MAGGIE LEE AND THE PERCUSSIONS


The Echoes and Maggie in the beginning. Personnel are from top left Freddie Sherffius; top right Buddy Jones; bottom left Kelly Graves; bottom right Joe Stout; center Maggie Lee.


Maggie Lee and The Percussions began in 1960. Joe Stout was on drums, Buddy Jones on guitar and Fred Prentice on bass. In the beginning, the group was known as The Echoes. Buddy Elinor joined a few months later, playing saxophone and trumpet.

During this first year, Margaret Lee Tate and her sister Joyce, followed the band to various engagements. The two sisters were called upon to sing two or three numbers each night. Joe Stout, the drummer, dubbed Margaret with the nickname, Maggie.


In 1961, Joe and Margaret married. When Buddy Elinor moved to Florida, Maggie attempted to learn to play saxophone. She gave up that endeavor but showed interest in learning the keyboard. A Fender Rhodes portable piano was rented from a local music store and after a month of practice, Maggie's natural talent emerged. The replacement for Buddy Elinor was unable to continue in the group, so Maggie was added on keyboard. Maggie played a portable organ and became the lead singer.

The band performed all over the West Tennessee and West Kentucky area. This group continued until 1964 when Fred Prentice married and Buddy Jones left to join a group closer to his home. Carl Mann, who recorded the hit record, Mona Lisa, joined the group for a short period of time.


Left to right: Joe Stout, Maggie Lee, Poly Stanfill, Pete Tate


About the same time a group called the Percussions was having similar problems. The two groups merged using the name The Percussions. In 1965, The Percussions recorded a single 45-RPM record under the direction of Willie Mitchell at the HI Studios in Memphis, Tennessee; the record was released on the Block label. The song titles were Your Love, (written by lead singer and guitar player, Troy Williams. The flip side was titled Misery and Pain, written by Joe Stout. Then the British invasion of music came into fashion and The Beatles era began.

In 1966 the group once again lost members for various reasons. Maggie's brother, Paul (Pete) Tate returned from the Navy and joined the group as singer and lead guitar. James "Poly" Stanfill joined on bass guitar. In 1967, this group recorded an album in Memphis on the Allendale label entitled, It's Time for the Percussions. Roland James was the sound engineer. The album included songs, "Time is Running Out" (written by Joe Stout); the Rolling Stones song, Time is on My Side; and Tar and Cement, the most popular song on the album. Maggie's father, John Tate, performed harmonica on one song entitled, Fox Chase.

The song Tar and Cement came to the attention of Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Recording Studios in Memphis. At that time the Holiday Inn Corporation was forming a record label and talent agency. Through this agency, the group booked tours to military bases in Goose Bay Labrador, Sondestrom and Thule, Greenland. They were booked for a 3-week engagement but were held over for an additional 6 weeks. Subsequent tours to these bases were made in 1968 and 1969. Before the tour, Paul Tate left the group and Lloyd Foust replaced him on guitar. Larry Reed was added to the group on horns and vocals. The group was booked as rock and roll, but performed some country tunes. They soon learned that the audience was starved for country music because most groups booked there were from the Northeast. The group soon learned that Lloyd knew most of the popular and classic country songs so they switched to mostly country to satisfy the audience. Lloyd brought the house down with his solo of the Spanish tune, Malaguena. Lloyd was the most talented all around guitarist ever heard by Maggie and Joe.

Thule, Greenland was the United States most outer defense at that time. Huge football-field sized radar screens were beamed at the Soviet Union. An Eskimo village was moved for the building of the base. Five hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, it is the northern-most inhabited land in the world.

Maggie became known as Maggie Lee, professionally and the group became "Maggie Lee and the Percussions" remaining that until retirement. A female in a musical group was a rarity, in those days. For a period of about 4 years, the group toured 21 states and several foreign countries as well as doing recording work in the Sun Studio under the direction of Sam Phillips. The Holiday Inn label never came to fruition.

