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 Billy Davis

Billy Davis

Original Name Roquel
Birth
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death 2 Sep 2004 (aged 72)
New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 13134974 · View Source
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Songwriter, Record Producer, and Singer. He contributed to a number of soul hits and some of the most popular commercial jingles, mostly for Coca-Cola. Davis' career in music began with an early version of The Four Tops called "The Four Aims" which included his cousin the late Lawrence Payton. Davis sometimes sang with the group as the fifth Aim while they were affiliated with Chess Records (before Motown). Although Chess Records was more impressed Davis' writing skill than the group, his persistence convinced the record label to sign the group in 1956.In the late 1950s, he and collaborator Berry Gordy wrote a number of hit songs for another cousin Jackie Wilson. They penned the hits 'Reet Petite', 'To Be Loved', 'Lonely Teardrops', 'I'll Be Satisfied', 'I'm Wanderin', and 'That's Why I Love You So.' The most notable of these, "Lonely Teardrops", was written by Davis, Gordy, and Gordy's sister Gwen, who was Davis' girlfriend at the time. Davis and Gwen Gordy later founded the Anna record label, which was the distributor of the early singles from Berry Gordy's Tamla (later Motown) label.By the mid-1960s, Davis was in charge of the A&R and creative departments at Chess Records, supervising the in-house songwriters and producers. During this period, he wrote and produced for many artists, including The Dells, Billy Stewart, Jackie Ross, and Fontella Bass, whose 1965 "Rescue Me" was Davis' biggest hit. He also worked alongside the Dells and Little Milton and wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, The Supremes and Gladys Knight.Davis's success garnered him a position writing and producing jingles at the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, where he eventually rose to Senior Vice-President and Music Director. While at McCann-Erickson, Davis's primary client was The Coca-Cola Company, for which he wrote and produced the famous jingle "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)", used in a 1971 Coca-Cola television advertisement. He also wrote and produced other jingles such as "It's the Real Thing" and "Things Go Better With Coke" for Coca-Cola, and "If You've Got the Time" for Miller Beer.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: GoldBootGA
  • Added: 26 Jan 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13134974
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Billy Davis (11 Jul 1932–2 Sep 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13134974, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .