Murray McLauchlan

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Murray McLauchlan
Murray McLauchlan performing at Winterlude 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Murray McLauchlan performing at Winterlude 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Background information
Birth nameMurray Edward McLauchlan
Born (1948-06-30) 30 June 1948 (age 75)
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresCountry, Folk, Rock
Years active1965–present
LabelsTrue North

Murray Edward McLauchlan, CM (born 30 June 1948) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and harmonica player. He is best known for his Canadian hits "The Farmer's Song," "Whispering Rain," and "Down by the Henry Moore".

Early life[edit]

McLauchlan was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland;[1][2] he immigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old. He grew up in suburban Toronto.[3] At 17, he began playing at coffeehouses in Toronto's Yorkville area and later attended Central Tech as an art student before deciding to become a full-time musician.


In the 1960s McLauchlan moved to New York City, but had little success in promoting his musical career there.[4] In 1970, McLauchlan returned to Toronto and signed with True North Records; he released an album, Songs from the Street in 1971.[5] Over the next several years he had success in the pop, adult contemporary, country, and folk-music fields, with such songs as "Child's Song," the Juno Award-winning "The Farmer's Song" (1973), and "Hurricane of Change" (also 1973).[6]

In 1974 McLauchlan embarked on a long tour in the United States.[7] He later released "Do You Dream of Being Somebody" (1975), and "Whispering Rain" (1979).

In 1980, McLauchlan released the album Into a Mystery, with backing vocals by Carole Pope.[6]

In 1987, McLauchlan appeared on the children's television show, Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show singing his The Farmer's Song. He appeared in Season 4 of The Elephant Show on the "Urban Cowboy" episode.

McLauchlan hosted the highly rated CBC Radio program Swinging On a Star from 1989 to 1994.[8][9]

McLauchlan has held a commercial pilot license (CPL) with Instrument flight rating (IFR) and endorsements for multi-engine aircraft and seaplanes for decades. During a performance in the 1980s, McLauchlan commented to audiences, half-jokingly, of "giving this music thing a little more time"[10] before giving it up and returning to flying for a living.

In the late 1990s, McLauchlan was flying commercial airplanes as a "bush pilot" in Northern Canada. In 1984 he starred in a television special called Floating over Canada, in which he piloted a Cessna 185 float plane across Canada.[8] This special was broadcast in Canada on CBC as well as in the U.S. on public television (PBS). This TV special featured several songs from Murray's then current album, "Heroes" and featured a number of special musical guests: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot, Sylvie Tremblay, Levon Helm (of The Band), and Edith Butler, all of them representing different aspects and/or regions of Canada.

In 1998, Penguin (Viking Books) released his autobiography The Ballad of Murray McLauchlan: Getting Out of Here Alive.[4]

In 2004 McLauchlan helped form a group known as "Lunch At Allen's" featuring McLauchlan, Marc Jordan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas. The group formed as a result of meeting in Toronto for lunch at Allen's restaurant after McLauchlan's heart bypass surgery. Three CDs have been released as a result of this collaboration: Lunch at Allens (2004), Catch the Moon (2007) and More Lunch at Allens (2010).

During the summer of 2016, he was performing in Lunch at Allen's in Ontario, Canada.[11]


McLauchlan has won 10 Juno Awards throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and been nominated for a total of 23 Juno awards. In 1993, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

In 2001, McLauchlan was the recipient of the National Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards held in Toronto.[12][1][13]

McLauchlan was chosen to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in September 2016.[14]


He is married to Denise Donlon and they have a son, Duncan (b. March 1992).


Murray McLauchlan solo career (1971–2021)[edit]


Year Album Chart Positions CRIA Label
CAN Country CAN
1971 Song from the Street 38 True North
1972 Murray McLauchlan 38
1973 Day to Day Dust 13
1974 Sweeping the Spotlight Away 34
1975 Only the Silence Remains 39
1976 Boulevard 14 Gold
1977 Hard Rock Town 33
1978 Greatest Hits 57 Gold
Live at the Orpheum (promo only) Columbia
1979 Whispering Rain 14 42 Gold True North
1980 Into a Mystery 18 61
1981 Storm Warning 45
1982 Windows
1983 Timberline 22
1984 Heroes
1985 Midnight Break 94
1988 Swinging on a Star 24 Capitol
1991 The Modern Age
1996 Gulliver's Taxi True North
2006 The Songbook...New Arrivals (Songs From The Musical "Eddie") Capitol/EMI
2007 Songs from the Street: The Best of Murray McLauchlan True North
2011 Human Writes True North
2017 Love Can't Tell Time True North
2021 Hourglass True North

