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|Birth name||Verna Marguerite Osburn|
|Also known as||The Girl from the Singing Hills|
December 29, 1927|
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
|Died||July 16, 1977
Rockland, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Country Music, Gospel Music, Folk music|
|Years active||1945 – 1977|
|Labels||Apex Records, Coral Records (Canada), Point Records, ARC Records (Canada), Rodeo Records, Banff Records, Marathon Records, OAK Country Music, Condor|
|Associated acts||Don Messer|
Marg Osburne (December 29, 1927 – July 16, 1977) was a Canadian country, folk and gospel singer. Recipient (posthumously) of the ECMA Stompin' Tom Connors award.
She was born in Moncton, New Brunswick and received her vocal training as a member of a community choir. When she was 17 her cousin made her a bet that she did not have the nerve to answer a newspaper advertisement for a female vocalist for CKCW in Moncton. Osburne answered the ad and got the job. Osburne explained in a later interview that she took the job because she "needed money to go to the Movies"
Don Messer was travelling through Moncton in 1947 and heard Osburne singing on CKCW, billed as “The Girl From the Singing Hills”. He hired her immediately to fill in for Charlie Chamberlain who was recovering from an automobile accident.
Osburne and Chamberlain quickly became popular performers on the show and on records. The group toured each summer mounting a national tour in 1967 as part of Canada's Centennial, playing 66 shows across the country. Osburne's folk and gospel solos were also very popular and her records sold well.
1956 brought about the first appearance of The Islanders on television when CFCY radio launched CFCY-TV. When Messer made the move to Halifax in 1958, most of the band followed - including Osburne. From being occasional TV guests, the band began a summer series called The Don Messer Show on August 7, 1959 as a replacement for Country Hoedown broadcast on CBC television. The show continued in the fall as Don Messer's Jubilee. Osburne remained with the show throughout the 1960s, winning a wide audience across the country as one of the show stars, and enlarging her fan base dramatically.
After Messer died in 1973, Osburne began a second successful career as a nightclub singer, and she was extremely popular in the Western Provinces and Territories of Canada. During this period she had three hit songs for Jack Boswell's Marathon label, "Albert County Soil", "Falling Leaves", and "Blues Comin' 'Round". "Falling Leaves" is also the only song she wrote herself.
Osburne continued to perform until July 16, 1977, when she collapsed during a concert in Rockland, Ontario and died before she reached the hospital, exactly five years after Charlie Chamberlain's death. She was 49 years old.
|1959||By Request: Favourite Sacred Songs (with Charlie Chamberlain)|
|A Century of Folk Songs|
|1960||Songs Of Reverence - Vol.2 (with Charlie Chamberlain)|
|1966||The Best of Marg Osburne|
|1967||They Never Grow Old (with Charlie Chamberlain)|
|Favorite Sacred Songs (with Charlie Chamberlain)|
|1968||The Golden Era of Marg Osburne|
|1972||My Kind of Country (with Melody Faye)|
|1974||Old, Gold, and New|
|1972||"Albert Country Soil"||15||My Kind of Country|
|1974||"Blues Comin' 'Round"||19||Old, Gold, and New|
|"City of Tears"||20|
- Sellick, Lester B., Canada's Don Messer, Kentville Publishing Co, Kentville, NS, 1969
- Large, Betty Rogers and Crothers, Tom "Out of Thin Air", Applecross Press, Charlottetown, PEI, 1989.
- Encyclopedia of Music in Canada - article on Don Messer and His Islanders, author Richard Green
- Sellick, Lester B.Canada's Don Messer
- Sellick, Lester B.