Little Sammy Davis

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Blues harmonica player who debuted in the ‘50s and didn’t record again until the ‘90s.
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I Ain't Lyin'
No, he never hung out with the Rat Pack on the martini-stained Vegas strip, and it's highly doubtful that he honors requests for "The Candy Man." This Little Sammy Davis is a veteran harp blower with a discography dating back to 1952 and a fine '90s debut album on Delmark, I Ain't Lyin'. Where's he been all these years? Poughkeepsie, NY, of course.

Davis learned his way around a harmonica at age eight. He eventually exited Mississippi for Florida, where he worked in the orange groves and met immaculate guitarist Earl Hooker. Davis cut four sides in 1952 for Henry Stone's Rockin' label in Miami as Little Sam Davis (with Hooker providing classy accompaniment) that comprised the bulk of his discography until many years later. He visited Chicago in 1953, hanging out with harp genius Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, and Muddy Waters. But Davis rambled on, eventually settling in Poughkeepsie.

Other than a 45 for Pete Lowry's Trix logo, things were pretty quiet for the hero until 1995, when he joined forces with guitarist Fred Scribner and got back into playing. He became a favorite guest of popular New York morning radio personality Don Imus, had his own band and an album on the shelves, and hopefully, nobody mistook him for another diminutively proportioned entertainer by the same name.