Osburne, Marg(Verna Marguerite) Marg Osburne. Popular singer, b Moncton, NB, 29 Dec 1926; d Rocklyn, Ont, 16 Jul 1977. Marg Osburne, nicknamed "The Girl from the Singing Hills," began singing as a member of a community choir and then started her singing career after winning a local radio contest. In 1947, while travelling through New Brunswick, Don Messer heard Osburne singing on the Moncton radio station (CKCW), and hired her to be part of "Don Messer and His Islanders". The "Islanders" was broadcast from Prince Edward Island (and heard nationwide on CBC radio), and despite joining the show as a temporary replacement for Charlie Chamberlain, Osburne moved to Charlottetown. As Osburne's performances became more popular, she became a regular on the show, often performing duets with Chamberlain as an elegant contrast to his boisterousness.
"Don Messer and His Islanders" first appeared on television in 1956. The original show evolved into "Don Messer's Jubilee" and Marg Osburne's folksy-gospel style continued to be popular. In 1960, CFRN TV Edmonton named Osburne the most popular female personality on television. She was a regular performer on the CBC television program until the show was cancelled in 1969. In 1967, in addition to the CBC program and other concert performances, Osburne and the Islanders performed a series of shows across Canada as part of the country's Centennial celebrations.
After the cancellation of the television program, Marg Osburne performed extensively as a nightclub singer, and at fairs including the Canadian National Exhibition. Through the 1960s and 1970s she was a guest on several CBC programs including "Juliette," "The Tommy Hunter Show," "The Tommy Banks Show," "Tommy Common's It's A Musical World," and Elwood Glover's "Luncheon Date."
In 1977, Marg Osburne hosted a half-hour variety program called "That Maritime Feelin'", that featured Maritime performers. Later that year, Osburne collapsed during a concert in Rocklyn, Ontario and died.
Kirby, Blaik. "Marg on the one-night stands somewhere west of the Messer Show," Globe and Mail, 28 Feb 1976
Brown, Dick. "Marg Osburne's home on the range," Canadian Magazine, 19 Jul 1975
Marg Osburne Celebrates Rodeo's 100th Anniversary Album with a Century of Folk Songs. 196?. Rodeo RLP100
That Lonesome Road: Marg Osburne Sings Well-Known Spirituals. 196?. Point Records
The Best of Marg Osburne. 1966. Paragon PGS564
Songs You Know and Love. 197?. Point Records P-212
The Golden Era of Marg Osburne. 1970. SBS-5329
My Kind of Country. 1972. Marathon MS-2114
Country Gospel. 1973. Marathon MMS-76008
I Believe. 1974. Point Records P-246
Nearer my God to Thee. 1974. Point Records P-217
Old, Gold, and New. 1974. Marathon MMS-76032
Selected Recordings With Charlie Chamberlain:
They Never Grow Old. 1967. Point Records P-318 MG-251-252
Favorite Sacred Songs. 1970. Rodeo RO6M-1267
Beyond the Sunset. 196?. Point Records
They Never Grow Old. 1973. MCA Coral
He: Songs Of Reverence: Volume 2. 196?. Apex
Best of Marg and Charlie. 1973. MCA Coral, CBT 35006
Selected Recordings with Don Messer:
The Don Messer Family.1971. SBS 5341
Christmas with Don Messer and His Islanders. 1960. Apex AL 1618