Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Are You Serious" by Tyrone Davis

Song#:  1292
Date:  12/25/1982
Debut:  88
Peak:  57
Weeks:  6
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Pop Bits:  This soul singer found success on the Dakar label in 1968 when his single "Can I Change My Mind" reached #1 at R&B and #5 pop. The gold record began a streak of R&B hits that continued throughout the 70s. Davis amassed thirteen R&B Top 10's including three #1's. His songs didn't do quite as well at pop, but he did grab another gold record with his biggest overall hit, 1970's #3 "Turn Back the Hands of Time" (#1 R&B). His streak cooled as the 80s started, but a move over to the Highrise label got him this hit. Featured on his self-titled album, the single reached #3 at R&B while almost getting to the halfway point at pop. It would be his final pop chart entry. Davis would continue to record and he would place a few more entries on the R&B chart, but this song would prove to be his last R&B Top 30 hit. He has long been considered one of the best singers of Chicago Soul. Davis died in 2005 following a stroke he suffered the previous year.

ReduxReview:  I wasn't sure about this one when it started. It sounded pretty old-school (which it kind of is), but Davis has a terrific voice and he takes this tune to the next level. The more I listen, the more I like this bedroom groove. The soul tune was probably a little too genre-specific for pop radio, but getting near the Top 50 was a pretty good showing. It should have done better though.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) His given name is Tyrone Fettson. Early in his career, he recorded singles for a few Chicago area labels prior to signing with Dakar. For those 45s, he was credited as "Tyrone the Wonder Boy." When he signed with Dakar, producer Carl Davis suggested Tyrone adopt his last name. The first single issued under the new Tyrone Davis name hit #1 at R&B.  2) Davis' younger sister, Jean Davis, had some minor success singing with the R&B band Facts of Life. They were produced by Millie Jackson and had a hit in 1977 with "Sometimes," which reached #3 at R&B and #31 pop. The song was a remake of Bill Anderson's 1975 #1 country hit.


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