Billy             Davis

**Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

**Doo Wop Hall of Fame

**R & B Hall of Fame

3 Time Hall of Fame Inductee

Billy Davis is a trailblazing guitarist who grew up in Detroit, Michigan, a Southern 

transplant from Memphis, Tennessee. Raised in the 1950's Black Bottom neighborhood, he

started his first band Billy Davis & The Upsetters, at seventeen, which became Berry

Gordy's first in-house live band, pre-Motown. 

At age eighteen, Billy Davis joined HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS, as a Midnighter

, on guitar. He toured with Hank Ballard & The Midnighters from 1959 through 1965 and

acted as a right-hand-man for Hank. He also spent his free time hanging out Sam Cooke

during this period, and became very close to Sam Davis met the teenaged Jimi Hendrix in

1959, in Seattle while on tour with The Midnighters , becoming mentor to the ture legend,

teaching him what he knew about guitar. Also in 1959, Davis met B.B.King, one of his own

personal heroes, and they became friends for life. Davis was to meet and become friends

with many music legends. He is currently working on a project to showcase a vast personal

photograph collection, and the many fascinating stories that go with it.

After The Midnighter, Davis made this way to New York and became a sought-after studio

musician. He played with Jackie Wilson, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, among others,

on stage and in the studio. He played lead guitar on Jackie Wilson's recording of "Higher

and Higher".

When SAM and DAVE came around in the mid-1980's, they called and asked Davis to gather up a band and back them on a gig where James Brown was headlining, Brown an old friend for twenty plus years, gave Davis Hank Ballard's phone number and suggested he call Hank to reunite the band. Due to a call from Billy Davis, The Midnighters were on tour again, steadily throughout the 1980's. 

The Legendary Hank Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and

Davis, his main collaborator, has a statue of his own. In 2001, most of The Mdnighters along with Hank Ballard and of course Billy Davis, were among the first to be inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame, out of Boston. Billy Davis is also an R&B Hall of Fame Inductee.

Over the last decade, Davis has steadily performed in the Detroit area and back at his old Black Bottom neighborhood, at places such as the Raven Lounge, Detroit's oldest Blues club; at 'Sundays in D' on Gratiot Avenue; at Nancy Whiskey's; and even at outdoor jams.

He has an avant-guard guitar style that is difficult to categorize into just one style and package as a single thing; he is skilled in many different genres. He has written and performs many original songs, with groups and solo. He has an extensive songbook of well known and loved classics, perfected over many decades. Working with young musicians as

a mentor or tutor is a special joy for him.

At nearly 80 years of age, playing every day for himself, in a group or just sitting in on other's dates, Billy Davis is found around the Motor City, jamming on his electric guitar. His

current originals band is called 'Billy Davis Rhythm Machine. Davis is a hard-working guitarist, through the years associated with such well-known musical contemporaries as David Ruffin, Chubby Checker and Berry Gordy; with fans as famous as Bruce Willis, besides B.B. King, Hendrix, and many others. His playing is never rusty, is lways ahead of the curve, and has only gotten better, if that's possible. Davis is poised for another career breakthrough with a new solo recording in the blues genre, coming from the next generation of record labels, Jarrett Koral's Jett Plastic Records. 

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters albums

  • Singin' And Swingin (1959)

  • Mr. Rhythm And Blues (1960)

  • The One And Only (1960)

  • Dance Along (1961)

  • Spotlight On Hank Ballard (1961)

  • Hank Ballard Sings 24 Great Songs (1961)

  • Let's Go Again (1961)

  • The Twistin' Fools (1962)

  • Jumpin (1962)

  • The 1963 Sound Of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1963)

  • Those Lazy, Lazy Days (1963)

  • Volume 2 (1963)

  • Live at the Palais (1963)

  • 24 Hit Tunes (1963)

  • From Love To Tears (1963)

  • Hank Ballard & the Midnighters – Nothing But Good (1952–1962) (5-CD box set) (2009)

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters charted singles

  • "Teardrops on Your Letter / The Twist" (1959)

  • "Kansas City" (1959)

  • "The Coffee Grind" (1960)

  • "Finger Poppin' Time" (1960)

  • "The Twist" (reissue) (1960)

  • "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" (1960)

  • "The Hoochi Coochi Coo" (1961)

  • "Let's Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)" (1961)

  • "The Continental Walk" (1961)

  • "The Switch-a-Roo" (1961)

  • "The Float" (1961)

  • "Nothing but Good / Keep On Dancing" (1961)

  • "Do You Know How to Twist" (1962)

Solo recordings

  • "Spunky Onions / Goodbye Jesse" (1960)[29]

  • "Stanky (Get Funky) / I've Tried" (1969)[15]

  • "You Put Me in a Groove / As I Grow Old" (1969)[13]

  • "Blue Teardrops" (2004)[30]

  • "Coming for You" (2006)[31]

  • "Merry Christmas to the World" (2006)[32]

  • "It Ain't Easy" (2007)[33]

  • "Mr. Rock N Roll" (2009)[34]

  • "Blackballed" (2009)[21]

  • "I Remember" (2016)[20]

  •  Billy Davis (2017)[35]

Summer Madness - Kool & Gang
00:00 / 00:00

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