Mac Beattie (1916-1982)
Some of the song titles from Mac Beattie’s albums highlighted the Otttawa Valley’s historic past — The Log Driver’s Song, My Renfrew County Home, Little Shack Up The Pontiac, Lake Dore Waltz, Back in the Pakenham Hills and Take Me Back to the Madawaska Valley.
Mac Beattie was born in Arnprior and his Ottawa Valley Melodiers were the headline attraction in the early days of music scene in the Ottawa Valley. They hosted a Saturday night radio show on CHOV in Pembroke and regularly performed live at Sunny Dale Acres at Lake Dore.
Mac Beattie became famous for playing a washboard and was accompanied by various fellow musicians like Gaetan Fairfield, Hal Mosley, Horace Blanchette, Garnie Scheel, Champ Johnson, Bill Sheppard, Bob Whitney, Al Utronki and Jimmie Mayhew. Sharing the spotlight on the Melodiers was Reg Hill (1927-1979) whose fiddle compositions included The Renfrew County Centennial Breakdown, The Road to Fort Coulonge, Avonmore Breakdown, Clayton Poirier Two-Step and The Timber Raft Jig. Both Mac & Reg recorded for Banff Rodeo Records.
From radio at CFRA Ottawa, CHOV Pembroke, CKOY Ottawa and CJET Smith Falls to one of the first acts appearing on television on CBC‘s Mac Beattie & The Ottawa Valley Melodiers and many appearances on Don Messer’s Jubilee, CJOH Ottawa’s Hay Lofter and CTV‘s Cross-Canada Barn Dance.
In April 1981 Mac Beattie & The Ottawa Valley Melodiers have been inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame.