Meridian Star

Local News

April 23, 2008

Recording star Paul Davis dies Tuesday at age 60

According to one of his closest friends, musician and songwriter Paul Davis was more comfortable at home in Meridian than he was in the spotlight shone upon him as a result of his many hits.

Davis, 60, of Meridian, died at 7:16 a.m. Tuesday at Rush Foundation Hospital from complications derived from a heart attack Monday — his birthday.

Art Matthews, a past owner of a local radio station, has known Davis for more than 33 years. During a phone interview Tuesday morning, Matthews said the memories of Davis were flooding in.

"He didn't set out to be famous and he didn't relish traveling and touring," said Matthews. "He was very much a homebody. A nocturnal person who enjoyed people and his music. He was every bit as normal as everyone else whose talent happened to be associated with a high profile industry."

Davis is best known for his radio hits and solo career, which started worldwide in 1970. His career encompasses soul, country and pop music. Although Davis had ultimately retired from the music industry, he was in the process of sitting down and writing more music at the time of his death. He had recently written and recorded two songs, "You Ain't Sweet Enough," and "Today."

Matthews thought "Today" was a departure for Davis in writing style and he related this to Davis last week when the two men last spoke.

"The song could've been a reflection back on his own life," Matthews said. "Although he didn't say it, that song could've very easily been about the question of our mortality."

Davis' first album, A Little Bit of Paul Davis, was released in 1970. in 1974 he recorded his third album, Ride 'Em Cowboy, which garnered a Top 40 position for the title track. The same song also became a hit for Juice Newton in 1984.

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