Peggy Morgan, 89, a singer who performed in Philly, A.C.

Posted: March 21, 2014

PEGGY MORGAN had a big voice, easily projected over the crowds who came to see her at venues in Philadelphia and Atlantic City - appreciated by everybody.

Except her nephew.

Conrad Brown was a kid when his Aunt Peggy was at her prime. He called her "motormouth," explaining it was "because she was always talking and singing."

Maybe not appreciative as a child, Conrad became more fond of his aunt's talents when she would take him along to gigs.

"She was like my second mother," Conrad said. "She was very outgoing and very beautiful. She could really project her voice."

Margaret Amelia Morgan Spears, whose stage name was Peggy Morgan, a devoted churchwoman who sang with some of the well-known musicians and singers of her day, died Feb. 26 of complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was 89 and was living in the Brandywine Healthcare Center in Winter Haven, Fla., but had lived most of her life in Philadelphia and Elkins Park.

For a time, Peggy sang with a Philadelphia group called Eddie Winter's Rhythm Rockers.

Among the venues where she entertained were the Club Harlem in Atlantic City and the Chateau Club at 31st Street and Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia. She performed solo and with others at numerous clubs in Philadelphia and at South Jersey Shore points.

She sang mostly jazz and was given the name "Queen of Songs" by fans, her family said. She was a friend of jazz singer Nancy Wilson and Philadelphia's Patti LaBelle.

Peggy's career was interrupted for a time when she married Army Capt. Gilbert Spears, who convinced her to give up singing. After their divorce, she resumed her career.

She was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Kensington High School for Girls. Her spiritual life began in 1964, when she and her late mother, Edna Alberts Morgan, joined the Germantown Evangelical Church on Old York Road at Stenton Avenue.

Peggy studied the Bible at church, then taught Sunday school. She was a church secretary, served on the Usher Board and taught the Youth Fellowship. She also sang at the church.

"She was very loving and caring," her nephew said. "She would help anyone who needed her."

"Christ was the center of her life," her family said, "and she openly shared her love for him whenever, or with whomever, she came in contact with."

She is survived by nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Services: 11 a.m. Monday at the James L. Morse Funeral Home, 4000 Haverford Ave. Burial will be in White Chapel Gardens Memorial Park, Feasterville.

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