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Reverend Gary Davis
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    (April 30, 1896-May 5, 1972)
    Born in Laurens, South Carolina
    Blues and gospel singer
    Played guitar, banjo and harmonica
    Also recorded as Blind Gary Davis
    Ordained as Baptist minister (1937)
    Songs include 'Cocaine Blues,' 'Candy Man,' 'You Gotta Move,' 'Baby, Let Me Follow You Down,' 'If I Had My Way,' 'Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,' 'The Angel's Message to Me' and 'Death Don't Have No Mercy'
    He would constantly change the details of his life in interviews, making writing a biography of him a bitch.
    Despite preferring to be considered a gospel artist, his best known songs are secular ones, like 'Cocaine Blues' (covered by Jackson Browne) and 'Baby, Let Me Follow You Down' (covered by Bob Dylan).
    A musician noted, 'Once, Buffy Ste. Marie was touring with Rev. Gary Davis, and the Reverend was spending the entire tour trying to feel her up. Pretending to fall out of the car -- whatever he could do.' (Similarly, another musician observed, 'For a blind man he could sure find a woman's parts real easy.')
    Despite being blind, he would sometimes settle disputes with concert promoters by whipping out a pistol and waving it around.
    He went blind as an infant.
    His finger-picking guitar style influenced Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen.
    He was rediscovered during the 60s folk revival and played the 1963 Newport Folk Festival.
    Even after becoming a successful recording artist, he continued to give $5 guitar lessons at his home, which would sometimes last all day and include dinner.

Credit: C. Fishel

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