Birth Name: Margaret Louise Ebey
Also Known as: Margie Singleton Margie Singleton Walton
Born October 12th, 1935 Orgin Coushatta, Louisiana
Genres: Country, Gospel
Occupations: Singer, Songwriter
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar
Years active: 1957 - 2016
Labels: D Records, Dart Records, Starday Records, Mercury Records, Monument Records, United Artists Records, and Ashley Records.
Associated w/Faron Young, George Jones, and Leon Ashley
Margie Singleton was born Margaret Louise Ebey in 1935 in Coushatta, Louisiana. As a young child, she was influenced by country, blues and gospel music. In 1949,at the age of 13, she married Shelby Singleton. They worked at a munitions plant near Shreveport,Louisiana during the Korean War. She began to play guitar and write songs as a teenager after the birth of her first child, Stephen Singleton, in 1950. She had her second son, Sidney Singleton, in 1955. In 1957, She signed with Starday Records, and released her first single that same year called "One step (Nearer To You)." The flip side of the single was called "Not What He's Got." Both of these songs were self-penned. In 1958, she made her radio and professional debut on the Louisiana Hayride. During her tenure on the Hayride, she met fellow artist Benny Barnes who recorded Singleton's song "Mine All Mine." Because Barnes was impressed with Singleton's singing Barnes got Singleton an audition with his producer,Pappy Daily, of Starday Records. She signed with the label as a singer. Singleton met Al Gallico in Nashville at the Disc Jockey Convention in 1959. Gallico was an inspiration and great influence on her career.That same year, she released another single called "Nothing But True Love," also written by Singleton. This single was more successful,becoming a minor hit on the country music charts, reaching the top 25. She became a member of the nationally known radio program The Louisiana Hayride in 1958 in Shreveport,LA. In 1960 she moved to the "Jubilee USA," which was the first Country Music Program to be televised nationally and was carried on the ABC Network. Singleton left "Jubiliee USA," to go to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Although she never became a member of the Opry she made frequent appearances.
Singleton released another single in 1959 called "Eyes Of Love." The song gave Singleton her first major hit when it reached the Top 20 in 1960. In 1961, she switched to Mercury Records where her husband Shelby Singleton was a producer. Singleton recorded a duet with George Jones called "Did I Ever Tell You." The song became another hit for Singleton, and was released in 1961. The following year, the duo had equal success together with another country hit called "Waltz Of The Angels."
Singleton continued to be an avid songwriter. She wrote a pop music hit for Brook Benton called "Lie To Me." In 1963, he had another pop hit with another song written by Singleton called "My True Confession." The year 1963 was also the year Singleton made her debut on country music's most coveted show, the Grand Ole Opry; and had another hit with "Old Records" During this time, One of the top recordings she was featured on was "Walk On By," which was made a national and international hit by Leroy VanDyke. Singleton's voice could be heard in the background singing ,"Wait On The Corner." That record was recognized as the most played record in Juke box history to date in the country music field . Singleton wrote and recorded an answer to "Walk On By," called "I'll Just Walk On By." which ironically VanDyke's voice can be heard saying "Wait On The Corner," on her record.
In addition to being a solo and duet star,she also sang as a back-up vocalist and formed M.S. Production Company wherein she arranged for the backup singers on many of the hits coming out of Nashville, and utilizing the talents of such groups as the Jordanaires and The Anita Kerr Singers. She also hand picked part of the Jordanaires along with herself calling themselves The Merry Melody Singers. Numerous performers recorded many of her songs, including Teresa Brewer,Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson,Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Marty Robbins, Patti Page, George Jones, Faron Young and Charley Pride. In 1964, Singleton teamed up with Faron Young. Together they recorded the song "Keeping Up With The Joneses." That year, the song reached the country top 5, and became Singleton's biggest hit. The flip side of the single,"No Thanks I Just Had
One,"was a Top 40 country hit. They continued to release singles and record together.
BY 1965, Singleton was divorced from Shelby Singleton. That same year,she married Leon Ashley,and soon moved to United Artists Records. In 1967, she moved to her husband's label,Ashley Records. Singleton's first album, "Country Music With Soul," was produced by Leon Ashley and released as a wedding gift to her from Leon . That same year, she recorded a country version of the Bobbie Gentry hit song " Ode To Billie Joe," which reached the country Top 40. She had a Top 60 duet with her husband called "Hangin' On," in 1968. That same year, she appeared in the movie with Marty Robbins called "Road To Nashville." She continued to record on Ashley Records and had the first version of "Harper Valley PTA," which Tom T. Hall wrote for her as a follow-up to her record of "Ode To Billie Joe," However it got into the hands of her ex-husband who recorded Jeannie C. Riley with it and pre-empted her record which was in the process of being released.
In 1972 her husband, Leon Ashley formed Country Music Spectacular Productions along with Linda Denny and Singleton. She continued to record on Ashley Records and toured throughout the United States, until her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006. Their last concert was held in 2007 fronted by Lonnie Spiker,their long-time band leader. Their shows were produced by Linda Denny who managed Leon and Margie for over 40 years. Linda is the daughter of the late country music pioneer, Jim Denny. Linda continues to manage and promote Margie Singleton today. Sadly Leon lost his battle to cancer in October of 2013. After 48 years of marriage to Leon who was her partner in life and music, this brought her career to a halt, (So It Seemed). However, Singleton said that only by the grace of God, after two long years, God began giving her songs of Praise and a voice to sing at the age of 80. She released a gospel album featuring these song at the end of 2015.
TEXAS TROUBADOUR THEATRE - May 14th @ 4:00pm
2416 Music Valley Dr Nashville, TN 37214 • 615-232-2288
1957 "One Step (Nearer To You)"
"Nothing But True Love" (25)
1959 "Eyes of Love" (12)
1961 "Did I Ever Tell You" (15) (with George Jones)
1962 "Waltz of the Angels" (11) (with George Jones)
1963 * "Magic Star"
"Old Records" (11)
"Keeping Up with the Joneses" (5) (with Faron Young)
1964 "No Thanks I Just Had One" (40)
"Another Man's Woman, Another Womans Man" (38) (with Faron Young)
1966 "How Can We Divide These Little Hearts" (with Leon Ashley) "Ode to Billie Joe" (39)
1967 "Hangin' On" (54) (with Leon Ashley)
1968 "Wandering Mind" (52)
"You'll Never Be Lonely Again" (55) (with Leon Ashley)
*"Magic Star" peaked at number 24 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.