Blind John Davis

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Blind John Davis
Birth name John Henry Davis
Born (1913-12-07)December 7, 1913
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
Died October 12, 1985(1985-10-12) (aged 71)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Blues, jazz, boogie-woogie
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano, vocals
Years active 1933–85
Labels Vocalion, Disques Vogue, Riverside, Happy Bird, Christi, Oldie Blues, Sirens, L&R, Red Beans
Associated acts Johnny Lee's Music Masters

Blind John Davis (December 7, 1913 – October 12, 1985)[1] was an African-American blues, jazz and boogie-woogie pianist and singer.[2][3] He is best remembered for his recordings, including "A Little Every Day" and "Everybody's Boogie".[1]


Davis was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and relocated with his family to Chicago at the age of two.[4] Seven years later he had lost his sight. In his early years Davis backed Merline Johnson, and by his mid-twenties he was a well-known and reliable accompanying pianist. Between 1937 and 1942, he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Tampa Red, Red Nelson,[5] Merline Johnson, and others, playing on many recordings of that time. He also made several records of his own, singing in his lightweight voice.[2]

Having played in various recording sessions with Lonnie Johnson, Davis teamed up with him in the 1940s.[6] He recorded later on his own. His "No Mail Today" (1949) was a minor hit.[2] Most of Doctor Clayton's later recordings featured Davis on piano.[7]

He toured Europe with Broonzy in 1952, the first blues pianist to do so. In later years Davis toured and recorded frequently in Europe, where he enjoyed a higher profile than in his homeland.[4]

In 1955 Davis's Chicago house burned down. His wife died in the fire, and his collection of 1700 unique 78-rpm records, some of unissued recordings, was destroyed.[8]

Davis died in his adopted hometown of Chicago in October 1985, at the age of 71.


  • The Incomparable Blind John Davis (1974) – Oldie Blues OL 2803[9]
  • Alive "Live" and Well (1976) – Chrischaa
  • Heavy Timbre: Chicago Boogie Piano (1976, re-released in 2002) – Sirens Records
  • Stompin' on a Saturday Night (1978) – Alligator
  • You Better Cut That Out (1985) – Red Beans
  • Blind John Davis [Story of Blues] (1991) – Story of Blues
  • The Incomparable Blind John Davis (1997) – Oldie Blues OLCD 7003 (reissue of OL 2803)[10]
  • My Own Boogie (2002) – Past Perfect (UK)[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Dead Rock Stars Club (1980)". Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 105–06. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived June 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b O'Neal, Jim. "Blind John Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Red Nelson - 1935-1938 (Vinyl, LP)". Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  6. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 41. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  7. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 101–102. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  8. ^ Olderen, Martin van (1997). Liner notes, The Incomparable Blind John Davis, OLCD 7003.
  9. ^ "Oldies Blues discography". Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  10. ^ Steve Leggett (June 20, 1974). "The Incomparable Blind John Davis – Blind John Davis | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  11. ^ "Blind John Davis | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 

External links[edit]