courtesy of: Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
Ruby Murray (March 29, 1935 - December 17, 1996) was a
popular singer born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her characteristic hoarse voice was a
result of an operation on her throat in early childhood. She toured as a child singer,
and first appeared on television at the age of 12. Her first single was
Heartbeat, which reached the UK top 5 in 1954. The next, Softly,
Softly, reached number 1 in 1955, a year in which Murray achieved the rare feat of
having five singles in the top twenty at the same time. She married Bernie Burgess and
moved to England in 1957. Her second husband was Ray Lamar.
A play by Marie Jones about Murray's life, Ruby, opened at the
Group Theatre in Belfast in April 2000.
Her name lives on in Cockney rhyming slang as the rhyme for curry. (See Ruby Murray.com.)
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Information courtesy of: Encyclopedia of Popular Music Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 1998
Born 29 March
1935, Belfast, Northern Ireland, died 17 December 1996.
One of the most popular singers in the UK during the 50s, Murray toured
Ulster as a child singer in various variety shows, and, after
being spotted by producer Richard Afton, made her television
debut at the age of 12. Stringent Irish laws regarding child
performers held her back for two years, and she returned to
school in Belfast until she was 14.
In 1954 she travelled to
London in comedian Tommy Morgan's touring revue, Mrs.
Mulligan's Hotel, and was again seen by Afton, at the famous
Metropolitan Theatre, Edgware Road. He offered her a position as
resident singer on BBC Television's Quite Contrary,
replacing Joan Regan who was about to leave. Signed to UK
Columbia by recording manager and musical director
Ray Martin, Murray's first release, 'Heartbeat', made the UK Top
5 in 1954, and was followed by 'Softly, Softly'. The latter
reached number 1 in 1955, and became an ideal theme song,
reflecting her shy image. In the early part of 1955 Murray had
five singles in the Top 20 at the same time, an extraordinary
record that lasted until the emergence of Madonna in the
80s.(See Note Below) Murray's hits included 'Happy Days And Lonely Nights', 'Let
Me Go Lover', 'If Anyone Finds This, I Love You' (with Anne
Warren), 'Evermore', 'I'll Come When You Call', 'Real Love',
'Goodbye Jimmy, Goodbye' and 'You Are My First Love'. She sang
the last number over the opening titles of the film musical
It's Great To Be Young. Murray's own film appearances
included the comedy, A Touch Of The Sun, with Frankie
Howerd and Dennis Price.
During a hectic period in the mid-50s,
she had her own television show, starred at the London Palladium
in Painting The Town with Norman Wisdom, appeared
in a Royal Command Performance, and toured the USA, Malta and
In 1957, while appearing in a summer season at
Blackpool, she met Bernie Burgess, a member of the vocal group
the Jones Boys. They married in secret 10 days later. Burgess
became her personal manager and, during the early 60s, they
toured as a double act. In 1970 Murray had some success with
'Change Your Mind', and released an album with the same title,
which included contemporary songs such as 'Raindrops Keep Falling
On My Head', and revamped some of her hits. In 1989 Ruby
Murray's EMI Years included other songs regularly featured in
her act such as 'Mr. Wonderful', 'Scarlet Ribbons' and 'It's The
Irish In Me'. In the 90s, based in Torquay, Devon, with her
second husband, impresario Ray Lamar, she was still performing in
cabaret and in nostalgia shows with other stars of the 50s right
up to her death in 1996.
NOTE: The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that although Madonna had many hit records, she never equalled or beat Ruby Murray's record of having 5 hits in the Top Twenty in the same week.