Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Carl Davis, architect of Chicago soul, dies

Carl Davis, the record producer who invented Chicago soul and who was one of the truly great record men, has died aged 77. He was the man behind some of the greatest soul hits of the sixties by the likes of Gene Chandler, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson and the Chi-Lites and a lot more besides. His first production success was Gene Chandler's Duke of Earl in 1962 and he followed this up with a version of Stand By Me by Cassius Clay, as he then was. A series of hits by Major Lance followed in the mid sixties.
Davis joined up with Nat Tarnopol - later accused of defrauding his artists - and became head of Brunswick records and its subsidiary Dakar. He revived the career of Jackie Wilson with a series of big hits, including Higher and Higher, Whispers and the Sweetest Feeling using Motown backing artists, and had huge success with Barbara Acklin (Love Makes A Woman), and the Artistics (I'm Gonna Miss You). He also had numerous hits with the Chi-Lites, Gene Chandler, the Dells, Young-Holt and Tyrone Davis, and he went on to own the label. Other acts signed to Brunswick at the time included Billy Butler, Hamilton Bohannon, Erma Franklin, Lavern Baker and Little Richard. When Brunswick/Dakar closed in 1974 Davis set up Chi-Sound records and had further success with Walter Jackson, Gene Chandler (Get Down), The Dells and the Impressions.


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