||22 December 1945
Woking, Surrey, England|
Billie Davis (born Carol Hedges, 22 December 1945, Woking, Surrey, England) is an English female singer who had hits in the 1960s, and is best remembered for the UK hit version of the song, "Tell Him" (1963) and "I Wan't You to Be My Baby" (1968).
Davis' performing name was suggested by the impressario, Robert Stigwood, and was derived from those of blues singer Billie Holiday and the entertainer Sammy davis Jr. In her teens, Hedges was an engineering secretary before she started her recording career.
After winning a talent contest in which she was backed by Cliff Bennett's band, the Rebel Rousers, she cut some early demo records with the Tornadoes for record producer Joe Meek. However, her first commercial success, under Stigwood's guidance, was "Will I What", released in August 1962, on which she performed as a foil to Mike Sarne, rather as Wendy Richard had done on Sarne's chart-topping disc, "Come Outside". This reached number 18 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1962.
In February 1963 Davis had her biggest success with a cover version of The Exciters' "Tell Him". Written by Bert Russell (also known as Bert Berns), this song was covered in the sixties by a number of artists, including Helen Shapiro and Alma Cogan, and was successfully revived in the late 1990s by Vonda Shepard, for the American Fox television program, Ally McBeal. Davis' recording reached number ten in the UK chart, and was followed by "He's The One", which crept into the Top 40 in May 1963.
In the late 1960s Davis returned to Decca, with former Ready Steady Go! presenter Michael Aldred as her producer. Recordings included Chip Taylor's "Angel of the Morning", in 1967, on which she was backed by, amongst others, Kiki Dee and P.P. Arnold. Arnold later recorded the song herself and had the bigger hit in 1968. Davis' final chart entry was a Northern soul version of Jon Hendricks' "I Want You to Be My Baby", originally recorded by Louis Jordan in 1952, which reached number 33 in October 1968, although sales were affected by an industrial dispute at the manufacturing plant.
Davis left Decca in April 1971 after a stay of eight years. She continued to record into the 1980s and was popular, in particular, with audiences in the Spanish-speaking world. Her cover of Burt Bacharach's "The Last One to Be Loved" appeared on the compilation album "Trains & Boats & Covers" (1999). A retrospective collection of her recordings for Decca was released in 2005.
Billie Davis - I Want You to Be My Baby / Suffer
UK Decca F 12823 (1968).
Record produced by Michael Aldred.
The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are free from tears, stains or stickers.
The record centre hole displays no signs of spindle wear.
The record comes with an original company paper sleeve.