Friday, March 30, 2012

The Maple Leaf Four

A record on the Embassy label from 1961 I found in a Brighton charity shop recently. I assume they were a Canadian band but not much about them on the internet sadly.

The sleeve notes say -

"Hey there, stranger. Just like to invite you in and set yourself down to hear a mighty fine round-up of some mighty fine songs.

Which is the best way to introduce you to"Home On The range", a collection of the best cowboy songs presented by that sharp shooting, sure shooting quartet, The Maple Leaf Four."

It goes on in that rather irritating fashion and gives you no information about them whatsoever!

Tracks are -

1. Mule Train
2. Call Of The Canyon
3. (Roll Along) Wagon Train
4. Old Shep
5. Home On The Range
6. Ole Faithful

Maple Leaf Four - Side One


Anonymous said...


Marion Pertwee 1928 - 2005

Marion Pertwee, whose maiden and stage name was Marion McLeod, was a leading light of numerous summer seasons and pantomimes throughout the fifties and sixties.

Born on May 15, 1928, she was the daughter of theatrical parents who had met and married when they were both appearing in a show at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. As a schoolgirl, Marion had aspirations to go into showbusiness and won medals for her dancing. Her elder brother John played the piano for her and in later years John and another brother, Norman, formed the famous broadcasting and stage act The Maple Leaf Four. Marion went on to work as a singer and dancer and with her gift for comedy was in demand for revue-style seaside shows.

In 1955 she was appearing for the producer Henry Luttman in a summer show at the Gorleston Pavilion when she met the then unknown actor Bill Pertwee, who was making his professional debut in the show. They married the same year. With encouragement from the comedian Charlie Chester they devised their own musical comedy spot and were booked into variety by the agent Evie Taylor. It was Taylor who enthusiastically helped them work out their act, have musical arrangements written, photographs taken and new costumes made. The act played in variety all over the UK. Bill later claimed: “We closed more theatres than anyone.”

By the late fifties, with variety in decline, the couple went on to individual careers in theatre, radio and television. When Marion gave up working professionally she became a director and producer for many amateur theatre companies. Sadly, ill health prevented her from working in theatre in her later years. She was a respected historian and helped Bill with several of his books including “Stars in Battledress” and “By Royal Command”: A History of the Royal Variety Show. Bill and Marion were widely regarded as one of the happiest couples in showbusiness. Bill was a devoted husband and despite his numerous television commitments he always put Marion before his own career.

Marion Pertwee died in hospital in Surrey on May 27, 2005, aged 77. She is survived by her husband Bill and their son Jonathan.

Wastedpapiers said...

Thanks for the info. dsl - much obliged!

Anonymous said...

My great uncle was one of the other members. Vivian Joseph Melia 'Joe'. I'm told they were all over the BBC and had a radio show of their own. They went over to the Americas to try and make it globally, came back, and never quite hit the same heights again.

Wastedpapiers said...

Thanks Anon. Always nice to get feedback about posts.

GT said...

I have known of John (Johnny) McLoud since my childhood, he married one of my mothers many cousens. I have been researching my family tree and have picked up the following from the few surviving relatives who remember him.

John McLeod was Canadian and was certainly in this country from at least 1945. He moved to the Brighton area round about 1960. Prior to that he lived in Halifax, West Yorksire and he married a girl from that area about 1944/5.

The Maple Leaf Four were in a Country & Western show on TV, in the 1950s, with Lionel Blair and I think, Joyce Blair. After moving to Brighton or Hove he worked writing advertising slogans amongst other things. He had a hand in writing a chart hit which apparently earned him a good income, I believe it was for Long John Baldry. He remarried just a few years ago after losing his wife of many years. I believe he is still alive and living in the Brighton area.

Hope this is of interest.

Wastedpapiers said...

Many thanks GT for your informative comment - much appreciated.