Leland in Washington County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Tyrone Davis, one of America's most popular soul singers, was born on a plantation near Leland on May 4, 1938. Davis lived in Leland before moving to Chicago, where he began his career billed as "Tyrone the Wonder Boy." From 1969 to 1988 Davis had forty-three singles on the national rhythm & blues charts, including the No. 1 hits "Can I Change My Mind," "Turn Back the Hands of Time," and "Turning Point." His aunt and uncle once operated a cafe at this site.
Tyrone Davis’ appealing brand of romantic soul music was not blues in the traditional sense, but Davis was regarded by many as a significant figure in the blues world. He was especially popular with many of the same African American listeners who appreciated bluesmen such as Little Milton, Bobby Bland, and Albert King and he often starred with these and other blues artists in concerts and festivals. Davis' songs were also staples in the repertoires of countless blues bands in the Delta, Chicago, and across the country.
Davis' favorite singers included Bland, Brook Benton, Sam Cooke, and Little Willie John. He often sang gospel songs at home with his family and has been recalled carrying a guitar around Leland as a teenager and rehearsing by himself at Ruby's Nite Spot. The son of William Branch and Ora Davis, he was
Davis, Clayton, and Otis Clay have been among the many artists who proved that the Delta was a breeding ground not just for traditional blues artists but also for soul singers. Other Delta-born vocalists who achieved fame in soul music include Major Lance, Garland Green, Mamie "Galore" Davis, Ruby Andrews, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, J. Blackfoot, and Thelma Houston (all from Washington County), in addition to Sam Cooke, Betty Everett, Jerry Butler, James Carr, and others.
Erected 2012 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 152.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 24.409′ N, 90° 53.873′ W. Marker is in Leland, Mississippi, in Washington County. Marker is on North Main Street 0.1 miles north of 4th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 409 North Main Street, Leland MS 38756, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James “Son” Thomas (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Corner of 10 and 61 (about 400 feet away); Johnny Winter (about 600 feet away); Ruby's Nite Spot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birthplace of Kermit the Frog (approx. ¼ mile away); First Legal Liquor Store (approx. 8 miles away); Coleman High School (approx. 8.1 miles away); Nelson Street (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leland.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Tyrone Davis. (Submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Mississippi Writers and Musicians. (Submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 170 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Full clear photo of rear of marker. • Can you help?