after her version of “Danny’s Song” became a Top 10 pop and country record in the US, this time they had Murray specifically in mind for the new tune. After singles releases with “What About Me” and “Send A Little Love My Way,” she went back to the well to make the gentle number not only her next 45, but the title track of her eighth studio LP, which followed in the new year.
In the autumn, Murray completed a record-breaking 17-date, 14-day tour of Canada, “breaking all existing house and gross figures,” as Billboard reported. Recognition included the presenting of the keys to the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a state testimonial dinner in honor of the singer by that same province. Such events were normally reserved for foreign dignitaries and members of royalty.
Recorded at Eastern Sound in Ontario, the track and the album were overseen by Murray’s regular producer Brian Ahern, and her faithful audience lapped it up just as radio programmers did. In the December 22, 1973 issue of Billboard, “A Love Song” opened its country chart account at an assured No.58, rising to No.5, her best showing to date on that listing. It topped the US and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts, also reaching the pop and country summits back home. It climbed steadily on the Hot 100, topping out at No.12.
The album Love Song further underlined Murray’s admiration for the work of Loggins & Messina, with a version of their “Watching the River Run.” The full record went on to win the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Buy or stream “A Love Song” on Anne Murray’s The Ultimate Collection – Deluxe.