With Lunch at Allen's (2004–present)[edit]


Year Album Chart Positions CRIA Label
CAN Country CAN
2004 Lunch at Allen's Capitol/EMI
2007 Catch the Moon Capitol/EMI
2010 More Lunch at Allen's Linus
2012 Zuzu’s Petals - A Lunch At Allen’s Christmas
2017 If It Feels Right


Year Single Chart Positions Album
1972 "Jesus Please Don't Save Me" 44 Song from the Street
1973 "Lose We" 13 Murray McLauchlan
"The Farmer's Song" 8 6 3
"Hurricane of Change" 9 Day to Day Dust
1974 "Linda, Won't You Take Me In" 28 15 12
"Shoeshine Workin' Song" 15 59 13 Sweeping the Spotlight Away
1975 "Do You Dream of Being Somebody" 16 9
"Maybe Tonight" 10
"Down by the Henry Moore" 1 12 1
"Little Dreamer" 15 Single only
1976 "On the Boulevard" 25 45 4 Boulevard
1977 "Love Comes and Goes" 77 Hard Rock Town
1978 "Straight Outa Midnight" 88
1979 "Whispering Rain" 27 24 15 Whispering Rain
"You Can't Win" 89
"Somebody's Long Lonely Tonight" 41
1980 "Don't Put Your Faith in Men" 24 Into a Mystery
"Try Walkin' Away" 53 11
1981 "If the Wind Could Blow My Troubles Away/Tell Your Mother She Wants You" 45 26 Storm Warning
1983 "Never Did Like That Train" 18 20 Timberline
1984 "Red River Flood" 18
"On the Subject of Loneliness" 26
"Everything Reminds Me of Loving You" 37
"Sayonara Maverick" 60 Heroes
"Railroad Man" 19
1985 "Song for Captain Keast" 32
"I'm Best at Loving You" 13 Midnight Break
"When You Become a Memory" 16
1986 "Me and Joey/Golden Fields" 34
1989 "Love with a Capital "L"" 12 Swinging on a Star
"Please Don't Call It Runnin' Away" 35
1990 "Swinging on a Star" 23
1991 "The Modern Age" 75 63 21 The Modern Age
"So I Lost Your Love" 26
1996 "Secrets in Your Heart" 38 Gulliver's Taxi
1997 "No Change in Me" 48

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Larry LeBlanc (8 December 2001). "SOCAN recognized McLauchlan, Klees, Bachman and Cummings". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 74–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ [Barney Bentall "Weathering change 25 years on, Murray McLauchlan toils happily in relative solitude"]. Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. Mitch Potter 14 December 1996 Page: SW.15
  3. ^ Gillian Mitchell (17 February 2016). The North American Folk Music Revival: Nation and Identity in the United States and Canada, 1945–1980. Routledge. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-1-317-02250-3.
  4. ^ a b Ryan Edwardson (2009). Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music. University of Toronto Press. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-0-8020-9989-1.
  5. ^ Jason Schneider (15 December 2010). Whispering Pines: The Northern Roots of American Music... from Hank Snow to the Band. ECW Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-55490-552-2.
  6. ^ a b Marco Adria (1990). Music of Our Times: Eight Canadian Singer-Songwriters. James Lorimer & Company. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-1-55028-315-0.
  7. ^ Martin Melhuish (13 July 1974). "From the Music Capitals of the World". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 42–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ a b Murray McLauchlan – The Canadian Encyclopedia
  9. ^ Paul Myers (1 January 2001). Barenaked Ladies: Public Stunts, Private Stories. Madrigal Press. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-894160-02-5.
  10. ^ Festival of Friends concert at Gage Park, Hamilton, Ontario
  11. ^ Doolan, Susan (10 June 2016). "Lunch At Allen's brings talented musicians back to Barrie". Barrie Examiner. Barrie Examiner. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016. Their approach to a concert is like a band, not as a singer-songwriter event. They all play on each others' songs and sing and harmonize together.
  12. ^ "2001 SOCAN Awards". Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Award recognizes McLauchlan's career". The Record – Kitchener, Ont. 21 November 2001, B.06
  14. ^ "The CCMA Announces 2016 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees". Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Adria, Marco, "The Importance of Being Murray," Music of Our Times: Eight Canadian Singer-Songwriters (Toronto, Lorimer, 1990), pp. 103–20.
  • Murrary McLauchlan, Getting Out Of Here Alive-The Ballad Of Murray McLauchlan (Viking 1998) ISBN 0-670-87659-3
  • Murray McLauchlan Biography at Maple Music

External links[edit]