RIP: JOHN DAVIS

(1932-October 9, 2017)

By Mary Katherine Alden

John Davis
John Davis with his wife Deanne.
I'm devastated to have to report the death at 6:30 this morning (October 9) of my friend of well over half a century, John Davis. For those who did not know John, he was one of the premier folk music radio show hosts in Southern California for nearly 60 years.

When I first moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1962, there were three great voices presenting folk music on the radio here: Les Claypool, Skip Weschner, and John Davis. To say that those three guys informed and educated my own later radio show hosting would be a vast understatement, and I was very fortunate that eventually all three honored me with their friendship. As the 1960s folk boom waned, Les and Skip's radio programs fell by the wayside, but John's seemed immortal. He hosted "Folk Music with John Davis" on KCBH, and later on KPFK, and then "Heartfelt Music" along with his wife Deanne Davis, also on KPFK, right up until sometime last year. He was a kind, funny and warm human being who was always generous with his musical knowledge.

Although he was gradually drifting away from us due to the early stages of dementia, his final illness, pneumonia, was sudden and unexpected. Deanne was kind enough to warn me a few days ago that the end was near, but there was no time for a goodbye visit. I last saw John, along with Deanne and their daughter Patti, at the memorial service for Rosalie Sorrels at CalTech in Pasadena last month. I will always treasure the memory of that final hug.

John’s memorial service will be Saturday, November 4th at 1:00pm at First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. In lieu of flowers, donations to World Vision’s Clean Water Project would be greatly appreciated. John’s ID/Pledge Number is D10002667. The address: World Vision, PO Box 70399, Tacoma, WA 98481-0399.