Classics: Tyrone Davis – Can I Change My Mind (Dakar)
Is it (just) me? Or could it be you too at the end? Now you tell me! Just have a listen to Tyrone Davis’ ‘Can I Change My Mind’ and let me know about your impressions. Do you feel like a familiar thing? Or is it just me at the end.
To be honest, I’ve always come to feel like the existence of a link between ‘Can I Change My Mind’ and The Jackson 5‘s ‘I Want You Back’. And more precisely regarding their instantly identifiable guitar riffs. Therefore wondering if and how ‘Can I Change My Mind’ didn’t come to influence the latter. I never found any confirmation of this as off now. But the question always comes back when listening to this timeless masterpiece.
Strangely enough, very few are those who sampled ‘Can I Change My Mind’ to date. But quite numerous are those who happened to cover it. Beginning with Jermaine Jackson among others. But also Blowfly althoug they retitled it ‘Baby Let Me Do It To You’ for the occasion. Meawnhile, another oddity is the fact that ‘Can I Change My Mind’ originally appeared as a B-side actually. And, to be more precise, the flipside of ‘A Woman Needs To Be Loved’ which happened to be his debut-single for Dakar Records. But with thanks to the huge radio support it generated, ‘Can I Change My Mind’ ended up selling over one million copies before naturally receiving a gold disc recognition
A native of Greenville, MS Tyrone Davis moved with his father to Saginaw, MI, before relocating to Chicago in 1959. There, he started working as a valet/chauffeur for Blues singer Freddie King. Meanwhile singin’ in local clubs where record exec Harold Burrage got him to release a few tracks for obscure labels in the city that ppretty much failed to register.
A one of a kind Soul singer, woith thanks to an instanly identfiable style, he ended up comin’ to the attention of Carl Davis who signed him to his newly launched Dakar Records label back in 1968. This being how, initially billed as Tyrone the Wonder Boy, he eventually borrowed Carl Davis‘ last name. Thus becoming Tyrone Davis.
Sitting on an impressive discography, he released no less than 25 singles during his seven year period with Dakar. With most of them produced by Willie Henderson. Beginning with ‘Can I Change My Mind’ which would become the first of his three #1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart. This with ‘Turn Back The Hands Of Time’ then ‘Turning Point’, respectively in 1970 and 1975.
Shortly after, Davis switched to Columbia. There, he recorded seven albums over the next five years. Joinin’ forces with producer Leo Graham and arranger James Mack who had collaborated with him on ‘Turning Point’. Meanwhile givin’ birth to a bunch of extra hits such as ‘Give It Up’, ‘This I Swear’ and ‘In The Mood’. This in addition to the infectious although sadly underrated ‘Get On Up’.
By 1982, Davis joined the then newly established Highrise Entertainment Co label. And eventually drop another major it by the likes of ‘Are You Serious’, also produced by Leo Graham. But it would be the last of of significant successes, with his days as a major chart act over from then on. And his 1985 album on Prelude pretty much sounding like a waste of time as a matter of fact! Even though he remained quite a successful live performer.
A severe stroke had him to put an end to his career in September 2004. And, following complications, he sadly died in a Chicago hospital on Feb. 09, 2005 at the age of 66.