Obituaries » Margaret “Maggie” Ann Lewis Warwick
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Margaret “Maggie” Ann Lewis Warwick, internationally known singer/songwriter/record producer/music publisher/music executive, went home to be with Jesus on Friday, March 29, following a brief illness.
Visitation was held Tuesday, April 2, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium. A Celebration of Life service immediately followed, with Dr. Jeff Raines officiating. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at Forest Park Cemetery, St. Vincent Ave.
Margaret was born in Snyder, Texas to Mary and Roy Lewis. Her love for music was nurtured as a young girl spending hours in the record section of a local Five and Dime in West Texas. It was in high school that she would launch her career with her first band, Maggie Lewis and the Thunderbolts. A later band would eventually include Johnny Winter as lead guitar. She sang with performers such as the famed Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, and was discovered by Columbia Recording star Johnny Horton. From West Texas, as a teenager, she and her sister Rose headed to Chicago where they worked with the legendary producer Leonard Chess at Chess Records and provided backup vocals for Dale Hawkins, whose classic big hit was “Susie Q”.
She then moved to Shreveport, Louisiana where she was a regular on the Louisiana Hayride, and then to Nashville where she worked as a singer and songwriter and where her records were released on the Capitol label, SSS International and others. Her first big success was “Mountain of Love”, a song she co-wrote that was a country hit by David Houston. She also co-wrote songs such as “Reconsider Me”, a top Billboard chart hit by R&B artist Johnny Adams and a major Billboard hit by country artist Narvel Felts. Her song “Wedding Cake” was a hit by Connie Francis, and “I Almost Called Your Name” was a hit by Margaret Whiting and also released by Freddy Fender, and Maureen Evans, of the United Kingdom. She also co-wrote “The Girl Most Likely”, “Oh Singer” and “There Never Was a Time”, all hits by Jeannie C. Riley. Her songs were also recorded by Bruce Willis, Conway Twitty, Connie Francis, Bonnie and Delanie and Loretta Lynn. She won a total of seven BMI performance awards.
Margaret and her husband, Alton Warwick, are owners of the international record label Ram Records and the famed Louisiana Hayride live country music concert and stage show. They formed a non-profit in 1997, and successfully fought to prevent the Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium, the original home of the Louisiana Hayride, from being destroyed, ensuring this historical landmark will be enjoyed and appreciated for generations to come.
Margaret was an enthusiastic promoter of Louisiana music. She was appointed Chairman of the Louisiana Music Commission by Governors
Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer, Mike Foster, Kathleen Blanco, and Bobby Jindal. She was recently joined on stage by Governor John Bel Edwards to celebrate the nomination of the landmark 20-CD box set, Louisiana Hayride Tonight, as Grammy nomination for best historical album of the year.
Margaret was the founder and producer of the telethon that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sister Margaret’s Christian Services.
She co-wrote two songs with Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is a champion for the music industry and songwriters, and an advocate for improvements to the copyright law.
A fan from Paris, France beautifully summarized Maggie’s life in his
message of condolence to Alton. He wrote, “She was a strong woman, a leader. She was a loving woman, a faithful friend. She was an entrepreneur with strength, someone we want to follow. She was a bright entertainer, one that helped through her songs folks to move on the rocky road of life. She was a wonderful human, one of these rare people you will remember all your life after just few minutes. She was the sparkle on many projects. We owe her much.”
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents. Margaret is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Alton Warwick, her siblings Rose Lewis of Shreveport, LA, Patsy Lewis Eliassen and Randy of Georgetown, TX, Kenny Lewis and Barbara of Carmel, CA, niece Ellen Spencer and Dave of Georgetown, TX, nephew Michael Eliassen of Shreveport and goddaughter Caroline Ourso of New York City.
Honoring Maggie as pallbearers will be Bill Boles, Brad Davis, Buddy Flett, Michael Long, Lynn Ourso and Ken Shepherd. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Joel Katz, Ted Jones, Rep. Billy Montgomery, Mayor Lo Walker, Governor Kathleen Blanco, Beth Courtney, Commissioner Foster Campbell, Governor John Bel Edwards, and Mayor Adrian Perkins.
The family would like express their appreciation to staff for their care and compassion shown to Maggie at the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.
The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to an animal rescue agency in your community.