Irish thrush Ruby Murray was a regular feature on the British charts in the mid- to late-'50s, and reached the top spot with "Softly Softly" in 1955. The Magic of Ruby Murray is a 25-track anthology of her original '50s recordings that compiles most of her chart hits. It omits a Top Five song with Anne Warren ("If Anyone Finds This, I Love You") and a couple of other chart entries in favor of Murray's renditions of Irish songs such as "Danny Boy" and "How Can You Buy Killarney." Her final hit was "Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye," a lilting waltz that was a major hit in the United States for Kathy Linden. Like Linden, Murray had a cheerful, girlish voice and sang pop music in the rock era, sometimes with a mild "rock-a-ballad" beat so as to seem modern, but never so much as to fall into the category of rock & roll. The contemporary Christian artist Cristy Lane sounds quite a bit like Murray, although it is highly unlikely that Murray had any influence on her. British orchestra leader Ray Martin signed Murray and accompanied her on some recordings, as did Norrie Paramour, and their sweet orchestrations complement her candy-coated vocal performances. The anthology's main flaw is the overzealous application of noise reduction on some tracks. Completists may opt for Murray's four-disc box set, simply titled Anthology.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams