Original Wailing Soul Davis dies
Norman Davis, an original member of The Wailing Souls, died on November 8 in Florida.
His wife of 52 years, Dorothy, told the Jamaica Observer’s Splash that the singer passed away at age 79 at the Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven.
She did not give a cause of death, but said her husband had been ill for some time.
Along with fellow Trench Town natives, Winston “Pipe” Matthews, Lloyd “Bread” McDonald, and Oswald Downer, Davis was a member of The Wailing Souls which formed in that Kingston community in 1968.
Previously, he was a member of The Tennors, with whom he scored a hit song with Pressure And Slide.
In an interview with Splash, McDonald said Davis sang background vocals on Trench Town Rock, a 1971 song that became one of the biggest hits for The Wailers, which at the time included Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston.
The quartet did several songs for The Wailers’ Tuff Gong label, including Harbour Shark, before moving to Studio One where they recorded a number of songs including Gold Digger, Row Fisherman Row, and Mister Fire Coal Man. Although those songs were well-received, Davis and Downer left the group and were replaced by Garth Dennis and Buddy Haye.
Matthews, McDonald, Dennis, and Haye recorded several hit songs at Channel One during the mid and late 1960s, such as Jah Jah Give us Life, Things And Time, War, and Bredda Gravilicious.
Davis never recorded after leaving The Souls, working as a caretaker for six years at Ardenne High School and briefly aboard a ship before settling in the Cayman Islands.
For the last 13 years, he lived in Florida.
Norman Davis is survived by eight children, many grandchildren, and eight great-