On March 29, Louisiana said farewell to music icon and advocate, Margaret “Maggie” Ann Lewis Warwick, following a brief illness.
Maggie Warwick, born in Snyder, Texas, was a singer, songwriter, record producer, music publisher and music executive, and co-owner of the famed Louisiana Hayride.
Warwick dedicated much of her life to be an ambassador for Louisiana’s music history and its future.
On April 2, a public ceremony was held in honor of Warwick at Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium. A graveside burial followed on April 3 at Forest Park Cemetery.
Since her death, music industry professionals, public figures, community members and more have paid respects to Warwick at the memorials and on social media.
She's remembered as a woman who made an impact through her charitable works, dedication to music, and kindness.
The Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement about Warwick.:
“Maggie lived life with everything she had. She made her mark on the music industry and used her talents as an internationally known singer, songwriter, and philanthropist to bring joy to others and make a difference in her community. Her passion for Louisiana's music saved the original home of the Louisiana Hayride from destruction, ensuring that future generations will enjoy its charm and historical significance for years to come. I had the joy of singing on the Hayride stage with Maggie just a couple of months ago and it’s a moment that I will treasure forever. There are many great names associated with Louisiana’s musical heritage and Maggie Warwick's name is most certainly in that number. She will be deeply missed by many, and Donna and I send our love and condolences to Maggie’s family during this difficult time.”
Warwick’s music career began at an early age. In high school, she formed her first band — Maggie Lewis and the Thunderbolts.
Over her extensive career, she performed and recorded with famed bands, performers and producers. She earned writing and co-writing titles on hit songs, with her own albums released on Capitol, SSS International and other recording labels.
Her crowning moments included:
- Singing with performers Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, leading to being discovered by Columbia Recording’s star Johnny Horton
- Writing credits for “Wedding Cake” by Connie Francis, “I Almost Called Your Name” by Margaret Whiting, which was also released by Freddy Fender, and Maureen Evans, of the United Kingdom. Her songs were also recorded by Bruce Willis, Conway Twitty, Connie Francis, Bonnie and Delanie and Loretta Lynn.
- Co-writing credits for “Mountain of Love” by David Houston, “Reconsider Me” by Johnny Adams and Narvel Felts, and “The Girl Most Likely”, “Oh Singer” and “There Never Was a Time” by Jeannie C. Riley.
- Winning seven BMI performance awards.
- Receiving the OffBeat Lifetime Achievement in Music Business in 2008.
Warwick lived in major music hubs Chicago, Nashville and Shreveport, but it was in Louisiana that she’d call home for the latter part of her life.
Warwick moved to Shreveport and was a regular performer on Louisiana Hayride, a live country music concert and radio program on KWKH. The Louisiana Hayride was in operation from 1948 to 1960 and was where numerous music greats launched their careers, including Elvis Presley and Hank Williams.
In 1981, she married Alton Warwick. The couple became owners of Ram Records. In an effort to revive the show, the entrepreneurs purchased the Louisiana Hayride brand.
In 1997, the couple formed the Foundation for Arts, Music and Entertainment of Shreveport-Bossier which raised funds to save the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium — home of the Louisiana Hayride — from destruction and invest in the building's renovations.
A respected member of the community, Warwick appointed Chairman of the Louisiana Music Commission by Louisiana governors.
In 2005, former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne proclaimed it, “The Year of the Louisiana Hayride,” which was dedicated to rebuilding its the brand and prestige. The Warwicks’ goal was to revive the music series.
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