Paul Davis (singer)

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Paul Davis
Birth namePaul Lavon Davis
Born(1948-04-21)April 21, 1948
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedApril 22, 2008(2008-04-22) (aged 60)
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
Genres Blue-eyed soul, country, pop rock, soft rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, piano
Years active1958–1988
Labels Bang, Arista
Associated acts

Paul Lavon Davis (April 21, 1948 – April 22, 2008) was an American singer and songwriter, best known for his radio hits and solo career which started worldwide in 1970. His career encompassed soul, country, and pop. His most successful songs are 1977's "I Go Crazy", a #7 pop hit which once held the record for the longest chart run on the Billboard Hot 100, and 1982's "'65 Love Affair", which at #6 is his highest-charting single. In the mid-1980s, he also had two country #1 hits as a guest vocalist on songs by Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as American folk music and blues.



Paul Davis was a member of a local group called the Six Soul Survivors around 1966 and later in another group called the Endless Chain. In 1968 he was a writer for Malaco Records, based in Jackson, Mississippi. Ilene Berns, widow of Bert Berns, signed Davis to Bang Records in 1969, and in 1970, released a cover version of The Jarmels' hit "A Little Bit of Soap", reaching #52 on the Billboard pop chart. His first album, A Little Bit of Paul Davis, was released in 1970. In 1974, he recorded his third album, Ride 'Em Cowboy, and the title track, his first top 40 single, peaked at #23 on January 18, 1975. (The same song became a Top 40 Country hit for Juice Newton in 1984.) Davis also reached #35 in September 1976 with "Superstar", a tribute song not related to any of the 1971 hits by that name.

Malaco Records

Malaco Records is an American independent record label based in Jackson, Mississippi that has been the home of various major blues and gospel acts, such as Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Z. Z. Hill, Denise LaSalle, Benny Latimore, Dorothy Moore, Little Milton, Shirley Brown, Tyrone Davis, Marvin Sease, and the Mississippi Mass Choir. It has received an historic marker issued by the Mississippi Blues Commission to commemorate its important place on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

Jackson, Mississippi Capital of Mississippi

Jackson, officially the City of Jackson, is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County, along with Raymond, Mississippi. The city of Jackson also includes around 3,000 acres comprising Jackson-Medgar Evers International Airport in Rankin County and a small portion of Madison County. The city's population was estimated to be 165,072 in 2017, a decline from 173,514 in 2010. The city sits on the Pearl River and is located in the greater Jackson Prairie region of Mississippi.

Ilene Berns was a record company director.

Davis had his first American Top 10 single with the ballad "I Go Crazy," which after 30 weeks on the Hot 100 peaked at #7 on March 18, 1978. "I Go Crazy" spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, which at the time set the record for most weeks on the chart. The follow-up, "Sweet Life", also did well, peaking at #17. On May 17, 1980, his gospel-tinged "Do Right" charted at #23, and American Top 40’s Casey Kasem noted the religious aspects of this song, along with other songs before it, on that day’s edition of the program. Davis was active on Bang Records when the label folded in the early 1980s. [1]

I Go Crazy (Paul Davis song) 1977 single by Paul Davis

"I Go Crazy" is a song written, composed, and recorded by American singer-songwriter Paul Davis. It was the first single he released from his 1977 album Singer of Songs: Teller of Tales, and his second-highest peaking pop hit, peaking at #7 on the Billboard chart in 1978. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on 27 August 1977 and began slowly climbing, peaking in March and April 1978, before dropping off the chart the week after 27 May 1978. Overall, it spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, setting what was then the record for the longest run on that chart, of consecutive weeks or not.

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

Sweet Life (Paul Davis song) 1978 single by Paul Davis

"Sweet Life" is a song written, composed, and recorded by American singer-songwriter Paul Davis. It was the third single he released from his 1977 album Singer of Songs: Teller of Tales, and his fourth-highest peaking pop hit, peaking at #17 on the Billboard chart in late 1978. On the Cash Box chart, the song spent three weeks at #15. The song also reached #15 in Canada.

After one more album on the Bang label, Davis signed with Arista Records in 1981 and scored two more hits, "Cool Night" (which in February 1982 reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart) and "'65 Love Affair" (a Top 10 hit on both charts). His Arista debut album spawned a third hit with a remake of "Love or Let Me Be Lonely". The single contained a third verse of music which was not included on the album version, and despite its Top 40 and AC success, had never been reissued on any CD release until Wounded Bird reissued the Best of Paul Davis compilation in 2011. Davis retired from making records for a time, except for two duets that went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The first was in 1986 with Marie Osmond singing "You're Still New to Me"; while the second, in 1988, was a collaboration with Tanya Tucker and Paul Overstreet singing "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love". Davis also wrote "Meet Me in Montana", which his friend Dan Seals and Osmond took to #1 on the Billboard country chart in 1985, and "Bop", a solo #1 country hit for Seals in early 1986. Davis recorded a duet with Marsha Morgan called "Looking for a Light" which was well received regionally in the southeast. Before his death on April 22, 2008 (one day after his 60th birthday), Davis had returned to singing and songwriting by recording two songs, "You Ain't Sweet Enough" and "Today". They have not been released.[ citation needed ] Through the years, Davis was heavily influenced by technology. He owned numerous synthesizers and spent a great majority of his spare time at his home composing music that he hoped would be used in future films. Additionally, Davis was very versatile with sampling and using the Synclavier and Fairlight CMI.[ citation needed ]

Arista Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment and previously handled by Bertelsmann Music Group. The label was founded in 1974 by Clive Davis, who formerly worked for Columbia Records. Until its demise in 2011, it was a major distributor and promoter of albums throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Today, the label's reissues and catalogue releases are handled by RCA Records and Legacy Recordings.

