||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2011)|
|Birth name||David Stewart|
|Born||July 1, 1921|
|Origin||Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Died||March 25, 2007(aged 85)|
Davis was the son of Scottish immigrant parents. As a youth he was a collector of cowboy songs and ballads. Davis began his radio career at 18, when his winning a talent contest earned him a regular program. It was at this time he adopted the stage-name Stu Davis. As his fame grew, he also began to be known as 'Canada's Cowboy Troubadour'.
Davis was popular across Canada as the star of numerous Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network radio and television series of the 1950s and 60s, including ‘Rope Around the Sun’, ‘Red River Jamboree’, and ‘Trail Riding Troubadour’. He was also heard on daily broadcasts on CBC radio through much of the 1950s.
He was also known in the United States for his early Sonora and RCA Victor recordings (late 1940s). As well, many of his more than 200 published songs were available in the U.S. from Bob Miller Publishers. In the late 40s and early 50s, he made several appearances on such American radio shows as the 'National Barn Dance' from Chicago and the 'Grand Ole Opry' in Nashville.
In a career that spanned more than 30 years, Davis recorded more than twenty albums for RCA Victor, London, and various other labels. Some of his later albums were released under the Richmond label in the U.S. and his most recent was a retrospective entitled 'Let's Go Back to the Country' produced in 1987 by Cattle Records of Germany and 'Canada's Cowboy Troubadour' (British Archives of Country Music 2008).
Davis also hosted programs for several private radio stations and regional networks across western Canada: CKCK and CKRM in Regina, CJCA and CFRN in Edmonton, CKXL, CFCN and CFAC in Calgary, and CKY in Winnipeg.
Through the years he shared stages with contemporary artists such as The Sons of the Pioneers, Wilf Carter, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, and Elton Britt. Davis was very encouraging to younger performers; he was especially fond of The Mercey Brothers, Jimmie Pirie, and Alfie Myhre, artists with whom he worked in the late 1950s and early 60s.
His songs were recorded by numerous singers, including Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow, Wilf Carter, and Ray Price. His most successful song was Eddy Arnold’s ‘What a Fool I Was’, which was the second biggest selling country recording of 1948, taking No. 2 billing only to Arnold’s 'Anytime'.
He spent the latter part of the 1960s performing from the CBC Edmonton studios. His last television series was produced here in 1967: 'Trail Riding Troubadour', an historical music/documentary filmed in colour on location across the Canadian prairies and British Columbia. His last television special was produced in 1970.
He was predeceased by his wife Evelyn in 1986. They were married 43 years and had two sons.
- Wills, Brian. '... meanwhile, back at the Lazy SD... ' CanComp, 42, Sep 1969
- Miller, N.D.. 'Let's Go Back To the Country', Cattle Records MonoLP112 (Liner Notes), 1987
- Foster, Don. 'The Stu Davis story... pioneer of Canadian country radio & TV,' CMN, vol 10, Jan 1990
- Thorne, Duncan. 'Life & Times', Edmonton Journal, Tuesday, March 27, 2007