Walter Davis

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

1 March 1912, Grenada, Mississippi, USA, d. 22 October 1963, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Based in St. Louis for most of his life, Davis learned piano at an early age. Between 1930 and 1941 he made many records, mainly issued on the Bluebird label, establishing himself as one of the most popular blues artists of the era. At first he was accompanied by another pianist, Roosevelt Sykes, but from 1935 onwards he developed a very distinctive style based around his own straightforward, but instantly recognizable, piano playing, a melancholy vocal and thoughtful, well-developed lyrics. Many of these records featured accompanying guitarists such as ‘Big’ Joe Williams and Henry Townsend, the latter in particular demonstrating considerable musical empathy with Davis. After World War II, the Victor company released a further two records by Davis, but without recapturing his former commercial success. Nevertheless, in the late 40s he made several records for the...

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