Meyer Davis
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  • January 10, 1893
  • Ellicot City, MD


  • April 5, 1976
  • New York, NY

Meyer Davis

Meyer Davis was not a bandleader in the traditional sense. He was one of the first dance band contractors, supplying orchestras for society gatherings, weddings, hotel ballrooms, country clubs, and presidential balls. There were several Meyer Davis orchestras, often more than one was performing on the same night in the same city. His work helped pioneer the new business of musical booking agent.

Davis formed his first orchestra in 1915, one of the very first dance bands to be established. By 1919 his multiple band empire was well organized. Davis controlled the major market share of society functions in Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston for over thirty years. He continued in business until the 1960s, recording sporadically. Davis always kept up with the times. In 1961 he released the now infamous and collectable Meyer Davis Plays the Twist album.

''What we provide is an atmosphere . . . of orchestrated pulse which works on people in a subliminal way. Under its influence I've seen shy debs and severe dowagers kick off their shoes and raise some wholesome hell.'' -- Meyer Davis, Saturday Evening Post, April 20, 1963.