BK Davis Trades Cleats for Keyboard

bkfox1Longtime Davenport Central High School football coach Jim Fox has seen many of his former players go on to bigger and better things in sports.

Roger Craig starred at the university of Nebraska and and now is a running back with the San Francisco 49ers. There was Jim Jensen, who is a former NFL fullback, Tom Mullen, and Dave Hoeksema, who played professional baseball in the minor leagues.

But there is one player who traded in his cleats for a keyboard and has not looked back since.

BK Davis of Davenport is a professional singer, songwriter, and keyboard player, and is presently accompanying rhythm and blues artist Johnnie Taylor.

Davis, who prepped at Central from 1975-77, played noseguard and split end on the 1976 team that won the Iowa state championship. And it was Coach Fox, along with many other influential people, who steered the way for BK Davis.

“It wouldn’t matter if we won or lost, every Saturday after a game, we watched the game film to see our mistakes so we wouldn’t make them again,” said BK Davis during a visit with his family in Davenport. “It was through Coach Fox, by teaching us to see the mistakes and the whole action of reviewing them that I learned instead of giving up you push forward.”

Davis’ love for music came long before his football days began. In fact, he was born into it. His father is the Rev. E.R. Davis, pastor of Derrick’s Temple Church of God in Christ in Rock Island. The Rev. Davis plays the drums. BK Davis’ mother, Rose, plays the piano and organ and sings at the church. The entire family sings together when they are all in town.

A brother, Bob, is a lawyer in Washington, DC, and plays harmonica. Sister Nancy, who is a newscaster in the same city, plays piano and occasionally writes songs. Younger sister Demita, who is working on her master’s degree in medicine in California, plays saxophone. And the youngest brother, Keith, is in the Army in Hawaii. He also plays drums and sings.

So the direction in music is obvious for BK Davis.

Besides singing in the church choir, he began taking music in school, and soon was singing in his denomination’s Illinois State Choir in Chicago.

After high school, Davis enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany as a stock clerk. But when his commander heard of his musical talents, he soon joined a company singing group that toured Europe.

After a three-year Army hitch, BK Davis returned to singing choir music until he landed a job playing keyboards out of Evansville, Indiana with a group called the Dynamic Tight Band.

While in that area, he wrote several jingles for commercials, including a piece used by ABC Television for a promotional commercial for the 1988 Indy 500 race.

BK Davis later began working at the Conclave Supper Club in Dallas, TX, playing mostly pop music. And it was in June that he joined Johnnie Taylor’s band.

“I just want to reach a lot of people with a message of love. We have a short time on earth, and we should make it as pleasant as possible,” said BK Davis, who credits a lot of his success to the training he received from another John Taylor–a rock island resident who helped him compose songs and taught him piano. “Music can be a bid disappointment and you have to face the possibility of rejection. But you have to put your best foot forward whether you win or lose. And then you learn from life and count it all as joy.”


Article originally written by Doug Schorpp for The Daily Dispatch in 1988.