The Davis Sisters (country duo)

The Davis Sisters were an American country music duo consisting of two unrelated singers, Skeeter Davis and Betty Jack Davis. One of the original female country groups, they are best known for their 1953 No. 1 country hit "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" and the duo's debut single "Jealous Love" on Fortune Records.

The Davis Sisters
Betty Jack (left, holding guitar) and Skeeter Davis
Betty Jack (left, holding guitar) and Skeeter Davis
Background information
OriginDry Ridge, Kentucky, United States
Years active1947–1956
LabelsRCA Records, Fortune Records
Past membersBetty Jack Davis
Skeeter Davis
Georgia Davis

Rise to fame and success edit

The Davis Sisters were not related; Skeeter Davis was the stage name of Mary Frances Penick. She met Betty Jack Davis at Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Kentucky in 1947. They formed a close relationship as friends and musicians. Also sharing a career in the music business, singing and recording, they decided to perform as The Davis Sisters.

Fortune Records edit

The duo began appearing regularly on radio shows in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. They first started recording in Detroit at Fortune Records in 1952. The pair recorded "Jealous Love," (Fortune 170) a song written by Devora Brown, co-owner of the Fortune label. Two other singles followed in 1953: "Kaw-Liga / Sorrow And Pain" (Fortune 174) and "Heartbreak Ahead / Steel Wool" (Fortune 175).

RCA edit

In 1953, they landed a recording contract with RCA Records. While recording for RCA, the sessions were backed up by future country star and producer Chet Atkins. That same year, they released their first single, "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know". The mournful and heartbreaking song became a No. 1 country hit, as well as a top 20 pop hit. While their vocals invoked the sound of older Appalachian harmony duos such as the Blue Sky Boys and the Delmore Brothers, the Nashville Sound backing made the overall sound more in line with their more polished contemporaries the Louvin Brothers.

Tragedy and reformation edit

Shortly after the release of "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know", the Davis Sisters were in a car accident just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio on August 2, 1953, which killed Betty Jack instantly and seriously injured Skeeter.

Skeeter reformed the group with Betty Jack's older sister, Georgia. The new duo continued to perform and record until 1956, but failed to have another hit. "Georgia was a fine singer, but it just wasn't the same," Skeeter said in the liner notes to 1995's The Essential Skeeter Davis.[1]

Skeeter Davis went on to a successful solo career. Davis continued to perform frequently throughout much of the 1990s and into 2000. In 2001, she became incapacitated by the breast cancer that would claim her life. While Davis remained a member of the Grand Ole Opry until her death, she last appeared on the program in 2002. She died of breast cancer in a Nashville hospice, at the age of 72, on September 19, 2004.

Discography edit

Compilation albums edit

List of albums, showing relevant details
Title Album details

Singles edit

List of singles, with selected chart positions, and other relevant details
Title Year Peak chart

"Jealous Love" (with Roy Hall and His Cohutta Mountain Boys)[5][a] 1952 non-album singles
"I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" 1953 18 1
"Sorrow and Pain"[6][b]
"Takin' Time Out for Tears"[7] 1954
"Foggy Mountain Top"[8]
"Just Like Me"[9]
"The Christmas Boogie"[10]
"Everlovin' (A One Way Love)"[11]
"Fiddle Diddle Boogie"[12] 1955
"I've Closed the Door"[13]
"Baby Be Mine"[14]
"Don't Take Him for Granted"[15] 1956
"Lonely and Blue"[16]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Notes edit

  1. ^ Singles that were originally released on Fortune Records in 1954, but then re-released on the RCA Victor label.[4]
  2. ^ Singles that were originally released on Fortune Records in 1954, but then re-released on the RCA Victor label.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ The Essential Skeeter Davis, audio CD, liner notes by Colin Escott, March 1995.
  2. ^ "Memories (2x CD Liner Notes and Album Information)". Bear Family Records. 1993. BCD-15-722-BH.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2010. Record Research. p. 221. ISBN 978-0898201888.
  4. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  5. ^ ""Firecracker Stomp"/"Jealous Love" (7" vinyl single)". Four Star Records. October 1953. 45-170.
  6. ^ ""Sorrow and Pain"/"Kaw-Liga" (7" vinyl single)". Fortune Records. October 1953. 45-174.
  7. ^ ""Takin' Time Out for Tears"/"Gotta Git It A-Goin'" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. January 1954. 47-5607.
  8. ^ ""Foggy Mountain Top"/"You Weren't Ashamed to Kiss Me Last Night" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. September 1954. 47-5843.
  9. ^ ""Just Like Me"/"Show Me" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. April 1954. 47-5701.
  10. ^ ""The Christmas Boogie"/"Tomorrow I'll Cry" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. November 1954. 47-5906.
  11. ^ ""Everlovin' (A One Way Love)"/"Tomorrow's Just Another Day" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. December 1954. 47-5966.
  12. ^ ""Fiddle Diddle Boogie"/"Come Back to Me" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. April 1955. 47-6086.
  13. ^ ""I've Closed the Door"/"I'll Get Him Back" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. October 1955. 47-6187.
  14. ^ ""Baby Be Mine"/"It's the Girl Who Gets the Blame" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. October 1955. 47-6291.
  15. ^ ""Don't Take Him for Granted"/"Blues for Company" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. January 1956. 47-6409.
  16. ^ ""Lonely and Blue"/"Lying Brown Eyes" (7" vinyl single)". RCA Victor. April 1956. 47-6490.

External links edit