George Murray

George Alexander Murray, tenor, actor, television host (born 24 April 1913 in Winnipeg, MB; died 24 November 1982 in Comox, BC). An Irish tenor known for his folksongs and ballads, George Murray was a popular radio and television performer from the 1940s to the 1960s.

George Alexander Murray, tenor, actor, television host (born 24 April 1913 in Winnipeg, MB; died 24 November 1982 in Comox, BC). An Irish tenor known for his folksongs and ballads, George Murray was a popular radio and television performer from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Murray studied voice with Charles Ross in his native Winnipeg, where he worked in radio on CJRC, CRBC and on the CBC's rural comedy show Woodhouse and Hawkins (1938–39). He moved to Toronto and landed the role of Bill Craig on the popular, folksy CBC radio drama The Craigs (1939–56). He also sang for many years on CFRB radio and was a regular performer on CBC radio variety shows. He performed on television from the medium’s inception, including the CBC variety programs The Big Revue (1952–54), Cross Canada Hit Parade (1955–60) and Juliette (1956–63). In 1959 he was the host of CBC TV’s Talent Caravan.

He played the role of Peter Pupkin in the 1954 CBC TV premiere of Mavor Moore’s The Hero of Mariposa, and later took other dramatic and musical roles with the broadcaster, such as Squire Western in the 1968 premiere of the musical Tom Jones. He also recorded some 78s for RCA in the 1950s, sang in nightclubs throughout his career and performed at the Charlottetown Festival.

From 1954 to 1959 he was married to the singer Shirley Harmer, and appeared with her and singer Robert Goulet on their CBC TV program Showtime.Murray’s grandson, Clifton Murray, is also a singer; he joined the highly successful vocal group The Tenors (formerly The Canadian Tenors) in 2009.

A version of this entry originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.