George S. Davis

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George S. Davis
George Davis - photo.jpg
Historical photo of George S. Davis
Background information
Also known as The Singing Miner
Born 1904
Origin Hazard, Kentucky, United States
Died 1992 (aged 87–88)
London, Kentucky, United States
Genres Country
Occupations Disc jockey, singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, singing
Years active 1933–1992
Notable instruments
D28 Martin Guitar

George S. Davis (1904–1992), known as The Singing Miner, was an American folk singer and songwriter, who worked as a coal miner, and then as a disc jockey on local radio in Hazard, Kentucky from 1947 until 1969.

Career[edit]

Davis began his career about 1933, about the same time the United Mine Workers of America began organizing the coal mines in Eastern Kentucky.

Among the songs he wrote and sang were "White Shotgun," "Buggerman in the Bushes," "Coal Miner's Boogie," "When Kentucky Had No Union Men," and "Harlan County Blues." Although "Sixteen Tons", the song about the misery of coal mining, has generally been credited as being written in 1946 by country singer Merle Travis, who was the first to record it, Davis claimed that Travis based it on an earlier song of his called "Nine-to-ten tons", written in the 1930s. Davis' 1966 recording of his version of the song can be heard on the album George Davis: When Kentucky Had No Union Men.[1]

Death and legacy[edit]

Davis was 88 years old when he died in 1992 in London, Kentucky, United States. His D28 Martin Guitar that he played from 1947 until 1992 was displayed in the new studios of WKIC and WSGS on Main Street in Hazard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Folkways Records, FW02343, 1967

External links[edit]