Alvin Holland from Camden, Tennessee joined the band on guitar. Alvin was a great guitar player. He played left- handed by turning the guitar over without re-stringing (as most left-handed guitarists do) to the amazement of many.

In 1972 Joe and Maggie operated the Cellar Lounge in South Fulton, Tennessee. It featured the group several nights a week. Jeff Sensing joined the group on guitar and vocals, as well as Patrick Morris on bass and Barbie Morris performing vocal. One year later Joe and Maggie purchased the Kings Den nightclub in Martin, Tennessee, renaming it Maggie Lee's. The club was in operation from July of 1973 through December of 1991. Maggie Lee and the Percussions was the house band for the entire period of 18 years. Joe managed the club, so Mickey, (Joe's son) and various others performed drums (with occasional fill-ins by Joe).


Left to right: Johnny Ward , Joe Stout, Eddie Voorhies, with Maggie Lee in center.

During the long period of operation, Maggie Lee's was a first with mud wrestling, bear wrestling, mechanical bullriding, and male dancers. They featured bands like the Bill Black Combo, Ace Cannon, the Diamonds and many others.


From the period when Maggie first became featured, the group incorporated the use of shows and comedy skits in their routines. One of the most memorable routines used was the acting out of the song Frankie and Johnny. As the song began, Joe would leave the bandstand and pick a lady from the audience to dance or a band member dressed as a woman. When the line came about Johnny in a barroom with Nellie Blye. Maggie would fire a blank pistol killing Johnny who fell to the floor. In 1966, this routine was performed at Red's Place in Samburg, Tennessee (on Reelfoot Lake; near Carl Perkins birthplace). A local highway patrolman walked in as this routine started and leaned up against the jukebox just off the dance floor. When it came time for Johnny to be shot, Maggie walked over and pulled the gun from the patrolman's holster and fired 3 times. Johnny fell to the floor. Everyone jumped up, screaming and running for the door except one old fella. He commented, "She sure as Hell shot him didn't she?" Unknown to the audience, this was made up beforehand and the patrolman had Maggie's blank pistol in his holster.


Left to right: Joe Stout, Phillip Tate, Maggie Lee, Lloyd Foust, Larry Reed.


In later years, they were also the first in the area to use pyrotechnics on stage. On one occasion, Maggie rode a horse in the front door of the club, dismounted and sang her song during the pyrotechnics show. On another occasion she rode in on a motorcycle. Joe, being an amateur magician, incorporated shows, making Maggie suddenly appear from an empty framed, lighted box covered with butcher paper and bursting forth to render her show tune. In another act he placed her in a large sack and then in a box. She disappeared from the box and appeared through the front door singing her song. Upon opening the box, Joe had taken her place.

About a year after the closing of Maggie Lee's in 1991, Joe and Maggie purchased the old Mullins Club in their hometown of Greenfield. They were the first live band to play in the Mullins Club in 1960. It was also where their first public performance was booked. Ironically, their last public performance was in 1995, when the state of Tennessee purchased the Mullins Club property to build a four-lane highway. Since that time Joe and Maggie Lee and The Percussions have been in complete retirement.


Left to right: Chuck Pallokawicz, Don Reed, Maggie Lee, Joe Stout, Troy Williams.

During the span of 35 years,the group performed practically every style of music including: music of the big bands of the 1930's and 40's; the country of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline; the rockabilly of Carl Perkins and others; the rock and roll of Elvis Presley; the soul music of the 60's; the Liverpool sound of the Beatles and the Stones; the rock and roll of Creedence Clearwater Revival; the jazz of all eras; the disco sound of the 80's; the modern country of The Judds and Garth Brooks; the heavy metal of Guns and Roses and Poison; and even the music of Stephen Foster, backing Jay Willoughby at the Cardinal Lounge (Paducah, 1971) for a weekly special gay 90's shows. At that time, the band consisted of Joe, Maggie, guitarist Ronnie Waters, bass player Nyman Furr, and "Alfalfa" on Sax.

