American record producer and music executive Carl Davis passed away at his home in Summerville, South Carolina, on August 9. He was 77.
The producer responsible for hit R&B records by Gene Chandler, The Chi-Lites and Curtis Mayfield died from pulmonary fibrosis, which is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in the lungs.
Davis was born in Chicago and is considered one of the main architects of Chicago soul. He was highly active during the 60s and 70s, producing hits such as Jackie Wilson‘s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and “Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites.
Whilst working for Brunswick Records, Davis started his own label, Dakar Records, which experienced success with artists like Tyron Davis. When Dakar folded in 1976, Davis formed Chi Sound Records, which continued to have success with Walter Jackson and Gene Chandler, whose single “Get Down” was a major hit in 1978.
Davis’ music is still being used today. The Chi-Lites’ hit “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)” was recently sampled by Beyonce for her song “Crazy In Love.” In Hip-Hop, groups such as the Beastie Boys, Reflection Eternal and 2 Live Crew have all sampled music produced by Davis.
Carl Davis paved the way for many Chicago legends of soul, leaving a major legacy in the music industry, particularly in the R&B and Hip-Hop scenes.