Margaret Lewis Warwick
Singer/entertainer/song writer
Audio Samples

One of four siblings, Margaret was born in Snyder, Texas, but later moved to Levelland. She is a fifth generation West Texan "from my dad's pioneer family, the Lewis family," she remarks. Her father was Roy Gaines Lewis, a cowboy in his youth who turned to farming. Among her mother's family were Methodist missionaries. She calls her grandmother, Jessie Donaldson "a precious saint on this earth" who greatly influenced her life, including the fact that Mrs. Donaldson was "the first real country music fan that I ever knew". The two spent hours playing records of Bob Wills, Eddy Arnold and Ernest Tubb. Her mother's cousin, Walter Donaldson, was a songwriter and composer of My Blue Heaven. During a devastating drought the family moved to Levelland, Texas where Margaret graduated from high school. At the local Wacker's, part of a chain of five-and-ten-cent stores, she noticed a part of the music section that was labeled Race Records. She began buying them and spinning them on her record player, her introduction to rhythm and blues. On Saturday nights she tuned in KWKH to hear Louisiana Hayride. She also heard black gospel music. On Sunday nights, after the family attended services at their Methodist church, they often drifted over to black churches where revivals were in progress. In high school she started a band, Margaret Lewis and the Thunderbolts, with Bob Davis, a new student from Miami, Florida who knew rhythm and blues. They also played rockabilly and country. The band performed for Johnny Horton and Tillman Franks of the Louisiana Hayride when the two produced a musical talent show in Plainview. She won first-runner-up and was invited to appear on the show in Shreveport. Margaret appeared on the show in 1957. She soon met Alton Warwick who helped found Ram Recording Studios. Meanwhile, her mother and father separated, and she and her mother moved to Bossier City. Margaret began singing with her sister, Rose. They accompanied Dale Hawkins to Chicago, where they began recording sessions at Chess Records. There they met artists such as Muddy Waters and heard two new songs by Chuck Berry, Sweet Little Sixteen and Johnny B. Goode. In Shreveport, Margaret remembers fondly musicians such as Bob Luman and James Burton. She played on Louisiana Hayride until the program ended, then moved to Nashville. There she concentrated on song writing, turning out hits, including Reconsider Me, a classic sung by Lynn Anderson, Connie Francis, Jeannie C. Riley, and others. She earned "fourteen, I think, or fifteen" BMI Awards. She also received a Grammy for best historical album in 2004, Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues, 1945-1970. She co-wrote many songs, including working with Senator Orrin Hatch. Margaret returned to Shreveport in the 1980s. Married to Alton Warwick, the couple began rejuvenating the Louisiana Hayride and hope to build a music infrastructure here so that Shreveport again will rise as a music mecca. 9