Some of Maggie's own styling of tunes over the years encompassed: Kitty Welles' Honky Tonk Angels; Patsy Cline's, I Fall To Pieces and Sweet Dreams; Wilburt Harrison's, Kansas City; Lloyd Price's, Stagger Lee; Chuck Berry's, Johnny B. Goodie; Nancy Sinatra's, These Boots Are Made For Walking; Blondie's, Rapture; Cher's, I Got You Babe and If I Could Turn Back Time; Tina Turner's, Proud Mary and Steamy Windows; Stevie Nix's, Edge of Seventeen, Stop Dragging My Heart Around and Talk To Me; Heart's, All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You; Harold Dorman's, Mountain of Love; Janis Joplin's, Me and Bobby McGee; Roy Orbison's, Crying; and Sammi Smith's, Help Me Make It Through The Night.


Left to right: Reggie Adams, Poly Stanfill, Maggie Lee, Steve Mallard, Andy Elliott.


Maggie Lee and Joe are proud to have been a part of the music scene for these 35 years and to have had the privilege of an association with many talented musicians. The following is a roster of names that have performed with the group. Apologies to those that memory fails to remember. Time does take its toll.
A. B. Jenkins
Alan Brewer
Alan Jones
Alfalfa (Lafoyia Maxwell)
Alton Doster
Alvin Holland
Andy Elliott

Barbie Morris
Bill Cowell
Bill Griffin
Bill Holliman
Bill Oates
Bobby Moss
Bobby Stevens
Bobby Lee Trammell
Bob Crider
Brad Voorhies
Buddy Elinor
Buddy McDaniel
Buddy Jones
Buster LaDuke
Byron Berryhill

Carl Mann
Charles Pounds
Chuck Palookawich
Connie Crider
Danny Crabtree
Danny Bedwell
David Stout
Don Reed
Donnie Snider
Dr. Billy Pitts

Eddie Voorhies

Fane Parham
Frank Halford
Frank Iberra
Fred Prentice
Fred Raymers
Freddie McMinn
Freddie Sherffius

Gale Patterson
Gary Wood
Gary Cooper
Gene Cook
Gene Tackwell
Glenn Mebane

Harold James (Big Otis)
Herb Cathy
Hugh Wayne Tate

Jeff Sensing
Jerry Dunning
Jerry Tate
Jim Hinson
Jim Ray
Jimette
Jimmy Lynn
Jimmy Hutchcraft
Jimmy Stafford
Joe Ferguson
Joe Webb
Joe Wilson
John Kabel
Johnny Petty
Johnny Ward
Joyce Carter
Jr. Durden

Keith Dunning
Keith Johnson
Keith McClure
Kelly Graves
Kenny Melton

Linda Campbell
Lamar Woodruff
Landis Rich
Lannie Walls
Larry Hughey
Larry Morgan
Larry Reed
Larry Sims
Larry Wilder
Lloyd Foust
Lowell Vaughn

Mallard Stringer
Mark Capra
Mickey Stout
Mike Sego
Mike Downing

Nathan Taylor
Nyman Furr

Patrick Morris
Paul Campbell
Paul Eldridge
Paul (Pete) Tate
Perry Pulliam
Phil Burton
Phillip Tate
Poly Stanfill

Randy Wilson
Reggie Adams
Rick Hoskins
Rick Jones
Ricky Bowlin
Robert Bone
Ron Crafton
Ronnie Bullington
Ronnie Parker
Ronnie Waters
Roger Martin
Roger Younger
Roy Callins

Scotty Bell
Steve Bartee
Steve Clark
Steve Fowler
Steve Joyner
Steve Mallard
Steve McAdams

Ted Mack Brush
Terry Frazier
Terry McClain
Tom Hay
Tommy Oliver
Tony Dyer
Troy Williams

Vern Garner

Wanda Caudle

E-Mail: jwstout@charter.net