EP 67: Melvin Lee Davis of Output/Input

EP 67: Melvin Lee Davis of Output/Input

Neil Clark
01:00:33
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About this episode

What a sheer delight to have this talented artist on my show. He is down to earth and shares his life story with me on New Starz as well as his talented music and songs with artists that he has performed on those tracks. 


A special thank you goes out to Diane of Entertainment Bureau for her support in making this interview happen.


As a Southern Californian native Melvin Lee Davis began playing music, ‘the moment he came out of the womb’, and felt he was destined to be a musician. Influenced by his surroundings, where music was constantly present, Davis began playing the violin aged four. By the time he was six, he had switched over to the saxophone.


Like many successful musicians, Davis went on to play in the band at his church. When Davis was 16, a horn player from Buddy Miles’s band saw him play at a local club, and recommended him to Miles for an audition. Miles flew Davis out to New York for the audition and hired him on the spot for his touring band. Davis was introduced to Soul Train’s Don Cornelius through Ron “Have Mercy” Kersey, a staff producer at A&M Records. That led to him working as a staff bassist for Cornelius in 1978. Cornelius introduced Davis to a number of the top recording 


artists. As a result, Davis began writing music and performing with R&B singer O’Bryan from 1980 to 1987 through a record deal put in place by Cornelius, which included Davis writing the theme song, ‘Soul Train’s A Comin’ for Cornelius’ weekly television show, Soul Train.


Like many successful musicians, Davis went on to play in the band at his church. When Davis was 16, a horn player from Buddy Miles’s band saw him play at a local club, and recommended him to Miles for an audition. Miles flew Davis out to New York for the audition and hired him on the spot for his touring band. Davis was introduced to Soul Train’s Don Cornelius through Ron “Have Mercy” Kersey, a staff producer at A&M Records. That led to him working as a staff bassist for Cornelius in 1978. Cornelius introduced Davis to a number of the top recording artists. As a result, Davis began writing music and performing with R&B singer O’Bryan from 1980 to 1987 through a record deal put in place by Cornelius, which included Davis writing the theme song, ‘Soul Train’s A Comin’ for Cornelius’ weekly television show, Soul Train.


Davis has also played on a number of Will Downing’s releases, including Euphoria (2014), Black Pearls (2016), and Soul Survivor (2017). He has served as Chaka Khan’s Musical Director at various times throughout his career; most recently, during her European Night of the Proms (2015) and Art On Ice (2016) tours. Davis performed at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards (2013) and was a member of the Pre-Telecast Grammy Awards band from 2008 to 2014. He has been a member of the Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards band since 2008.


Davis is also a founder of the band called Output Input where he teamed up with singer of the 80's Average White Band Hamish Stuart. Their song Soul Deep is sensational and is available for streaming


Hamish Stuart will also be appearing on my show in March, keep an eye out for that.


Explicit Permission has been given by Entertainment Bureau and Melvin Lee Davis to play the songs, music tracks and the interview. 



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