Paul Davis Singer
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Paul Davis Singer
Paul Davis
Paul Lavon Davis
Born (1948-04-21)April 21, 1948
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
Died April 22, 2008(2008-04-22) (aged 60)
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
Genres Blue-eyed soul, country, pop rock, soft rock
Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, piano
1958-1988
Labels Bang, Arista

Paul Lavon Davis (April 21, 1948 - April 22, 2008) was an American singer and songwriter, best known for his radio hits and solo career which started worldwide in 1970. His career encompassed soul, country, and pop. Typically, the slower the tempo of a Davis record, the longer it took to reach its peak position. His most successful songs are 1977's "I Go Crazy", a #7 pop hit which once held the record for the longest chart run on the Billboard Hot 100, and 1982's "'65 Love Affair", which at #6 is his highest-charting single. In the mid-1980s, he also had two country #1 hits as a guest vocalist on songs by Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker.

Career

Paul Davis was a member of a local group called the Six Soul Survivors around 1966 and later in another group called the Endless Chain. In 1968 he was a writer for Malaco Records, based in Jackson, Mississippi. Ilene Berns, widow of Bert Berns, signed Davis to Bang Records in 1969, and in 1970, released a cover version of The Jarmels' hit "A Little Bit of Soap", reaching #52 on the Billboard pop chart. His first album, A Little Bit of Paul Davis, was released in 1970. In 1974, he recorded his third album, Ride 'Em Cowboy, and the title track, his first top 40 single, peaked at #23 on January 18, 1975. (The same song became a Top 40 Country hit for Juice Newton in 1984.) Davis also reached #35 in September 1976 with "Superstar", a tribute song not related to any of the 1971 hits by that name.

Davis had his first American Top 10 single with the ballad "I Go Crazy," which after 30 weeks on the Hot 100 peaked at #7 on March 18, 1978. "I Go Crazy" spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, which at the time set the record for most weeks on the chart. The follow-up, "Sweet Life", also did well, peaking at #17. He peaked at #23 with the gospel-tinged "Do Right" on May 17, 1980.[1] He was active on Bang Records when the label folded in the early 1980s.[2]

After one more album on the Bang label, Davis signed with Arista Records in 1981 and scored two more hits, "Cool Night" (which in February 1982 reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart) and "'65 Love Affair" (a Top 10 hit on both charts). His Arista debut album spawned a third hit with a remake of "Love or Let Me Be Lonely". The single contained a third verse of music which was not included on the album version, and despite its Top 40 and AC success, had never been reissued on any CD release until Wounded Bird reissued the Best of Paul Davis compilation in 2011. Davis retired from making records for a time, except for two duets that went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The first was in 1986 with Marie Osmond singing "You're Still New to Me"; while the second, in 1988, was a collaboration with Tanya Tucker and Paul Overstreet singing "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love". Davis also wrote "Meet Me in Montana", which his friend Dan Seals and Osmond took to #1 on the Billboard country chart in 1985, and "Bop", a solo #1 country hit for Seals in early 1986. Davis recorded a duet with Marsha Morgan called "Looking for a Light" which was well received regionally in the southeast. Before his death on April 22, 2008 (one day after his 60th birthday), Davis had returned to singing and songwriting by recording two songs, "You Ain't Sweet Enough" and "Today". They have not been released.[] Through the years, Davis was heavily influenced by technology. He owned numerous synthesizers and spent a great majority of his spare time at his home composing music that he hoped would be used in future films. Additionally, Davis was very versatile with sampling and using the Synclavier and Fairlight CMI.[]

Many of his songs, including his best known hits, are owned by Paul McCartney through his MPL Publishing company.

Personal life

Paul Davis survived a shooting in Nashville, Tennessee on July 29, 1986. He was leaving a hotel on Music Row with a female companion when an unidentified man walked up, demanded his wallet, and shot him in the abdomen.[3]

Davis was an avid golfer.[4] His father was a preacher.[5] Davis was also an avid billiards enthusiast. As a member of Music City Amateur Billiard Tour in Nashville, he was competitive in the late 1990s.[]

Davis was once married to Pamela Gayle Jay Davis, who enjoyed a brief career with Bang Records/Web IV Music in Atlanta, GA where her husband Paul was writing and recording his songs. When their only son Jonathan was born, Pamela left her job in the music world to dedicate the following 38 years to his care, spending every day seeing to his special needs. Pamela died on March 20, 2017.[6]

Davis died of a heart attack at the Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi on April 22, 2008, a day after his 60th birthday.[7]

Equipment

1970-71: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha grand piano, RMI Electra, Farfisa Organ, Hammond B-3 organ. Moog synthesizer, EMS Synth

