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Stu Davis

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Biography

b. David Stewart, 1 July 1921, City Farm, near Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. After completing his education, Davis worked in an optical factory but in his spare time played guitar and wrote songs, eventually winning a local radio talent competition which gave him his own show. In the early 40s, he sang with his brother Fred on CKCK Regina until World War II ended their partnership. Davis served in the Royal Canadian Air Force until receiving a medical discharge in 1942, when he returned to radio work. In 1943, he married singer Evelyn Smith and in 1945, they relocated to Calgary where he had some involvement with the annual Calgary Stampede. He presented a network show on CFCN Calgary and appeared in Warner’sNorthwest Stampede. He recorded in New York for Sonora and in the late 40s, while touring in Canada and the USA, he maintained a daily-networked CBC show. In 1949, he also hosted his popularCountry Corral on CJCA Edmonton. Throughout the 50s, he maintained an hectic radio and touring schedule but he also became one of Canada’s first country pioneers of television. Several of his shows, including Rope Around The Sun, were watched by large audiences, whileThe Stu Davis Show ran for seven years on the CBC television network. In 1964, he began appearing on a weekly-televised network show with his sons Duane (b. 1944) and Derry (b. 1950). In 1967, he and Duane appeared in CBC’sCentennial Project, which celebrated Canada’s 100th year of confederation. They starred inTrail Riding Troubadour, the first colour televised series produced in Western Canada. The series was filmed at historic sites and told the story of Canada’s first century in story and song. During the 70s, he was semi-retired but still appeared on numerous country shows, as well as looking after his various business interests which included a large Alberta cattle ranch. During his association with CBC he recorded 14 albums for London Records (Canada) and two for Dominion or Birchmount. He also wrote many songs that were recorded by other singers including Hank Snow and Ray Price. They included ‘In Daddy’s Footsteps’, ‘Child Of Divorce’ and ‘What A Fool I Was’, the latter a country number 2 in 1948 for Eddy Arnold. He eventually retired to Sherwood Park, Alberta, where Evelyn died in 1986. Duane gave up his country music career, in 1987, to concentrate on a teaching career but Derry followed in his father’s footsteps as a guitarist/singer-songwriter. In 1987, a remastered compilation of some of his early 78s, was released by Cattle Records of Germany.