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Vincent in Halifax, which was an all girls’ school. But at UNB, there were six or seven men for every woman, which suited me just fine. I did so much dating that I nearly flunked out.”Murray laughs, a hearty one-of-the guys kind of guffaw that carries across the room.“Those were the best years of my life, come to think of it. Just classes and singing and a whole lot of fun in between.You meet people from so many different places and it’s the shared life experience that helps you grow.”Even though Murray’s university years were during the still-uptight mid-’60s, she admits that “our dorms were sort of co-ed. And it wasn’t really hard to get from one floor to the other.”Still, with all of that extra-curricular activity going on, Murray was able to have her musical impulses reach out and grow.“You have to understand that I never thought I would have a career in music. Then, in 1965, in my third year, I was asked to take part in the Red and Black Revue, which was a big deal at UNB in those days.“When you hear those recordings, you can actually hear my tonsils vibrating.I had the most giant set of tonsils in those days and they were always getting infected.For anyone studying Murray’s career in particular, the collection is a treasure trove.“The next biography, boy, is that going to be detailed,” Silversides said.There comes a time when every artist has to heed the message to “spread your tiny wings and fly away,” as Gene Mac Lellan put it in his classic song, “Snowbird.” For Anne Murray, those years occurred during her time at the University of New Brunswick. I learned an awful lot about life and people during those years, which is why I think it’s a big mistake when kids don’t want to go to college.
“I think the idea is slowly getting out there,” that their resource is in the city, Silversides said.
But when she was put in contact with U of T archivist Brock Silversides, her mind was changed.
“Brock presented a great case for what would happen to all of this and that it would be available to everybody,” she said.
Anne Murray donated a one of a kind collection to the University of Toronto last week, adding to the trove of unique Canadian artifacts housed in the university's enormous library system.
Torontonians listening to Anne Murray’s music for more than 40 years can now hear rare versions of her songs while scouring a one-of-a-kind collection of Canada’s Songbird’s contracts, letters, albums and photos.