Melvin Lincoln Davis was born on Aug. 29, 1942. His family moved northward to Detroit when he was 3, often returning to his grandparents’ 300-acre farm in Milledgeville, Ga. It was there where he first heard Little Richard. On the other side of the farm, out in the woods, was a juke joint called Shady Rest, Little Richard used to come and perform and Davis used to sit on his back porch and just listen to him scream and listen to the Upsetters play. It was way down through the woods, across this valley, but the music would come floating right across. That was his first experience with hearing live music, other than just one instrument like a piano: a whole band just playing this incredibly new music. It was an incredible atmosphere.
The intense prayer and inspired a cappella voices of his family’s Baptist church seeped into Davis’ young mind, as did the gospel groups at the Church potluck dinners that brought in acts such as the original Soul Stirrers, featuring Sam Cooke.
At the age of 17, Davis joined the Navy and in his spare time began teaching himself to play the piano and guitar and started writing songs. When he returned home to Detroit, it was music that moved him and so he pursued it. Drawing upon this well of creativity, Davis set out to write a song a day following his discharge. He waxed the soulfully punk-edged single “I Don’t Want You”/”About Love” for the local Jack Pot label.. Uniquely Detroit, it sounded like a garage band coming face-to-face with an R&B singer.
Davis never scored the crossover hit that would have made him a star, but few artists on Detroit's soul music scene had a more impressive résumé. a Singer, songwriter, drummer, and bandleader who worked with everyone from Smokey Robinson and David Ruffin to Wayne Kramer, Lyman Woodard and Dennis Coffey.
- Melvin Davis - Detroit Soul Ambassador CD, Digital (2010) Amazon iTunes Record Info
- Melvin Davis – His Greatest Recordings CD (2004) Record Info
- The Magic of Detroit Volume One (2007) Track- Find a Quiet Place iTunes