Jackie Davis

Jackie Davis, years before Jimmy Smith became synonymous with organ jazz, was the first person to promote jazz on the Hammond Organ. Capitol’s most prominent performer on the organ was Davis, at a time in which few mainstream labels would allow a black musician to be on an album cover. Davis once stated that music was his natural gift. His mother was a washtub player, so he learned how to play the bass by playing the piano at his grandmother. He was eight years old and already playing in a local dance group. He was ten years older than the rest of his band and later said that he had “eighteen godfathers” who kept their pedal extremities in my sensitive anatomy. Later, he described the experience as his greatest education in music and life. He was eleven years old when he had enough money from his music to buy his first piano. Music also enabled him to make his way through Florida.

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