Stomp architect/musician/writer Michael Hurtt chronicled the prolific, inspiring and enduring career of the Detroit soul survivor in a 2009 Metro Times Feature.
The story of Melvin Davis is emblematic of Detroit. A working man in a working man’s town, he seized on his talent and passion to weave himself into the musical fabric of one of the most soulful cities in America. With his hands in everything that Motor City music had to offer, Davis’ unmistakable touch — though mostly unheralded in its time — endures today.
Davis spent three decades in Detroit working every aspect of the music business as a vocalist, musician, bandleader, studio man, writer, promoter and more -and worked with with a dizzying number of the regions finest musicians, labels and bands. Recently out of retirement, Davis will perform as part of the Motor City Soul Revue along with Dennis Coffey, Spyder Turner and The Velvelettes at the upcoming Detroit Breakdown.
Hurtt chronicles the origins of “I Won’t Be Your Fool” thusly…
Davis’ Fortune single, “Playboy,” began to pick up airplay, but when the Browns left the city for a three-week vacation, the promotion — and the record — died on the vine. The 45’s flipside, “I Won’t Be Your Fool” remains one of Davis’ most infectious recordings. Its stream-of-consciousness lovelorn lyrics are Davis at his finest, resigned-yet-passionate, sung by one whose experience transcends his youth. Superb backup vocals lock in with soulful guitar chords and an irresistible bass line, all driven by Butch Vaden’s explosive drumming.
Melvin Davis, I Won’t be Your Fool