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William McCauley – Ontario

This is a nice little obscure 7″ flexi record containing the soundtrack to a film called “Ontario”. I guess it was a promotional documentary of sorts from around 1970, highlighting this and that of the province. Films like that usually ooze loads of period charm and you often wonder where all the nice tunes went that accompany the pleasantly dated images. Well, this music luckily ended up on a flexi so we can make it an entry on the internet.

Composer is the Canadian William McCauley (1917-1999), who apparently did over 125 films of which strangely enough only 6 are listed on the Internet Movie Database. This record shows he had quite some talent and was comfortable in a wide range of styles.

A standout track is the uptempo Snowmobile that is as good as any cheesy groovy soundtrack of higher reputation. It has distorted guitar throughout and a percussionist who claimes the stage in the last bars.

Probably better even is the mysterioso miniature Ballet, composed in the best tradition of space age easy listening of for example Robert Farnon, employing lush harmonies as well as more adventurous dissonants, counterpoint and general turmoil, evoking strange imagery. This is not suprising, as one of the 6 better remembered films McCauley did is the notoriously cheap The Neptune Disaster, of which a comment on IMDb rightly says: “Wow, an underwater film shot completely on location – at the bottom of the production designers’ fishtank!”

Listen to Snowmobile

Listen to Ballet


  • That Neptune Disaster comment reminds me of “Space Monster,” whose special effects scenes actually were shot in a fishtank stocked with crabs, and one of those plastic aerating toys filling in for the downed spaceship. Our heroes stare in bafflement at the unfamiliar creatures on their viewscreen, until one declares “They look like some kind of…giant….CRABS!”

  • Great sounding obscuro. I’m wondering if the popular promotional song entitled “Ontario” is also on this disc of yours. That songs rhyming lyrics say:
    “A place to know
    A place to grow
    A place to show
    That was a ubiquitous little number familiar to anyone who watched CBC TV in the 70’s. It bore deeply into my brain never to be expunged.

  • Ha, no sorry, there’s no song like that on the disc.

    Sounds good, Space Monster. Should keep an eye out for that one.

  • Dottie Greene Moore

    Does Dr. William McCauley have any living relatives around Philadelphia, PA where I believe he was born. His father had a Music Publishing Company there. I am a relative trying to connect with the family. Please help me.
    Thank you.

  • The composer McCauley was born in Canada:

    McCAULEY, William Alexander, (b Tofield, near Edmonton, 14 Feb 1917, d Alliston, Ont, 18 May 1999)

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