"Cool Night" is a song by Paul Davis released as a single in 1981, from the album of the same name. The single peaked at No. 11 on the U.S. pop chart and reached No. 2 on the adult contemporary chart in January 1982.

"'65 Love Affair" is a song performed by Paul Davis on his album Cool Night. Released in 1982, the song hit #6 for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1982. It spent 20 weeks on the chart, and on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 chart, it placed at #39, and on Cashbox's chart at #60.

Many of his songs, including his best known hits, are owned by Paul McCartney through his MPL Publishing company.

Paul McCartney English singer-songwriter and composer, bassist of The Beatles

Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the rock band the Beatles, widely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of popular music. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.

Personal life

Paul Davis survived a shooting in Nashville, Tennessee on July 29, 1986. He was leaving a hotel on Music Row with a female companion when an unidentified man walked up, demanded his wallet, and shot him in the abdomen. [2]

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.

Davis was an avid golfer. [3] Davis was also an avid billiards enthusiast. As a member of Music City Amateur Billiard Tour in Nashville, he was competitive in the late 1990s.[ citation needed ] His father was a preacher. [4]

Davis was once married to Pamela Gayle Jay Davis, who enjoyed a brief career with Bang Records/Web IV Music in Atlanta, GA where her husband Paul was writing and recording his songs. When their only son Jonathan was born, Pamela left her job in the music world to dedicate the following 38 years to his care, spending every day seeing to his special needs. Pamela died on March 20, 2017. [5]

Davis died of a heart attack at the Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi on April 22, 2008, a day after his 60th birthday. [6]


1970-1971: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha grand piano, RMI Electra, Farfisa Organ, Hammond B-3 organ, Moog synthesizer, EMS Synth

1972-1974: Minimoog, ARP 2500, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey Mark 1, Moog Opus 6, Hammond B-3 organ, Fender Rhodes, Yamaha grand piano, EMS VCS3 Synthi

1975-1976: Minimoog, ARP 2500, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey Mark 1, Korg MiniPops drum machine, Polymoog, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Solina, EMS VCS3 Synthi

1977-1979: Minimoog, Polymoog, Yamaha CS-80, Korg MiniPops drum machine, EMS VCS3, EMS Vocoder 2000, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, Yamaha grand piano, Hammond B-3 organ. (After 1978: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 & 10, Fairlight CMI, Fender Rhodes, Solina and ARP Rhodes Chroma synthesizer.)

1980-1982: Fairlight CMI, Oberheim 8-voice, OB-X, OB-8, Yamaha CS-80, Yamaha grand piano, Minimoog, Polymoog, Memorymoog, Moog Source, ARP 2600, EMS Vocoder 2000, NED (New England Digital) Synclavier, LINN (Roger Linn) drum machine, E-MU Emulator, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 & 10, Roland Jupiter 8, TR-808 drum machine, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ.



YearAlbumPeak chart positions
US US Country CAN
1970A Little Bit of Paul Davis
1972Paul Davis
1974Ride 'Em Cowboy14819
1976Southern Tracks & Fantasies
1977Singer of Songs: Teller of Tales8277
1980Paul Davis173
1981 Cool Night 52
1982The Best of Paul Davis
1993Very Best of Paul Davis -- I Go Crazy
1995Greatest Hits
1999Sweet Life: His Greatest Hit Singles
2008Super Hits
2011The Best of Paul Davis (expanded version of 1982 LP)
2015The Very Best of Paul Davis (Varese Sarabande compilation)

NOTE: All albums are available in CD format


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
1970"A Little Bit of Soap"52276016A Little Bit of Paul Davis
"I Just Wanna Keep It Together"51343847
"Can't You" [7] 118Single only
1973"Boogie Woogie Man"68Paul Davis
1974"Ride 'Em Cowboy"2344730649Ride 'Em Cowboy
1975"Keep Our Love Alive"90Single only
1976"Thinking of You"4531Southern Tracks & Fantasies
1977"I Go Crazy"725462Singer of Songs - Teller of Tales
1978"Darlin'" (with Susan Collins)5137
"Sweet Life"1778515
"Cry Just a Little"7836Paul Davis
1981"Do Right"23464
"Cool Night"1123478Cool Night
1982"'65 Love Affair"651171
"Love or Let Me Be Lonely"4011

Guest singles

YearSingleArtistPeak positionsAlbum
US CountryCAN Country
1987"You're Still New to Me" Marie Osmond 11 I Only Wanted You
1988"I Won't Take Less Than Your Love" Tanya Tucker
(with Paul Overstreet)
110 Love Me Like You Used To
"Sweet Life" (re-recording)Marie Osmond4755 All in Love

Soundtrack appearances

YearSongSoundtrackAdditional information
1984"(It Takes) Two to Tango" The Karate Kid -
1987"If We Can Get Through The Night" About Last Night... -

See also

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  1. Joel Whitburn Presents: The Billboard Hot 100 charts, The Seventies; Joel Whitburn's Top Pop singles: 1955-2010
  2. "Singer Paul Davis shot". The Gainesville Sun . July 31, 1986. p. 2A.
  3. Chris Brennaman (2008-04-22). "Remembering Paul Davis". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  4. Casey Kasem, "American Top 40", 21 January 1978
  5. "Pamela Gayle Jay Davis Obituary". The Meridian Star . Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  6. Livingston, Brian (April 23, 2008). "Recording star Paul Davis dies Tuesday at age 60". The Meridian Star .
  7. " Can't You " at Discogs