Showing posts with label don davis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label don davis. Show all posts



Don Davis
Photo Credit: John Urbanek

Sad news tonight....Don "The Don" Davis perhaps the most successful business mogul in Detroit history passed away yesterday at 75.

DETROIT (June 6, 2014) – The Wilmore Agency regrets to announce the passing of Detroit native Mr. Don Davis after a brief illness on Thursday, June 5th.

Don Davis was CEO and chairman of First Independence Bank, Michigan’s only African-American owned and operated commercial bank, with multiple branches around the City of Detroit. A notably, successful endeavor, Mr. Davis led First Independence Bank with $204 million in assets (as of December 31, 2013), and was ranked as one of the top ranked African American owned bank in the United States, according to Black Enterprise Magazine.

Don Davis famous for his early work as a pioneering Motown session guitarist, then his historic work at United Sound Systems. He produced and/or played on numerous soul hits with the greatest soul artists of the 1960's and 1970s. Don left USS in Detroit and went to work at STAX in Memphis.He produced hits too numerous to list here...but you can see them on BlackRadioNetwork

Don was also a well known philanthropist, Davis partnered with the Lawrence P. Doss Scholarship Foundation to launch The Don Davis Composition Scholarship Award, which assists Detroit's underprivileged students in their educational goals.

Our friend John Neff who worked for Don back in the day has shared many stories about the amazing accomplishments of Don Davis... Read more here

Don passed away after a brief illness yesterday...and more details will be released soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don's lovely wife Kiko and his three wonderful children.




Don Davis had his hand in so many famous hit records that I would be here for a week trying to list them.. He worked with Motown but left (thankfully so..) and went on to a career that rivaled Berry Gordy's in every way. The difference, Don stayed under the radar. (can't even find any photos online of him). It would appear that Mr. Davis did not crave attention or fame. Smart man...

As a young guitarist Don Davis played on many of the earliest Motown sessions, including the hits "Money" and Mary Wells' "Bye Bye Baby." But Hitsville was only the beginning for the writer-producer..

Davis developed his craft with stints at seminal Detroit record labels Northern, Thelma, Golden World, Ric-Tic, Revilot and his own Groovesville imprint. In 1968 he was lured to Memphis to become head of production for Motown's primary soul music competitor, Stax Records.

Billboard magazine honored Davis as its 1976 producer of the year after his records with Johnnie Taylor ("Disco Lady," the first-ever platinum single) and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis ("You Don't Have to Be a Star") went to No. 1. Don won so many Grammy Awards...

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