Marg Osburne was born in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1928 and received her only formal vocal training as a member of hub-city choirs.
She got her first radio singing job as a result of a dare. She was only seventeen at the time and a cousin bet her she couldn’t have the nerve to answer a newspaper advertisement for a girl vocalist inserted by CKCW in Moncton. Marg answered the ad and got the job.
Don Messer was driving through Moncton in 1947 and heard Marg singing on CKCW, billed as “The Girl From the Singing Hills”. He hired her immediately as a fill-in for Charlie Chamberlain who has been hurt in a car accident.
The Islanders were then broadcasting out of CFCY in Charlottetown, PE three nights a week and the program was carried coast-to-coast by the CBC.
Marg and Charlie quickly became one of the most beloved duet teams on radio and records in the years that followed. Marg’s versatile vocal solos were also extremely popular and her records sold well.
In the early 1960’s they moved to Halifax with Don Messer and made the transition to TV. It was a media which enlarged her vast army of fans dramatically.
Marg was loved by those who knew her, not only because of her pleasant lyrical singing voice, but because of her cheerful outlook and personality.
After Don Messer’s death in 1983, Marg went on the road as a lounge singer concentrating most of her appearances in the western provinces.
In July 1977, she collapsed during a stage show in Rocklyn, Ontario, and died before reaching hospital.
Norman 'Normie' Hamilton Was best known as the piano player for The Maritime Farmers. He began performing as a young boy. This was in 1931 and along with his childhood friend, Ned Landry, he appeared in a group known as, “Wassons Warblers” and played the mouthorgan on Station CFBO with them. They also played at senior citizens homes, performed benefits and appeared at shows in the old Kent Theatre. At that time, CFBO had only 850 watts and was located on the 2nd floor of the Admiral Beatty Hotel. Later the station moved to Church St. and became known as CHSJ.
Normie entered the army when war broke out and was sent overseas. He continued to be active in music even while he was stationed in Europe. He played guest spots with the Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Band and with Benny Goodman’s band. They felt he had a lot of potential as a piano player.
When he returned to Saint John after the war, he rejoined “The Maritime Farmers”. He continued with them until the show ended on radio. The Maritime Farmers were then introduced to CJSJ-TV viewers where they were very popular for almost 15 years.
Norman, nicknamed, “The Little Professor” was well-known and liked by audiences.
His career continued on for many years after The Maritime Farmers left TV. He played many years with Ned Landry, making recordings, doing guest appearances on CBC radio and at local functions
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