Saturday, June 15, 2013

Muriel Caddie

Next Wednesday I'm due to play at a retirement home celebration meal.  I've got to play from the time people start arriving, on and off during the meal, and then probably for a little while afterwards.  I'm also accompanying a friend of mine who's singing at some point.  

Because the theme is glitz and glamour, I've been sorting out some of the old selections of film and musicals music that I've got, music I've had since I first started work, I'd think. These selections are mostly very well done, with smooth transitions between songs, and take around seven or eight minutes to play. They were produced by a number of publishers: Chappell and Co, Williamson Music, and even Dunedin's own Charles Begg and Co.  Interestingly enough, none of them give any indication as to who did the medleys, some of which are quite inventive. I probably bought some of them at Beggs, but it's more likely I bought them at Muriel Caddie's little shop in Princes St.  She sold a great deal of sheet music, in a tiny shop, along with piano accordions (as one of the ladies in the Choristers, a choir I've recently become the conductor of, reminded me).  Muriel Caddie was a delightful lady, full of enthusiasm.  I think her shop must have closed during the six years I was away in England.  Anyway, it's been long gone, and I've no idea what happened to Muriel.  

Well, I hadn't looked on the Net to see if there's was anything about her, and of course, there is, though not in relation to her shop.   This link from Radio NZ has a file about a recording they possess, running to around eleven minutes, which features Muriel Caddie and Her Revellers.  And another link, from Papers Past, shows that Muriel Caddie and her Novelettes played for ten minutes in a broadcast on the 10th September, 1941. (They appear to have been frequent performers on the radio around this time.) So perhaps she was older than I thought when I knew her in the late fifties, early sixties.  Maybe she just sold her business and retired.  In fact, I've just looked further into the Papers Past site, and find a reference to Miss Muriel Caddie in 1927, playing two piano pieces, again on the radio.  (Radio in those days was very open to local talent.  I even managed to accompany the same person I'm playing for on Wednesday once.  Once only!)

Muriel also played accordian on the radio.  In fact if you start looking properly you can find her name popping up all over.  

From the Evening Post you can find a column dated the 7th January 1941, which tells us that Miss Muriel Caddie had been visiting her aunt in Wellington and was returning home - by plane - to Dunedin (!)  That visiting one's aunt should be an occasion for such notoriety!

Maybe Muriel bought her aunt some of her best Apogee jam.  I'm kidding - but I seem to remember that Apogee was the name of a kind of sealed jar that held items like jam and preserves back in the middle of the 20th century.  

PS. I've just come across a Trade Me ad from 2009 for the sheet music for La Vie en Rose which the seller says is Stamped inside: Muriel Caddie. 123 Princes Street, Dunedin. - (won't affect your playing..)
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