Learn more about Margie Singleton and Joe Rucker Live "In the House".
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. Her husband, Leon Ashley, wanted to give back to his home state of Georgia, so Leon, Margie, and their band ‘The Strings of Nashville’ performed many shows in senior citizen homes and nursing homes. The residents of these homes couldn’t travel to the shows, so they took the music to them. 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).
At the age of 81 she released a gospel album featuring these songs in 2016. The title cut ‘On the Other Side of Life’ she wrote about Leon’s passing; and Dedicated the song to her husband, her soulmate, and her life, LEON ASHLEY, because she knows that Leon is there waiting for her on the Other Side.
A Highlight that Margie is so proud of in 2017…is the release of George Jones, The Birth of a Legend by Kevin Coffee for Bear Family Records. It contains a 172 page Book on George Jones with 4 pages of pictures and bio information on Margie Singleton. It also contains 6 CD’s of George Jones; 14 of which are duets with Margie, 2 of which were written by Margie.
In 2017, She performed at numerous Songwriter’s in the Round with Judy Bailey, Lonnie Spiker and Joe Rucker. She performed at Fay Cantzler’s Legends of Country Music, A benefit for Alzheimer’s, Country for a Cause, The Music City Hayride, The Midnight Jamboree, and the Heart of Texas Roadshow at the Texas Troubadour Theater. She has appeared as a guest on Marcia Campbell’s Overnight Radio Show and Nashville Today with Devon O’Day on WSM Radio. She performed at her 82nd Birthday Party at John A’s in Nashville in October. She is still going strong at 82. She has a video on UTUBE “Lost in Cyberspace” and has a Video “Jesus is My Pusher” due to be released in November.
Born in Texas, raised in Central Florida. His father Jerry taught him how to play guitar at an early age.
In 1998, he made the move to Nashville. Made several appearences on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree. He then began to tour and record.
Some of the artists Joe has been blessed to share the stage / work with are: Bill Anderson, Ernie Ashworth, Bonnie Bramlett, Junior Brown, Elizabeth Cook, Jack Greene, Hank Locklin, Charlie Louvin, Eddy Raven, and Daryle Singletary.
Joe's first album, "Nashville Scenes" debut in 2001. His second effort, "Untangle My Mind" was released in 2007. Included on the album are several special guests and heroes like Eddy Raven, beach music legend Clifford Curry, and Opry legend Hank Locklin.
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