Disco was at the absolute zenith of its popularity in 1978, and with the likes of even Barbra Streisand, Frankie Valli and Rod Stewart falling under its intoxicating spell, the party showed no signs of letting up. But then along came Anne Murray, a Canadian balladeer whose sincere pop-country sensibility offered a rather stark musical counterpoint to the prevailing mood. In a year generally associated with artists like Chic and Donna Summer, Anne Murray achieved the biggest hit of her long pop career when "You Needed Me" hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1978
As far away as the sentimental, country-tinged "You Needed Me" was stylistically from the dance-all-night hedonism of disco, the woman who sang it was even further. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, Anne Murray was a former physical-education teacher and a married, 33-year-old mother when she scored the biggest hit of her career. Her popular breakthrough had come eight years earlier with 1970's "Snowbrid," a top-10 hit that led to a move to Los Angeles for a regular engagement on television's The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. But the California lifestyle did not agree with Anne Murray, who promptly returned to Nova Scotia. Over the next six years, Murray scored a number of hits on the American country chart, including the 1974 country #1 hit, "He Thinks I Still Care." The period of her greatest success, however, would begin with the release of "You Needed Me," which flew up the charts in the autumn of 1978, peaking at #4 on the Billboard country chart, but going all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart on November 4, 1978
While the highest spot Anne Murray would reach on the pop chart in the years that followed was #12 with her 1980 cover of the Monkees' "Daydream Believer," the success of "You Needed Me" proved to be just the beginning of her chart success as a country star. Between 1979 and 1986, Anne Murray would earn a total of nine #1 hits on the country-music charts, starting with 1979's "I Just Fall In Love Again" and ending with 1986's "Now And Forever (You And Me)." And in 2007, Murray achieved a #1 ranking of a very different kind, being named the top female celebrity golfer in the world by Golf for Women magazine.