About The Artist
LaWanda Lindsey spent somewhat more than a decade as a professional country vocalist. In that period she chalked up fourteen songs on the Billboard listings (four in duets) and retired as an active performer at the age of twenty-five. Then she began a whole new career as a wife and mother.
Lindsey was born in Tampa, Florida, but as a child moved to Savannah, Georgia where her father managed country&western radio station WEAS and also had a country band. This gave young LaWanda the opportunity to develop her singing skills at an early age.
According to one story, fans were asking for her autograph before she could write her name. With such experience, one could hardly be surprised that she signed a contract with Chart Records at fourteen (her first record was "Beggars Can't Be Choosers") and had her first Billboard chart listing when barely sixteen (a duet with Kenny Vernon).
When she signed with Chart Records, Joe Taylor was her manager while Joe Gibson was her producer.
In 1970, one of her personal appearances took her to Hank Locklin's Nashville Room in Pensacola, Florida. It went so well for her and the audience; neither wanted to leave. Joe Taylor sent a note to Country Music Reporter magazine telling them that Lawanda did her last show there nearly in tears, capturing the audience and had a standing invitation to return there anytime.
After touring with Conway Twitty for a time, Lindsey joined Jamboree, U.S.A. at seventeen where one of her Chart singles "Wave Bye-Bye to the Man" appeared on a long-play album featuring a variety of WWVA stars. Through 1971, she had fourteen singles and three LPs during her time with Chart.
A feature article in Country and Western Hit Parade magazine in the fall of 1971 indicated that as a senior in high school (Robert W. Groves High School in Savannah), she was taping a syndicated television show with Stu Phillips in Louisville called "Music Place." She was also doing about six personal appearances a month around the country.
The next chapter in Lindsey's career took place in January 1972 when she became friends with Susan Raye who was the main female singer with the Buck Owens Show.
Through her influence LaWanda signed with the Owens controlled OMAC Agency that March, gained a new contract with Capitol Records, and relocated to Bakersfield. In addition to touring with Buck, she appeared several times on Hee Haw, of nine singles on Capitol, five made the Billboard listings, but none higher than no. 28.
When her contract ended, she signed with Mercury, and of three 45s, two entered the lower echelons of the charts. However, by the time her last single came out, LaWanda was leaving show business behind.
She married Bill Smith, Jr., moved to Albuquerque, and her life entered a new phase.
Credits & Sources
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