By Steve Houk, Host/Producer, Z-TV’s Living On Music
ALEXANDRIA, VA – For Daryl Davis, music is one of the two primary focuses of his life, at least after he eventually kicked it off as a junior in high school in Chicago in the late 60’s. As he went along, he took the combined vibes of the blues from his hometown, his love of rock and roll, his affection for R & B and other genres, and created a dazzling decades-long music career that has paired him up with the most heralded of legends, given him his own successful bands, and adorned him with respect and reverence, most often behind those glimmering keys.
But it was two stunningly remarkable events earlier in his life that would eventually alter what may have been “only” a stellar music career and transformed his life into something even more impactful: becoming an unexpected bridge of understanding between white supremacy and the Black experience. Davis appears as a special guest on Z-TV’s Living On Music live this Monday at 7pm, go to this link and click Get Reminder and you’ll get a ping on Monday evening: https://www.facebook.com/TheZebraPress/posts/3224080017630831
When he was 10 and the only Black Cub Scout in a parade, Davis was bombarded with rocks, cans and debris, finding out later much to his surprise that it was because of the color of his skin. And a few years later, after playing piano in a local bar, a white man told him he was the best Black man he’d ever heard play like Jerry Lee Lewis. Davis explained kindly to the man that Lewis had gotten his style and influence from Black blues piano and boogie woogie players.
Those two profound experiences, among others that would define his mission and purpose aside from just tickling the ivories, have evolved Daryl Davis into a powerful and often transforming presence in a place that always begets vitriol and violence. He has a well-received documentary out there made about him, Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race and America (see the trailer below) and see the full film on You Tube and Amazon Prime), a People Exclusive feature online that came out this week at https://tinyurl.com/y26e43wj and has made appearances on CNN and other prominent outlets. Davis would also write a book, “Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey In The Klu Klux Klan.” In his interactions with Klan members, he says he has convinced 200 Klansman to give up their robes.
Tune in this Monday at 7pm on Z-TV to hear Daryl’s story, first as a boy in Chicago schooling himself on music, through his musically focused graduation from Howard University, and then teaming up with the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Percy Sledge and many more to craft an excellent music career, while also becoming a renowned force in the understanding of racism in America.