Tyrone Davis

Tyrone Davis

Born:     May 4, 1938
Birthplace:   Greenville, MS
Died:   February 9, 2005
Zodiac Sign:  Taurus

Tyrone Davis 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).

Davis moved from Saginaw, Michigan 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. His early records for small record labels in the city, billed as "Tyrone the Wonder Boy", failed to register. 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.

His first release, "A Woman Needs To Be Loved" was flipped when the B-side started to get radio attention. The song, "Can I Change My Mind" featured a change of vocal style for Davis with a softer, more pleading approach and tone. 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. 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. 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.

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 6,1979). Dubbed the "king of romantic Chicago soul" by MTV, Davis' perceived vulnerability and class endeared him to female soul fans through the 1970s.

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 66. Source.