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Printable Biography

MARGRET ROADKNIGHT --- Australian Singer

A unique and passionate artist, renowned for her powerful vocals and wide-ranging roots-based repertoire with lyrics full of wit and wisdom, Margret RoadKnight survives and thrives outside the mainstream music scene with flair and soul.

Well over five decades into her career, she continues to tour extensively, singing rivetting if under-exposed songs, either acappella or with her guitar and African thumb piano, solo or with accompanying musicians, always interspersed with informative and amusing anecdotes, at venues ranging from house concerts to outdoor festivals (and yes, she still reprises her fondly remembered mid-'70s Australiana hit "Girls In Our Town").

"..as much as for her impressive voice and choice of songs, RoadKnight is delightful because she sheds so much fresh light on the nature of the world and it's people"   (Oakland Tribune, San Francisco)

This is Margret RoadKnight  
(yes, that is only one 'a' and a capital 'K')

and this is her BIOGRAPHY

Margret RoadKnight was born in Melbourne in July 1943, was based in Sydney for several decades, Brisbane for another, and currently lives in Lakes Entrance in regional Victoria.

2014 marks 51 years of professional singing and 41 years since her first record was released.

Margret made her singing debut at a Melbourne theatre in 1963. Since then she has performed solo, and collaborated with a plethora of local and overseas performers on jazz, blues, gospel, folk, comedy and social commentary songs in concert halls, cathedrals, clubs and campuses from Broome to Hobart, Beijing to Memphis, Paris to Auckland, Edinburgh to Tel Aviv, New York to Seoul, Amsterdam to Dublin, New Orleans to London, Vancouver to Nuku'alofa.
Major Australian Festivals that have featured Margret include:
Arts
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth
Folk
National, Port Fairy and Woodford
Rock
Sunbury, Myponga and Narara
Jazz 
National Conventions, Montsalvat and Gold Coast International
Blues
East Coast Byron Bay, Goulburn Australian and Bridgetown
Popular
Sydney, Moomba and Expo River Stage

Television viewers first saw her in 1965 with Leonard Teale and the Kingston Trio's Dave Guard. Since then she has made guest appearances (most recently Spicks & Specks) on numerous musical, variety and news shows, and she selected and sang topical songs for the weekly national current affairs program OPEN END (ABC TV)

There have been radio specials on Margret in Australia, Scotland, USA and Canada and for three years she was Australia's only national weekly broadcaster on African American gospel music (ABC Radio).

Margret has recorded ten solo albums and been featured on twenty nine others.
She's sung the theme song for two films (and was a 'Bartertown' extra in the Mel Gibson/Tina Turner movie "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome")

She has lectured on Folk, Black and Women's Music for adult students, and taught guitar, vocal techniques and song writing at tertiary institutes and prisons. For over a decade Margret worked with Musica Viva in Schools singing multicultural songs with her acappella group Girls In Your Town and presenting "Out Of Africa" with a multi-instrumental trio..
For ten years she conducted weekly singing sessions in Brisbane, and continues to run vocal workshops around the country.

Margret has sat on Arts Advisory Committees, been an Eisteddfod Adjudicator, an overseas correspondent on the gospel music scene, was the first singer added to the Montsalvat Jazz Festival Honour Roll, and Artist of the Year at the 1998 Port Fairy Folk Festival and recipient of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Folk Festival

She has presented 5 programs with the South Australian Theatre Company, was Musical Director of the touring Paul Robeson tribute theatre show, "DEEP BELLS RING". provided material for and performed in One Extra Company's "PEOPLE LIKE US", guested in the cabaret version of "BRAN NUE DAE" in Broome, co-produced "A Smile, a Strum and a Hand Up Your Bum" with the Sydney Puppet Theatre , performed in the Sydney Opera House season of "CINDERELLA ACAPPELLA", devised and toured the centenary celebrations "ROBESON KEEPS ROLLING ALONG" and "Malvina Reynolds: FROM WAY UP HERE", and her own musical biography "ADJUSTING THE REARVIEW MIRROR".

In the '80s her promotional partnership Honky Tonk Angels toured and presented overseas singers (Ellen McIlwaine, Holly Near, Tom Paxton, Frankie Armstrong, Mickey Newbury and Jeremy Taylor), booked artists for several venues, publicised theatre shows, introduced nationally the concept of sign-language interpretation at concerts and was the last entrepreneur to hire Sydney's grand Regent Theatre.

Margret first traveled overseas in 1974 (the first of ten trips to the USA) and more recently to West Africa in 1996 (both trips assisted by a music grant from the Australia Council). In 1999 and 2000 Margret returned to the USA to study and record Gospel with 2,000-voice massed choirs at the Gospel Music Workshop of America conventions in New Orleans.

As well as performing in England, Germany, Hong Kong, Tonga, Vanuatu and most recently, New Zealand, France, The Netherlands and Ireland,
Margret has represented Australia in:

Japan
 World Music and Dance Festival  2011


China
Australian Theatre People's Tour 1978
Canada
Down Under Festival - Toronto 1981
Scotland
Commonwealth Arts Festival 1986
Israel
Tel Aviv Embassy Concert 1986
South Korea
Promotion Australia 1992
USA
Houston International Festival 1988
World Trade Fair - Cincinnati 1988
International Memphis in May Festival 1985  
Louisiana World's Fair 1984  
Washington, D.C. Embassy Concert 1977  
New York Consulate Concert 1977  
Australian Peace Delegation to the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament - Member 1982

Overseas, her performances have included:
Acappella singing in African American churches
Playing African thumb piano at the first Heilala Festival - Tonga
Performing for the Shanghai Symphony
Hosting concerts at Folk Festivals - Canada
Touring New Zealand in a blues/rock band
                     and

Performing on London's South Bank in "VAUDEVILLAINS" with the Conway Brothers

Presenting her one-woman "LIVING IN THE LAND OF OZ" show at the Edinburgh Festival