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Anne Murray naked! (Steelback concert photos)

By David Helwig
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Almost 35 years ago, when Anne Murray was riding high as Canada's singing sweetheart, this reporter was thumbing through a copy of Maclean's magazine.

"If you close your eyes," wrote Larry LeBlanc, Maclean's music critic, "and think of a naked Anne Murray, parts of her always come up airbrushed."

It was one of the most memorable reviews in Canadian music history, for sure.

More recently, Peter C. Newman cited it in an essay about the relationship between Canadians and their heroes.

"Our anti-hero attitude extends even to our entertainers," Newman said. "If they're successful, they can't be real."

But back in 1974, LeBlanc's article was a premise that clearly begged to be tested.

Your reporter admits attempting this mental exercise back in the day.

It's important to remember here that I had graduated from high school just the year before. Okay? readers shall be spared the results of our little experiment as they related to Ms. Murray.

I can confirm, however, that the exercise summoned up a large and curious assortment of thoughts about a leisure-suited Larry LeBlanc thinking about Anne Murray.

These were not pleasant thoughts.

LeBlanc is still around, now toiling for Billboard magazine, among other activities.

And ever since his 1974 article, your reporter has unfairly viewed him and all other music critics as just a little bit creepy.

Even those employed by

But, we want to assure you that we did not - repeat did not - attempt LeBlanc's exercise during tonight's Anne Murray concert at the Steelback Centre.

Now 62, the former physical education teacher required absolutely no airbrushing to attract a crowd of 4,000 adoring fans in the Sault.

Anne really, really wants us to tell you about her 2007 album called Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends, which readers are encouraged to buy by the dozen through Anne's very own online store.

Be sure to read the liner notes, BTW.

They're written by, of all people, Larry LeBlanc!

Additional coverage of the concert and a photo gallery have been posted on our Entertainment page.

To go there now, please click here.

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