I really can’t get enough of those West Coast soul/blues singers who made such wonderful music from the late 50s through to the early 70s. But this whole flourishing scene needs a chronicler and I’m hoping that somebody much better qualified than I am will provide a comprehensive overview of this unique genre.
In the meantime I’ll plough on recommending the occasional artist or two like Garlon Davis, a guy who made a small number of class singles which seem to have been completely forgotten. The pleading I’m Begging You shows Davis’ vocals to fine effect, flexibly gliding around the melody and featuring the odd falsetto excursion.
A True Confession is perhaps his most soulful performance, a gentle, softly sung vocal egged on by a female chorus. This is a splendid blues ballad beautifully arranged by Zeke Strong whose band played behind so many of the best discs of this type – his very big horn section is always a treat to hear.
Davis may well have made other records which will turn up one day.
UPDATE ~ My friends Andy Aitchison and Greg Burgess have both suggested that the Texas 45 by Garland Davis:-
Betty Jo / I've got a girl on WILDCAT 001
wiith Spot Barnett's band which featured a young Doug Sahm on guitar, may well be the same singer. I agree - especially as the Vended 45 was issued under the name GARLAND DAVIS - so I've added this one to the discography.
NEW UPDATE ~ Winnie Freyer has been in touch with some new info on Mr Davis. She writes "Garlon Everett Davis born 1935-1007 Dale, Caldwell Co., TX died 2010-0916 San Antonio, TX. he was born Garland, later changed to Garlon." I'm very grateful to Winnie for taking the time and trouble to send this excellent info.
FURTHER UPDATE ~ I'm delighted to say that Garlon's son Mr Garlon DE Davis has been in touch and has very kindly sent the lovely picture of his father, now at the top of the page. I'm very grateful to him for it.