Born in Tchula, Mississippi, United States, Davenport moved from Mississippi to Chicago, Illinois, when he was 14. There he played with Arthur Spires, Snooky Pryor, and Homesick James, then worked with Bo Diddley, with whom he played harmonica on a 1955 Chess Records session. He led his own group in the 1960s while he worked during the day as a paint sprayer. In the 1980s he was the harmonica player for the Indiana group The Kinsey Report.
In July 1994, Wolf Records released the Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis album, Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 11, the tracks of which Davis had recorded in 1988 and 1989. The collection included Davenport on harmonica, and Kansas City Red playing the drums.
Davenport released his first album under his own name in 1992 and recorded a follow-up in 2002.
- "RIP Lester Davenport at bluesinthenorthwest.com". www.bluesinthenorthwest.com. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed October 2010
- "Allmusic ((( Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 11 - Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis )))".