Blues All Alone : Margie Day©2006JCMarion


Margaret Hoeffler of Norfolk, Virginia, became a top flight Rhythm & Blues vocalist known as Margie Day by the late nineteen forties. She joined the Griffin Brothers Orchestra (see JammUpp issue #2) as female vocalist in 1950 and immediately hit the charts with the boisterous tune "Street Walking Daddy" (b/w "Riffin With Griffin") for Randy Woods Dot Records label on # 1010 during the summer of 1950. By October the record is a top R & B seller in the Southeast especially in Atlanta and Tampa and Jacksonville Florida. At year's end the record hits the top sellers list in Chicago and Detroit, with Dot Records sales figures at more than fifteen thousand per week.

In January of 1951 with Day's record now hitting the charts on the West Coast, Dot Records releases the follow up with Margie Day doing vocals on Willie Dixon's blues tune "Little Red Rooster" with "Blues All Alone" on Dot # 1019. By the following month "Rooster" is already a hot seller in Dallas and Houston, and also Oklahoma City. In April Margie Day and The Griffin Brothers Band embark on an extended tour of one nighters throughout the South. In late April as the tour kicks off, the new Dot record by Day and the Griffins is designated the Cash Box Record of the Week - "Sadie Green" and "One Steady Man" on # 1041. During the summer the band plays a two week engagement at Gamby's in Baltimore.

Early in 1952 Margie records "I'm Gonna Jump In The River" and "Stormy Night" on Dot # 1104 with the Griffin Brothers Combo. The vocal-instrumental combo continues to draw well on the road as they move into summer with their new recording "The Clock Song (Let Your Pendulum Swing)" and "Ace In The Hole" on # 1108. This new side begins hot in Atlanta and Nashville. By September Margie Day had decided to part company with the Griffin Brothers Band. She then signed on as vocalist with Floyd Dixon & His Combo. Late in the year Day recorded her first record for Dot as a solo performer - "Midnight" and "My Story" on # 1144.

In 1953 Day continues as featured vocalist with Floyd Dixon's combo. They appear with DJ Hal Jackson for a weekend performance in Washington, D.C. at the Northwest Casino. Soon after Day joins with the Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams Band for a tour of one nighters in May that will appear all over the Midwest. In July, Day with Williams and T-Bone Walker play a week in Providence, Rhode Island as Day and Williams ready for an East Coast swing. They will be joined by The Orioles and T-Bone for a tour of theaters on the TOBA circuit through September. In August "String Bean" and "Don't Talk To M e About Men" is released by Dot on # 1172. In early September Margie Day ends her long association with Dot Records and signs with Decca. In October Decca Records takes out ads in the music trade press pushing their commitment in the R & B field. One of their featured records is the new release by Margie Day - "Snatching It Back" and "Do I Look Like A Fool To You" on # 28872. In October, Day with Paul Williams appears at a big show at the Mosque Theater in Newark, NJ along with Fats Domino, Amos Milburn, and Ruth Brown.

In the spring of 1954 Margie Day, the Paul Williams band, Amos Milburn, and Charles Brown, set off on a series of one nighters in Texas and the Southwest. On April 19, that lineup minus Milburn appeared with Alan "Moondog" Freed for a sold out show in Akron, Ohio. Part of the show was broadcast live over Cleveland's WJW radio, Freed's home base. In May Milburn rejoins the unit which also adds Guitar Slim and Chuck Willis and they do huge box office in Kansas City and St. Louis. That month Margie records the song with the great title "Take Out Your False Teeth Daddy" along with "I'm Too Busy Crying To Care" on Decca # 48317. In September "Mole In The Hole" and "Just Couldn't Keep It To Myself" is issued by Decca on # 48325. Day closes out the year with another road trip, this time to Virginia and the Carolinas.

Early in 1955 Decca releases "Old Time Lovin" and "I Like What You're Doing" on # 48330. After a number of personal appearances in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Day does a two week stand at New York's Baby Grand Cafe. In May of the year Margie Day signs with Atlantic Records who plan to record her for their subsidiary label Cat Records. In early July, Day now a solo performer in person, appears at an all star show in Cleveland. In September Cat # 118 is released featuring Margie Day on the tunes "Pitty Pat Band" and "Ho Ho". Although "Ho Ho" was picked as the 'A' side, the flip "Pitty Pat Band" is pushed by Alan Freed on his radio show. This turned out to be the last release for the Cat label as Atlantic concentrates on its Atco brand.

In early 1956 after time out for motherhood, Margie Day tours with The Turbans, Guitar Slim, and Roy Gaines, in a show produced by Joel Turnero. During the spring Day left Decca Records and signed on with Syd Nathan in Cincinnati for King-Federal-DeLuxe. Her first record was on DeLuxe # 6096 - "Something Told Me" and "Dumplin Dumplin". Late in the year "From Someone Who Cares" and "Take My Hand" on # 6102 is issued. Another record for DeLuxe was "That's The Way Love Goes" and "Tears That Come So Easy" on # 6131 in the spring of 1957. By the late 1950's the hit records had been long gone, and the grind of touring was wearing thin. A younger crowd was now the predominant record buying public, and so by the early nineteen sixties Margie Day after a turn with Legrand Records in Norfolk, Virginia, retired from the music business after more than a decade. She returned briefly in the late 1960s singing in a modern jazz vocal style, but soon retired again as she was beset by health problems.

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