Tyrone Davis — “She’s Looking Good”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — April 28, 2023


808) Tyrone Davis — “She’s Looking Good”

This song was co-written and released by Rodger Collins in ’67 and reached #101 (#44 R&B). Wilson Pickett then had a #15 hit with it (#7 R&B). But to me, Tyrone Davis made the definitive, most propulsive version. Kildare John calls it “a sort of Stax gone so far into overdrive it might take weeks to find it again on the radars – it’s an area Davis laps up like a cat who found the dairy at 4am before the milk trucks arrive.” (https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/tyrone-davis/can-i-change-my-mind.p/) “I’m gonna steal your daughter!”

Brett J. Bonner tells us that:

Tyrone Davis possessed one of the great voices of the classic soul era. Davis presented himself as a wounded romantic whose vulnerability and lack of overt machismo made his a fan favorite among women. . . . In 1961 he landed a job as Freddie King’s valet and was struck by the desire to be an entertainer himself. He began sitting in with groups at various clubs around [Chicago] and was soon being mentored by vocalist Harold Burrage. Burrage helped arrange Davis’ first recording session at Willie Barney’s Four Brothers label, where he was billed as “Tyrone [The Wonder Boy].” In 1968 Davis was singing at a club when Brunswick Records’ Otis Leaville heard him. Leaville suggested he come to their offices and meet influential producer Carl Davis. Davis had produced Jackie Wilson, Gene Chandler, the Chi-Lites and many other hit groups for Brunswick and was always looking for new talent. But Carl was not impressed with Tyrone and told him so. Fortuitously, house songwriter Floyd Smith heard something in him that piqued his interest. Smith secretly recorded Davis singing his song A Woman Needs to Be Loved. Carl Davis was furious and said the song was promised to Jackie Wilson—end of discussion. But Smith was also Carl’s limo driver, and that evening when he drove his boss home he sneaked the tape into his house and put it on while Carl was upstairs. Suddenly the producer burst into the room asking who was singing the song. Carl . . . . agreed to record Tyrone but insisted that he couldn’t put it out on Brunswick for eight to nine months. However, he did have a small label of his own, Dakar Records, through which he could release the recording. Tyrone acquiesced and the single was released but didn’t catch fire. By chance, Houston DJ Wild Child began playing the B-side Can I Change My Mind and to everyone’s surprise is was a smash hit that reached No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart in late 1968. Davis and Davis followed with 23 chart hits over the next decade . . . .


Steve Huey:

The king of romantic Chicago soul, Tyrone Davis’ warm, aching vulnerability and stylish class made him especially popular with female soul fans during a lengthy hitmaking run that lasted throughout the 1970s. Davis was a versatile baritone singer who could handle everything from pop-soul to funk to bluesy chitlin-circuit R&B, but smooth soul was his true bread and butter. Once Davis broke through in the late ’60s, he never really stopped recording; although the R&B chart hits dried up by the early ’80s, he was still going strong into the new millennium, decades after his first single was released. Tyrone Davis . . . moved to Chicago in 1959 . . . . He befriended the likes of Bobby “Bluye” Bland, Little Milton, and Otis Clay, among others, and began to pursue his own singing career in the clubs on the city’s West and South Sides. Singer/pianist Harold Burrage took Davis under his wing and helped him refine his craft, and the budding blues shouter got his first shot in 1965 on the Four Brothers label. . . . He found a home at Carl Davis’ new label Dakar in 1968, when a Texas DJ flipped his first release over and started playing the B-side, “Can I Change My Mind.” Showcasing Davis’ lovelorn pleading to best effect, the song went all the way to number one on the R&B charts, and reached the pop Top Five as well. Teamed with producer/arranger Willie Henderson, who’d masterminded “Can I Change My Mind,” Davis capitalized on his breakthrough with a string of orchestrated hits that emphasized his new, smoother style, and helped point the way for Chicago soul into a new decade.


Here is Rodger Collins:

Here is Wilson Pickett:

And here is P.J. Proby! —

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: