One of the top female rock vocalists of the early 1950’s when she scored three Top Ten national hits in just over a year, followed by some regional hits and other sides that may have been too hot to become hits.

Born Margaret Hoffler in 1926, Margie already had led a full life before becoming a rock star in 1950 upon teaming up with fellow Virginians The Griffin Brothers as their lead vocalist. She’d seemingly given up on music a number of times, dropping out of Virginia State College where she was a music major only to get back into it when she began accompanying a local musician on the bandstand in 1945 which led to her traveling north where she sang under the name Margie Day in New York and New Jersey and cutting her first single for Savoy in 1947 as part of a group called Four Bars And A Melody.

Soon after that she quit music for a second time to get married and have a child back in Virginia. When the Griffin Brothers band was looking for a female singer they asked her and she agreed to join them and soon the entire outfit was signed to the newly formed Dot Records where she gave them their first hits right out of the gate in the fall of 1950 and winter of 1951. A third hit in late 1951 followed and she scored another regional hit with the group before they parted ways in 1952.

She played with Floyd Dixon, had a regional hit as a solo artist and toured extensively with Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams before signing with major label Decca Records, for whom she delivered no hits despite some great output, and then followed that up with a stint with Atlantic Records where she got just one regional hit in 1955.

A series of short-lived contracts with various labels, big and small, produced no further hits and she gradually gave up performing to focus on her home life, though in the late 1960’s released a few well-received jazz-based albums.

Day’s vocals were remarkably expressive in a variety of approaches and utilizing different textures of her voice, from childlike innocence to sultry and suggestive, the latter forming the basis of some of her most notable records which pushed the boundaries of decency in rock’s pre-crossover days.

Midway through life she became a devout Christian and combined those beliefs with her singing and performing experience in setting up The Centerstage Children’s Art Workshop to give kids in Norfolk, Virginia training in the arts to boost self-esteem and build character. Day passed away in 2014 in her hometown, the same town she was born in 88 years earlier, but in between she traveled the world and helped to change it through music.
MARGIE DAY DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

(Dot 1010; August, 1950)
A fully confident and seductive debut as Day sings with almost childlike innocence before turning that on its head with a sultry and suggestive payoff wherein she is in total control, of both the situation portrayed within and the record itself. (7)

(Dot 1019; December, 1950)
A ribald performance that matches the racy innuendo with Day’s vivacious spirit, supreme confidence in her vocals and the band churning effortlessly behind her, a big hit at the time that should’ve been an enduring classic for its era of rock as this is far too enjoyable to resist. (9)

(Dot 1019; December, 1950)
Looking inward for a change, Day proves she’s up to the task by showing anguish and confusion, letting her voice soar in pain at times before pulling it together while the Griffin Brothers compliment her in a discreet but effective manner. (6)

(Dot 1024; December, 1950)
A thankless task for Day who is being asked to cover a pop version of a country song that was already defined for eternity by Kay Starr, so she messes with the melody, ad-libs some new references but ultimately fails to make this worth the trouble. (3)

(Dot 1041; March, 1951)
A tour de force for Day who lays into the song – and the subject of her fury – with unbridled passion, never letting up while still maintaining a delicate balance of emotions while the band matches her explosiveness every step of the way. ★ 10 ★

(Dot 1041; March, 1951)
The definition of a B-side for a good artist, some strengths, some weaknesses: well sung with a good attitude on Day’s part but the conflicting message of the song and an arrangement which is effective but doesn’t really stand out. (4)

(Dot 1042; March, 1951)
An unusual song for them to tackle, a two year old western swing cut, but Day injects the racy lyrics with so much added sexual innuendo that she transcends a pretty limited musical arrangement, a good record but an unnecessary one. (6)

(Dot 1042; March, 1951)
An egregious attempt at crossover pop acceptance finds Day handling her role adequately as she’s channeling Little Esther more than any bland white pop singer, but unfortunately the arrangement is making up for it by playing bland white pop music behind her. (2)

(Dot 1070; November, 1951)
Another confident vocal by Day with enough sexual suggestiveness to titillate while the band churns along with the same goal in mind… to imply something more going on than actually is the case, but when it works so well, why not see what you can convince people of? (7)

(Dot 1070; November, 1951)
Overwhelmed vocally on her own record by an uncredited Tommy Brown, this ill-chosen duet sung at too slow a pace for her liking became a surprise hit, the last of her career, despite being intended as little more than a throwaway B-side. (3)

(Dot 1094; March, 1952)
Day wrote herself a fairly good song here with some sharp-eyed lyrics and sings it well enough, but it’s still a rather subdued record with an indistinct backing track making it sound like an afterthought rather than an attempt at producing a hit. (5)

(Dot 1094; March, 1952)
While Day manages to somehow inject some life into this bland country song she was forced to cover, The Griffin Brothers take the route of least resistance here and give her a bland track that not even her sexually coy vocals can save. (3)

(Dot 1104; May, 1952)
Another terrible choice to cover this torch song which doesn’t suit Day’s vocal style at all even though she, unlike the quicker paced original sung by Ella Johnson, has the right state of mind in delivering this at a slower tempo. (3)

(Dot 1105; May, 1952)
As songwriter for… The Griffin Brothers.

(Dot 1108; July, 1952)
Day’s suggestive reading of the song brings untold undercurrents to the surface even as she’s unnecessarily hampered by a weak backing track from The Griffin Brothers who don’t lay into the ribald meaning leaving it all up to Margie to get the point across. (7)

(Dot 1108; July, 1952)
This self-penned kiss-off to disrespectful men is smartly written and delivered with a wide range of controlled emotion by Day who once again manages to counteract the tepid arrangement of The Griffin Brothers and even get them to bend to her will by the end. (7)

(Dot 1144; November, 1952)
Another misfire that has absolutely nothing to do with Day, who sings it well enough, but with the record company who forces her to cut cover records and then gives it a sickly arrangement which negates the emotional content of the song. (2)

(Dot 1144; November, 1952)
Maybe the nadir of her time with the label who gives her a country hit to sing with an arrangement not suited to her while having Buddy Griffin sing with her, invalidating the message of a lonely girl longing for someone who doesn’t know she’s alive. (1)