|Birth name||Marjorie Ann Johnson|
|Born||July 17, 1939|
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
|Died||March 19, 2021(aged 81)|
|Labels||Various including United Artists, ICA and L & R Records|
|Associated acts||Billy Ward, Ron Marshall, Johnny Otis, Bobby Bland|
Margie Evans (born Marjorie Ann Johnson; July 17, 1939 – March 19, 2021) was an American blues and gospel singer and songwriter. She started recording in the late 1960s and continued to record for five decades. She secured two hit singles on the US Billboard R&B chart. She has variously worked with Johnny Otis, Bobby Bland, T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, Lowell Fulson, Joe Liggins, Lloyd Glenn, Willie Dixon, Al Bell, and Monk Higgins.
In addition to her musicianship, Evans was noted as a motivational speaker and rights activist, as well as a promoter of the legacy of blues music.
Life and career
Marjorie Ann Johnson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States, in 1939. Raised as a devout church goer, Evans' early exposure to music was via gospel. In 1958, she moved to Los Angeles. She initially sang as a backing vocalist with Billy Ward between 1958 and 1964, before joining the Ron Marshall Orchestra between 1964 and 1969. She then successfully auditioned to join Johnny Otis Band. During her four-year stay there, she performed on The Johnny Otis Show Live at Monterey and Cuttin' Up albums. In addition to her recording and performing duties, Evans used her influence to help set up the Southern California Blues Society to help promote the art form through education and sponsorship.
Evans commenced her solo career in 1973, and found almost immediate chart success. Her track "Good Feeling" (United Artists 246) entered the R&B chart on June 30, 1973 for four weeks, reaching number 55. However, it was another four years before "Good Thing Queen - Part 1" (ICA 002) entered the same chart listing on July 9, 1977 for eight weeks, peaking at number 47. In 1975 she supplied backing vocals on Donald Byrd's album, Stepping into Tomorrow.
Also sandwiched between these hits, in November 1975, Evans appeared on German television filmed at the Berlin-based Jazz Tage concert with Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Bo Diddley and James Booker. Using Bobby Bland as her record producer and part-time song writing partner, Evans co-wrote the song "Soon As the Weather Breaks", which reached number 76 (R&B) for Bland in 1980.
In 1980, Evans performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival and Long Beach Blues Festival, repeating the feat at the latter a year later. Her touring saw Evans take part in the American Folk Blues Festivals in 1981, 1982 and 1985. In 1983, Evans was granted the Keepin' the Blues Alive Award by the Blues Foundation.
Performing into the early 1990s, Evans toured the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as appearing with Jay McShann at the Toronto Jazz Festival. In the same decade, Evans continued her welfare work, by helping to organise the 5-4 Optimist Club for children from the South Central Los Angeles district. Her 1996 album, Drowning in the Sea of Love was her last solo output. She recorded three albums with the Swiss blues singer Philipp Fankhauser in 1989, 1994 and 2016 respectively. In 2015 and 2016, Evans returned to the stage, guesting with Fankhauser in front of sold out venues throughout Switzerland.
She died on March 19, 2021, aged 81.
|1982||Mistreated Woman||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann and Margie Evans|
|1983||Another Blues Day||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann|
|1990||Too Late Rising Sun||Marvic Music Co.||François Love and Margie Evans|
|1996||Blues Classics||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann|
|1996||Drowning in the Sea of Love||Terra Nova Records||Robert Susz|
|1973||"Twenty Nine Ways"||Yambo Records||Willie Dixon|
|1973||"When I Make Love"||Yambo Records||Willie Dixon|
|1973||"Good Feeling"||United Artists||Monk Higgins|
|1977||"Good Thing Queen Part I"||ICA Recording Group||Monk Higgins|
|1979||"You Are To Me"||ICA Recording Group||Monk Higgins and Al Bell|
Collaborations and compilation albums
|Year||Title||Artist||Record label||Producer||Vocals on|
|1969||Cuttin' Up||Johnny Otis Show||Epic||Johnny Otis||Three tracks|
|1970||Live At Monterey!||Johnny Otis Show||Epic||Johnny Otis||One track|
|1981||American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau||Four tracks|
|1982||American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau||Three tracks|
|1982||American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||Amiga Records||Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau||One track|
|1985||American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau||One track|
|1985||We Shall Walk Through The Valley In Peace||Rickey Grundy & Williams Family||L & R Records||Horst Lippmann and Margie Evans||Eight tracks|
|1989||Blues For The Lady||Philipp Fankhauser||Funk House Blues Prod.||Philipp Fankhauser||Four tracks|
|1994||Thun - San Francisco||Philipp Fankhauser||Funk House Blues Prod.||Philipp Fankhauser and H. Raymondaz||Three tracks|
|2016||Unplugged - Live at Mühle Hunziken||Philipp Fankhauser||Funk House Blues Prod.||Marco Jencarelli||Nine tracks|
Music catalogue / compositions
|Title||BMI Work #||Composer||Publisher|
|"Another Margie's Boogie"||# 47034||Margie Evans|
|"Blue Blue Blues"||# 127657||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Chilly Waters"||# 207852||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Come To Me"||# 232686||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Don't Throw No Stones At Me"||# 329426||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"European Holiday"||# 385217||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Giving Up The Street For Love"||# 477042||Margie Evans, Robert Calvin Bland|
|"God The First Good Thing Man"||# 485627||Margie Evans, Virginia P. Bland, Frank Lucas||Alvert Music, Bridgeport Music Inc.|
|"Going Away Blues"||# 487607||Margie Evans, David Clark|
|"Good Thing Queen"||# 485627||Margie Evans, Virginia P. Bland, Frank Lucas||Alvert Music, Bridgeport Music Inc..|
|"Hurry Sundown"||# 599375||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"I Got The Restless Blues"||# 625566||Margie Evans|
|"I'll Be There"||# 636988||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"I'm On My Way"||# 663001||Margie Evans, Virginia P. Bland, Isbell Alvertis||Alvert Music, Bridgeport Music Inc..|
|"I've Been Buked"||# 681815||Margie Evans|
|"ICA Special"||# 699154||Margie Evans, Virginia P. Bland||Alvert Music, Bridgeport Music Inc..|
|"It Ain't Nothing But Common Sense"||# 734905||Margie Evans|
|"It's A Shame"||# 734905||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Let The Telephone Ring"||# 861502||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
|"Loser"||# 908825||Margie Evans, Cash McCall|
All information from the database of BMI.com
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 297.
- "Margie Evans". AllMusic. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "Margie Evans' Wild, Wild World : Concert: The singer, who says that 'blues is so much fun for me,' travels to Europe and to Canada for the opportunity to perform". Latimes.com. December 4, 1992. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Dunbar, Julie C. (2011). Women, Music, Culture: An Introduction (1st ed.). New York, United States: Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-203-83477-0.
- Lipsitz, George (2010). Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story (1st ed.). Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 142/4. ISBN 978-0-8166-6678-2.
- "Stepping into Tomorrow > Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Bakker, Vincent (2009). The Gangster of Love: Johnny "Guitar" Watson: Performer, Preacher, Pimp (1st ed.). CreateSpace. p. 298. ISBN 978-1442141476.
- Farley, Charles (2011). Soul of the Man: Bobby "Blue" Bland (1st ed.). Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States: University Press of Mississippi. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-60473-919-0.
- "American Folk Blues Festival Discography". Wirz.de. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Dave Penny, "Obituary: Margie Evans", Blues & Rhythm, No.360, June 2021, p.12
- "Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81", All About Jazz, April 3, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2021