Little Sammy Davis biography
Little Sammy Davis (born November 28, 1928) is an American blues musician based in New York's Hudson Valley. Although his musical career began in the 1940s, he was not widely known until the mid-1990s when he began working in radio, singing, playing live on tour, and recording studio albums. Early life and career Born in Winona, Mississippi and raised in a one-room shack, Davis learned to play the harmonica at the age of eight. He eventually left home and settled in Florida, where he continued to play the blues in the Miami area while working in orange groves and saw mills to make ends meet. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Davis traveled with medicine shows and played with blues musicians like Pine Top Perkins, and Ike Turner. He spent a total of nine years on the road with Earl Hooker, including with the short-lived band of Hooker and Albert King, and recorded four sides for Rockin' Records in 1952 and 1953 (as Little Sam Davis). In the late 1950s, Davis lived in Chicago, Illinois, performing with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed. He later married and settled in Poughkeepsie, New York, during which time he recorded a session for Trix Records that resulted in one "45" single. After the sudden death of his wife in 1970, Davis stopped playing and dropped out of the music scene for the next two decades. Capitalizing on this Imus fame, Little Sammy Davis and Midnight Slim toured radio and television stations around the United States. In 1996 Davis released his first full-length album, I Ain't Lyin, for Delmark Records. The record was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award and earned Davis a "comeback artist of the year award" from Living Blues magazine. Davis and Scribner released a second album, Ten Years and Forty Days, in 2000. During this time, Davis began collaborating with Levon Helm for performances at Helm's home in Woodstock and on tour with the Levon Helm Band. In October 2008, after recording his third album, Travelin' Man, Davis suffered a stroke. He recovered, and was able to resume performing the following Spring.