Geater Davis was one of the South's great lost soul singers, an impassioned stylist whose voice was a combination of sweetness and sandpaper grit. Comparable to the blues-drenched likes of Johnnie Taylor or, especially, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Davis wound up even more of a cult artist than deep soul peers like James Carr or O.V. Wright, having recorded mostly for small local labels during his prime. Davis was born in Kountze, TX, in 1946 and did the vast majority of his recording during the first half of the '70s, often writing or co-writing his own material and occasionally producing or playing guitar as well. He cut an album, Sweet Woman's Love, for the House of Orange label in 1971, and his cover of Jerry Butler & the Impressions' "For Your Precious Love" later became a favorite among British soul collectors. He went on to release singles for Luna ("I Don't Worry (About Jody)") and Ace ("Strange Situation," "Tired of Busting My Brain") before a longer spell with 77, where his output included "Long Cold Winter," "I'm Gonna Change" (recorded at Muscle Shoals), "I've Got to Pay the Price," and "Your Heart Is So Cold," among others. Unfortunately, Davis' records never sold very well, even in spite of heavy touring on the blues and chitlin circuits. He died of a heart attack on September 29, 1984; he was only 38 years old. In 1998, West Side released Sadder Shades of Blue: The Southern Soul Sessions 1971-76, a compilation covering most of the labels for which he recorded (except House of Orange).
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