from Grenada, MS
March 1, 1912 - October 22, 1963 (age 51)
While never a contemporary superstar or latter-day legend on a par with many of his peers, singer/pianist Walter Davis was among the most prolific blues performers to emerge from the pre-war St. Louis scene, cutting over 150 sides between 1930 and 1952. Born March 1, 1912 in Grenada, Mississippi, Davis' two-fisted piano style bore the heavy influence of Leroy Carr, although he was better known for his funereal vocal style. He first attracted attention upon relocating to St. Louis during the mid-'20s, and soon made the first of his many recordings for the Victor label. Despite its abundance, his work -- much of it recorded in conjunction with guitarist Henry Townsend -- was solid but unspectacular, eclipsed by the likes of associates including Roosevelt Sykes and Peetie Wheatstraw. Still, he enjoyed a fair amount of success before a stroke prompted him to move from music to the ministry during the early '50s. Davis was still preaching at the time of his death on October 22, 1963. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
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