LA095 Interview: Frank Davis (LA095Abbott_Side1)
Side 1 and 2: Interview with Frank Davis on 1984-11-16. Abstract for Davis: [00:00-30:31] Frank Davis discusses The Osceola Five describing how they never walked out into the crowd and involved the audience but rather gave a highly dignified performance which contrasted with the style of other quartets at the time – 0:40. Davis and Abbott discuss several songs that were performed by the Heavenly Gates Gospel Singers – 6:44. Davis mentions the popularity of The Soproco Singers and the deep pride felt by many in the community for their success, including their WWL radio program during segregation – 8:12. Davis recalls that his group had no training or arranger and they all contributed equally – 10:27. Davis says that he admired other baritone singers, especially Leroy Lee and Edward Thomas and discusses other singers while looking at photos – 12:55. Davis and Abbott discuss Davis' time in the military service and a time during which Davis starred in a community theater production as a young man – 14:31. Davis describes participating in singing contests and battles. He says that he never agreed with the concept because singing was supposed to bring glory to God and to touch people's hearts, not to compete with other groups – 22:56. [00:00-16:54] On LA095Abbott_Side2 Davis continues speaking about quartet contests and the judging criteria used. He recalls his time as a student at Gilbert Academy, where he was a member of the male quartet and performed in operettas and musicals – 2:16. Davis also speaks about the choirs at Xavier University – 5:15. He then describes performing with a quartet while he was in the US Navy and touring throughout the South Pacific – 7:26. Davis says that the Heavenly Gates never toured outside of the New Orleans area because they all had day jobs – 10:20. Davis recalls many of the important phases of his musical career and that his start in Plaquemine, LA, singing at church with his sister was the catalyst that sparked his success – 14:00. The interview concludes with Abbott and Davis discussing Davis' recording with Fred Warring – 15:14.