Margo Davidson and Creating Some Small Corner of Information: Wikipedia

Margo Davidson, circa 1978. Uncredited. Source: Ferris Funeral Home, Simcoe, Ontario; http://www.ferrisfuneral.com

I used to know Margo Davidson, who played with Parachute Club, a band that had a major hit in the 1980s with the song “Rise Up“:

I had met her in 1978, when she was playing in Toronto bars with a band called John Booth and The Allstars, a rhythm and blues band. First saw her at the Hotel Isabella, as it then was, upstairs at what became known as the Cameo Lounge. She was blowing the room away with this incredible sax playing–all five feet of her. She was so petite, yet so powerful as a musician and vocalist. Performing beside her was a tall, beautiful singer–Robin Wells.

Robin Wells and Margo Davidson later in that year created their own band, the Wells-Davidson Band, continuing to play rhythm and blues. Margo ended up staying at my apartment for a period, and then moving on. The Wells-Davidson Band broke up sometime in 1979, and I rarely saw Margo thereafter. Margo was soon to be participating in the international success of Parachute Club. I never found out what happened to Robin Wells.

Last year, I had wondered what happened to Margo, and so searched the internet. I found out that she had died in 2008. Even though for me she would always be 21, she was 50 at the time of her death. Cause of death not specified. Searching more, I found out that she had abandoned music in the late 1980s and had devoted the balance of her life to helping the less fortunate.

I searched for her on Wikipedia, and found no profile. So I created one. I was also fortunate to be able to find a picture of the Wells-Davidson Band that was acceptable for inclusion in Wikipedia, being a promotional photo:

Wells-Davidson Band, circa 1979. Uncredited. Source: Abbey Scholzberg Photos (former bass player for Wells-Davidson Band): http://www.myspace.com/daddy_played_bass/photos/albums/my-photos/781914

This is one of the many positives of Wikipedia. One can attempt in some small way to advance knowledge, subject to acceptance by the various Wikipedia floating editors. There are undoubtedly many people who knew Margo better than I did, and who may then add to this portrait, but this is at least a start.

I believe that most people have particular knowledge in an area that is superior to most others. We all have unique strengths in interests. Hopefully many will see Wikipedia, despite shortcomings associated with diverse skills and volunteer efforts, as a means to advance that knowledge.

Parachute Club, circa 1983. Uncredited. Source: http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/parachute-club/476827

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Academic; non-practising Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant
This entry was posted in Communication of Knowledge, Music, Toronto Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Margo Davidson and Creating Some Small Corner of Information: Wikipedia

  1. On March 18, 2011, Dave Davidson, brother of Margo Davidson, commented as follows (reproduced with permission):

    Hello again Bruce,

    It is a strange and sometimes crazy world we live in. In the entertainment field, all of that ‘strangeness’ is exacerbated. She thrived on the immediacy of that world, and it fed her creative side, while at the same time played hell with her emotional side. Relationships, and there were many in her short life, were always intense and real – and often short-lived. People were attracted to her – and not just women – because of her obvious love for life and her wicked sense of humour, and you never wanted to try and “out-spar” her. One who lives on life’s edge is always susceptible to the darker side of this world. For musicians, drugs and alcohol are a part of your world – always readily available and tempting. Margo’s drug of choice was alcohol. She managed it well, but eventually couldn’t do without it. She, like our father, suffered from depression – an insecurity about who they were and a fear of not living up to others expectations. She worshipped the men in her family – my father and yes, even me her brother (I am 8 years her senior). Alcohol was her way of dealing with that fear and insecurity – neither of which she had any reason to suffer from. It was a mental state that she hid very well form friends and family. As she grew older, alcohol became her friend and crutch, and she couldn’t go anywhere without it. I’m certain that good friends and caring partners kept her from the streets. Her depression many times would lead her to “turtle”, as we would say – never answering phone calls, emails or even the door.

    Music was not just a creative outlet for Margo, but also an escape from reality. The stage, make-up and music released her from the pressures of the real world. Depression and the escape from it was an ongoing part of her life. Our father was her idol. His depression (and diabetes) was triggered by the sudden and early death of his father. Diabetes in 1957 was treatable with insulin, still in its infancy. Diabetics were thought of as being sick people, even though they could live normal lives. My dad’s upward moving career came to a standstill, and that devastated him. First his father, and then his life – it became too much to bear. I was 7 years old. By the time I was 13 he was hospitalized for 6 months trying, while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong, as his diabetes was running amok. Finally, they called in a psychiatrist. Answers were found, but mental illness is an ugly thing that few understand, especially in 1963.

    We spent a lot of time staying with our aunt and uncle that year, while our mother journeyed back and forth from Simcoe to Victoria Hospital in London. We both longed to have our dad back – Uncle Bill meant well, but was no substitute. That summer stayed with both of us. It was the year we lost our father, not physically, for he would live another 8 years, but life was never the same.

    Life seemed to be in a constant state of upheaval for my sister . I was away at university when our dad died. I had become somewhat insular myself, but retreated to just another world (London), as Simcoe faded from my past and my future. Margo lived through our father’s death and our mother’s remarriage, and began life with a new family, rebelling every bit of the way. I had put my feelings on a ‘shelf’, to deal with later in my life – she wore them proudly every day. She spent most of the rest of her life trying to find answers – why her, why her father, why…

    She finally found peace in death. A sad way to discover something that had eluded you all of your life. But she left a legacy – a more significant one than she may have ever realized. My childrens’ walls bear the gold and platinum albums of their favourite aunt, and her memories live on in all of us. I play my music every day in her memory.

    Thanks Bruce for caring. Thanks for giving me a reason to reflect and to put feelings into words – something I have been struggling with for over two years. You may feel free to post my ramblings with yours or simply to read them for yourself. My sister is most certainly a person worthy of our thoughts, and I am proud to say I am her brother.

    Sincerely,
    Dave

    • Derek B says:

      Margo was one hell of a musician. We met back in the May 1980 while she was playing with Kid Rainbow, at Barrymore’s, in Ottawa. I followed the group down to Toronto that summer and hung out for awhile. Never saw her again until late 1987 or so in Winnipeg, where we had dinner after a show she did. Sadly lost contact with her, but for years always tried to get back in touch. Was heartbroken to read of her passing.

  2. Tracey TF says:

    Thanks for writing the Wikipedia entry. I came across it because I wanted to acknowledge the anniversary of her tragic death. May 17, 2008; already five years gone.

    I met Margo on my 16th birthday, when the Parachute Club was snowed in at my birthday party in Halifax. A coincidence, because they were visiting the Jest in Time folks at the house. Fast forward to the mid-1990s in Toronto, when Margo and I found ourselves both working in social housing, with me highly tickled by stories of my flirting with the band at my 16th birthday party, and Margo somewhere between bemused and horrified. I was on the Board of Saint Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society, with which Margo and I had both been associated, when I heard of her death. Still saddened. I hope she’s rocking in the next world.

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