Howard Davis

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As the name Howard Davis romps wildly through the corridors of music history, this Western swing drummer steps forward to bask in the light of his own certain nobility: he is, after all, the guy who played…
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As the name Howard Davis romps wildly through the corridors of music history, this Western swing drummer steps forward to bask in the light of his own certain nobility: he is, after all, the guy who played drums on the original recording of "Rag Mop" by Johnnie Lee Wills from the '40s. Davis' mighty credentials in this historic amalgam of country and jazz include membership in Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys when the band was carrying pairings of drummers as well as steel guitars and fiddles.

Recorded documentation of this outfit was sadly thin due to quotas imposed by the Second World War, but in both 1943 and 1944 the expanded group was able to both broadcast and record for the Armed Forces Transcription Network. These and studio works including the aforementioned sides with Johnnie Lee Wills have remained readily available not only on sets from the readings of both Johnnie Lee and Bob Wills but also on compilation studies of early rock & roll and its fascinating subgenres such as Tennessee jive. Davis' drumming sidekick was the legendary-sounding Monte Mountjoy.