Tyrone Davis

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Tyrone Davis
Davis, 1970.
Davis, 1970.
Background information
Birth nameTyrone D. Fettson or
Tyrone D. Branch
Also known asTD
Born(1937-10-03)October 3, 1937
Greenville, Mississippi, U.S.
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedFebruary 9, 2005(2005-02-09) (aged 67)
Hinsdale, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1968–2003

Tyrone Davis (born Tyrone D. Fettson[2] or Tyrone D. Branch, October 3, 1937 – February 9, 2005)[3] was an American blues and soul singer with a long list of hit records over more than 20 years. Davis had three number 1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart: "Can I Change My Mind" (1968), "Turn Back the Hands of Time" (1970), and "Turning Point" (1975).


Tyrone Fettson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, United States,[4] to Willie Branch and Ora Lee Jones. Some sources give his date of birth as May 4, 1938, but researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc state that his funeral notice gives the October 1937 date.[3]

He moved with his father to Saginaw, Michigan, before moving to Chicago in 1959. Working as a valet/chauffeur for blues singer Freddie King, he started singing in local clubs where he was discovered by record executive/musician Harold Burrage.[4] His early records for small record labels in the city, billed as "Tyrone the Wonder Boy",[5] failed to register.[4] Successful Chicago record producer Carl Davis signed him in 1968 to a new label, Dakar Records, that he was starting as part of a distribution deal with Atlantic, and suggested that Tyrone change his name, which he did by borrowing Carl's last name.[2]

His first release, "A Woman Needs to Be Loved" was flipped when the B-side started to get radio attention.[4] The song, "Can I Change My Mind" featured a change of vocal style for Davis with a softer, more pleading approach and tone.[4] The record shot up the listings and spent three weeks on the top of the Billboard R&B chart, while climbing to number 5 in the Hot 100. It sold over one million and received gold disc recognition.[6] His biggest hit came in early 1970 when "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" also reached number 1 in the R&B chart and went up to number 3 in the Hot 100 pop chart.[4] Written by Jack Daniels and Bonnie Thompson, this disc also sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America in May 1970.[6]

Davis released about 25 singles during his seven years with Dakar, most of them big R&B sellers produced by Willie Henderson. He finally returned to the top spot with "Turning Point" in 1975. Soon afterwards, Davis switched to the major Columbia record label and recorded seven albums over the next five years with producer Leo Graham and arranger James Mack who had collaborated with him for "Turning Point." Major hits with Columbia included "Give It Up" (number 2), "This I Swear" (number 6), and "In the Mood" (number 6).[7] Dubbed the "king of romantic Chicago soul" by MTV, Davis' perceived vulnerability and class endeared him to female soul fans through the 1970s.[8]

1982 brought a change of label to the newly established independent, Highrise and another major hit, "Are You Serious" (number 3 R&B, number 57 pop), again produced by Leo Graham, and written by L.V. Johnson.[9] When Highrise closed the following year, Davis switched to a tiny Los Angeles label, Ocean Front, which lacked promotional muscle to get behind arguably one of his best performances, "Let Me Be Your Pacifier." In 1991, Davis switched to Atlanta label, Ichiban Records, recording three albums including the song "Mom's Apple Pie." In 1994, Davis went to Bellmark/Life Records for one album. Davis' days as a major chart act were over, but he continued to be a popular live attraction and finally signed in 1996 with Malaco Records, the southern-based blues label recording him on a number of albums. He also performed on a PBS special on 1970s soul music in 2004, singing "Turn Back the Hands of Time."

A stroke in September 2004 ended his career and, following complications, he died in a Chicago hospital on February 9, 2005, at the age of 67.[10]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Record label

1969 Can I Change My Mind 146 12 Dakar
1970 Turn Back the Hands of Time 90 9
1972 I Had It All the Time 182 42
1973 Without You in My Life 174 24
It's All in the Game 28
1974 Home Wrecker 55
1976 Turning Point! 10
Love and Touch 89 12 Columbia
1977 Let's Be Closer Together 17
1978 I Can't Go On This Way 18
1979 In the Mood with Tyrone Davis 115 9
Can't You Tell It's Me 40
1980 I Just Can't Keep on Going 39
1981 Everything in Place
1982 Tyrone Davis 137 10 Highrise
1983 Something Good 46 Ocean-Front
1985 Sexy Thing Future
1987 Man of Stone
1988 Flashin' Back 37
1990 Come on Over
1991 I'll Always Love You 39 Ichiban
1992 Something's Mighty Wrong 53
1994 You Stay on My Mind
1994 For the Good Times 88 Life
1996 Simply 85 Malaco
1997 Pleasing You
1999 Call Tyrone 85
2000 Relaxin' with Tyrone 92
2002 Love Line
2003 Come to Daddy 94 Future
"—" denotes that the album failed to chart


Year Single Chart Positions Record label
US Pop

1968 "Can I Change My Mind" 5 1 Dakar
1969 "Is It Something You've Got" 34 5
1970 "Turn Back the Hands of Time" 3 1
"I'll Be Right Here" 53 8
"Let Me Back In" 58 12
1971 "Could I Forget You" 60 10
"One-Way Ticket" 75 18
"You Keep Me Holding On" 94 15
1972 "I Had It All the Time" 61 5
"Was I Just a Fool" 26
"If You Had a Change in Mind" 107 28
1973 "Without You in My Life" 64 5
"There It Is" 32 9
"Wrapped Up in Your Warm and Tender Love" 19
1974 "I Wish It Was Me" 57 11
"What Goes Up (Must Come Down)" 89 11
"Happiness Is Being with You" 27
"I Can't Make It Without You" 38
1975 "Homewreckers" 36
"A Woman Needs to Be Loved" 38
"Turning Point" 1
1976 "So Good (To Be Home with You)" 9
"Give It Up (Turn It Loose)" 38 2 Columbia
"Ever Lovin' Girl" 39 Dakar
1977 "Close to You" 33 Columbia
"This I Swear" 102 6
"All You Got" 32
1978 "Get On Up (Disco)" 102 12
"Can't Help But Say" 65
1979 "In the Mood" 6
"Ain't Nothing I Can Do" 72
"Be with Me" 37
1980 "Can't You Tell It's Me" 58
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" 36
1981 "Just My Luck" 62
1982 "Are You Serious" 57 3 Highrise
1983 "A Little Bit of Loving (Goes a Long Way)" 49
"I Found Myself When I Lost You" 38 Ocean Front
1984 "Let Me Be Your Pacifier" 33
1987 "I'm in Love Again" 84 Future
1988 "Do You Feel It" 54
"It's a Miracle" 32
"Flashin' Back" 61
"—" denotes that the single failed to chart


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b Davis, Sr., Carl H. (2009). The Man Behind the Music. Matteson, Illinois: Life to Legacy, LLC. p. 94. ISBN 9780983131724.
  3. ^ a b Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. pp. 202, 451. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 646. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  5. ^ Pruter, Robert (2005). "Obituary: Tyrone Davis". Juke Blues. No. 58. p. 66.
  6. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  7. ^ a b c "Tyrone Davis - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  8. ^ "About Tyrone Davis". MTV. Archived from the original on November 22, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Wynn, Ron. "L.V. Johnson". AllMusic. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  10. ^ "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2005 - January to June". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 178. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 105.

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