1972-74: Minimoog, ARP 2500, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey Mark 1, Moog Opus 6, Hammond B-3 organ, Fender Rhodes, ARP Rhodes Chroma synthesizer, Yamaha grand piano, EMS VCS3 Synthi

1975-76: Minimoog, ARP 2500, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey MK 1, Korg MiniPops drum machine, Polymoog, Fender Rhodes electric piano, ARP Rhodes Chroma synthesizer, Solina, EMS VCS3 Synthi

1977-79: Minimoog, Polymoog, Yamaha CS-80, Korg MiniPops drum machine, EMS VCS3, EMS Vocoder 2000, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, Yamaha grand piano, Hammond B-3 organ. (After 1978: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 & 10, Fairlight CMI, Fender Rhodes, Solina and ARP Rhodes Chroma synthesizer.)

1980-1982: Fairlight CMI, Oberheim 8-voice, OB-X, OB-8, Yamaha CS-80, Yamaha grand piano, Minimoog, Polymoog, Memorymoog, Moog Source, ARP 2600, EMS Vocoder 2000, NED (New England Digital) Synclavier, LINN (Roger Linn) drum machine, E-MU Emulator, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 & 10, Roland Jupiter 8, TR-808 drum machine, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ.

Discography

Albums

Year Album Peak chart positions
US US Country CAN
1970 A Little Bit of Paul Davis -- -- --
1972 Paul Davis -- -- --
1974 Ride 'Em Cowboy 148 19 --
1976 Southern Tracks & Fantasies -- -- --
1977 Singer of Songs: Teller of Tales 82 -- 77
1980 Paul Davis 173 -- --
1981 Cool Night 52 -- --
1982 The Best of Paul Davis -- -- --
1993 Very Best of Paul Davis -- I Go Crazy -- -- --
1995 Greatest Hits -- -- --
1999 Sweet Life: His Greatest Hit Singles -- -- --
2008 Super Hits -- -- --
2011 The Best of Paul Davis (expanded version of 1982 LP) -- -- --
2015 The Very Best of Paul Davis (Varese Sarabande compilation) -- -- --

NOTE: All albums are available in CD format

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US AC US
Country
CA CA AC AU
1970 "A Little Bit of Soap" 52 27 -- 60 -- 16 A Little Bit of Paul Davis
"I Just Wanna Keep It Together" 51 34 -- 38 -- 47
"Can't You"[8] 118 -- -- -- -- -- Single only
1973 "Boogie Woogie Man" 68 -- -- -- -- -- Paul Davis
1974 "Ride 'Em Cowboy" 23 4 47 30 6 49 Ride 'Em Cowboy
1975 "Keep Our Love Alive" 90 -- -- -- -- -- Single only
1976 "Thinking of You" 45 31 -- -- -- -- Southern Tracks & Fantasies
"Superstar" 35 31 -- 53 -- --
1977 "I Go Crazy" 7 25 -- 4 -- 62 Singer of Songs - Teller of Tales
1978 "Darlin'" (with Susan Collins) 51 -- -- 37 -- --
"Sweet Life" 17 7 85 15 -- --
1980 "Do Right" 23 4 -- 64 -- -- Paul Davis
"Cry Just a Little" 78 36 -- -- -- --
1981 "Cool Night" 11 2 -- 34 -- 78 Cool Night
1982 "'65 Love Affair" 6 5 -- 11 -- 71
"Love or Let Me Be Lonely" 40 11 -- -- -- --

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1986 "You're Still New to Me" Marie Osmond 1 1 I Only Wanted You
1988 "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love" Tanya Tucker
(with Paul Overstreet)
1 10 Love Me Like You Used To
"Sweet Life" (re-recording) Marie Osmond 47 55 All in Love

Soundtrack appearances

Year Song Soundtrack Additional information
1984 "(It Takes) Two to Tango" The Karate Kid -
1986 "If We Can Get Through The Night" About Last Night... -

See also

References

  1. ^ On the 17 May 1980 edition of American Top 40, Casey Kasem noted the religious aspects of this song, along with other songs before it.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn Presents: The Billboard Hot 100 charts, The Seventies; Joel Whitburn's Top Pop singles: 1955-2010
  3. ^ "Singer Paul Davis shot". The Gainesville Sun. July 31, 1986. p. 2A. 
  4. ^ Chris Brennaman (2008-04-22). "Remembering Paul Davis". Wtok.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ Casey Kasem, "American Top 40", 21 January 1978
  6. ^ "Pamela Gayle Jay Davis Obituary". The Meridian Star. Retrieved 2018. 
  7. ^ Livingston, Brian (April 23, 2008). "Recording star Paul Davis dies Tuesday at age 60". The Meridian Star. 
  8. ^ "Can't You" at Discogs

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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