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Much has been written about East Texas Music and its wonderful blend of Country, Blues, Cajun & Swamp Pop, due in large part to the proximity of South Louisiana. One name pops up all of the time when the topic is discussed - that of the late Link Davis. Born near Dallas on July 8th, 1914, Link became some kind of musical prodigy, being equally deft on fiddle, harmonica & saxophone. He would later be dubbed 'The Man With The Buzzing Sax' ! His first recordings date back to before the second World War when he joined The Crystal Springs Ramblers, a band more or less put together by Papa Sam Cunningham in order to replace the legendary Milton Brown & His Brownies in his Fort Worth dance hall. The year was 1937 ! Link went on to play & record with other Texas outfits of high quality such as The Blue Bonnet Playboys (along with Lee Bell) and Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers before going solo for good.
His stuff on Okeh, Sarg and then Starday ranks among his best. 'Sixteen Chicks', 'Grasshopper Rock' and 'Trucker From Tennessee' are all revered Rockabilly classics. During this period, Link was much in demand as a session musician and he played on records by Glenn Barber, George Jones, The Big Bopper and Johnny Preston to name but a few.
The Cajun influence never left him and he wrote many jewels of the genre - like 'Big Mamou'. He also seemed totally addicted to... 'Rice & Gravy', judging from the number of times he recorded the tune !
In the 60's, Link was backed up many times by Sonny Fisher's lead guitarist, Joey Long, and his own talented son, Link Davis, Jr. He just about never recorded outside of Texas.
Confined to a wheelchair near the end of the sixties, he died in 1972, leaving behind a musical legacy which has never been fully compiled.. until now ! Drawing upon Ray Topping's pioneering work in 'New Kommotion' #21 in 1979 and with considerable help from Bruce Bastin, Clyde Brewer, Andrew Brown, Kevin Coffey & Marc Savoy, my friend, Pierre Monnery, has come up with what must be the first complete Link Davis discography.
I'm grateful that he chose the Big V Jamboree web site to share it with the world.
Click the link below to access it & make sure to send in all additions & corrections.

© Paul Vidal * Privas, France * May 2008 - May 2014

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