Tyrone Davis Dead at 66

Chicago soul singer topped Seventies R&B charts

February 10, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Chicago soul singer Tyrone Davis, who scored the late Sixties/early Seventies hits "Turn Back the Hands of Time" and "Can I Change My Mind," died yesterday at the age of sixty-six. Davis had been in a care facility since suffering a stroke in early September.

The baritone was born in Mississippi in 1938, and he moved to Chicago in 1959, where he found work as a valet for bluesman Freddie King. Eventually, Davis began singing in clubs on the city's West and South Sides, and by 1965 he had signed to the Four Brothers label.

Three years later, Davis moved to producer Carl Davis' Dakar Records and earned his first hit, "Can I Change My Mind," when a local DJ played the B-side of his Dakar debut. The song went to Number One on the R&B charts, and hit the pop Top Five. In the Seventies, he scored other R&B chart-toppers with "Turn Back the Hands of Time" and "Turning Point." Overall, Davis had forty-three songs on the R&B charts between 1968 and 1988.

In November, close friend and gospel singer Otis Clay organized a fundraiser for the ailing Davis at Chicago's Harold Washington Cultural Center, featuring Chicago soul and blues artists Buddy Guy, Jerry Butler and Koko Taylor.

Davis continued to release records through the Nineties, relentlessly touring the soul circuit. He is survived by his wife Ann and several children and grandchildren.

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