Carlene's favorite uncle, Don Davis, passed away on Monday, March 9 after suffering a stroke on Friday. He was the father of Carlene's cousin Lorrie Davis Bennett, having been married to her mother Anita Carter. Hearing the news, Carlene wrote: "I'm tore up. I hate this has to happen. As we get older, the people we learned from and leaned upon leave us here. I know Aunt Nita, Momma and Helen will be so happy to be with him."

    

Starting when he was just a teen, Mr. Davis became one of the youngest and most in-demand musicians in the early days of the Grand Ole Opry, playing steel guitar both on stage and over 3,000 records with everyone from Minnie Pearl to Hank Williams, then as music producer for Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and many others, plus arranger, publisher, and television host. In 1997 he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and released his memoir, Nashville Steeler: My Life in Country Music, in 2012.

 

Carlene wrote: "My Uncle Don Davis was the sweetest funniest man in the world. He always made us girls laugh and I loved every moment I spent with him. Incredibly talented musician and was successful in everything he put his hand to. An amazing father to Lorrie and Jay and to me he always had a smile and a loving hug no matter how old I was. I loved him dearly. He will be missed by us all who knew him. Even though death is a natural part of life it always hurts those left behind."

 

Photo courtesy of Lorrie

Comments

Jerome Cartier May 28, 2016 @11:59 am

I'm sorry that I never met Mr. Don Davis as he lived 4 doors down from me in Satsuma, Alabama. I was 13 or 14 and had no interest in country music at the time. I, myself, am a Christian Troubadour of the Old Hymns. God Bless Jerome Cartier JCARTIER.COM

Jim kelly May 14, 2015 @08:39 pm

Don Davis was the Renaissance Man of country music. Player, producer, arranger, publisher and TV host. The gig that I remember him from was in Nashville at the Tulane Hotel in May or June 1950 when he was on the steel accompanying the late, great Leon Payne singing You Still Have a Place in My Heart. He was just 21 then starting out on what would become a legendary career.

Bob Heinisch Jr. April 14, 2015 @10:00 am

Don will be missed tremendously. He was a great friend to me and my parents as neighbors in Gulf Shores. I learned much of my music by playing old Hank Williams songs on my guitar as a kid in the 60's. I then moved on to fiddle and mandolin. I met Don in the mid 80's and would spend time sitting with him on the beach, watching the sunsets and listening to the fascinating stories of Old Nashville. Over the last 3 decades I have heard so many stories and never the same one twice. He lived a fascinating life. He knew my interest in the life he lived and always gave me things such as news articles and cd's of his early recordings. For the last few years I respected that my annual visit with him may be our last time together. He was always upbeat and very funny. I was so proud that my new wife Patti had the opportunity to meet him on a few of our last visits. She too is a musician (banjo player) and adored Don. On our last visit with him he was pretty much confined to his favorite chair but still full of fun and jokes. He asked Serilda to go fetch a little something he wanted me to have. She came from the back room with a set of finger picks that Don had used years back in some of his studio recordings. He also signed my Nashville Steeler book. I will always cherish these things but most of all I cherish the good times of story telling and laughter we shared on the beach and in his home. His stories will live on. God Bless you Don Davis and thanks for being my friend. Bob Heinisch Jr. Huntsville, AL

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