REVIEW POTPOURRI: Meyer Davis plays the Twist

Chubby Checker

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Meyer Davis plays the Twist

Cameo 1014, vinyl LP, recorded 1960.

Meyer Davis

Band leader, Meyer Davis (1895-1976) ran a multi-million dollar empire of dance music several decades for coming-out parties, and seasonal galas hosted by the folks living in West Palm Beach, Newport, the Bahamas, Houston’s River Oaks, Greenwich, Paris, and the Mediterranean Coast, and for whom money meant a rich full life to too many of them.

At 18, Davis had enrolled in law school while earning $90 a week leading a group of musicians at evening gatherings. His talent and business skills proved a better career choice than becoming a lawyer. His bands played at seven presidential inaugural balls right up to JFK, and they performed for the English nobility, including King George V.

This album of music for Cameo-Parkway – the same Philadelphia label that produced Chubby Checker’s original hit record, The Twist, – provided spiky, captivating renditions of that song, Mack the Knife, Rock Around the Clock, I Could Have Danced All Night and other selections. Davis utilized the most brilliant musicians, creating a record that mirrored high society get-togethers during the early 1960s very evocatively.

Hobbies included playing chamber music with his brother-in-law, the great conductor Pierre Monteux, and collecting first editions of Lord Byron’s books and other memorabilia with his wife.


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