A TRIBUTE TO DON DAVIS
Don Davis (right) together with Johnnie Taylor
† On June the 5th 2014 we lost one of the most brilliant producers in our music, Mr. Don Davis.
He was also a prolific writer and a musician himself, and although we remember him best for such
smashes as Johnnie Taylorís Whoís Making Love and Disco Lady, big hits for the
Dramatics and the Dells and many, many others (see below), thereís a lot more to this
Grammy Award winner
† During his career he founded a few record companies (Daco, Groovesville, Tortoise International),
purchased the United Sound Recording Studio in Detroit in the early 70s and in the 80s became a
successful banker at First Independence Bank. Itís best to let the man tell in his own words
about his career in my
interview with Don Davis in 1995.
To the list of the artists that Don mentions in that interview, we must add at least
Darrell Banks, Mavis Staples, the Mad Lads, L.J. Reynolds and his sister Jeannie Reynolds
and still as late as in 2004, Destinyís Child.
I interviewed Mr. Davis many times Ė for my Dramatics, Dells, Fantastic Four stories etc. Ė
and he always came up with sharp answers and exact information... like a good banker should.
Above all Iím fascinated by the music he created. It has stood the test of time.
Donís trademark always was strong melodies with rich orchestration and outstanding vocalists.
His records were either funky, or full of emotion, dramatic and always impressive, never indifferent.
He was one of the biggest talents in old school soul music.
© Heikki Suosalo
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