Thursday, April 24, 2008

He Went Crazy: R.I.P. Paul Davis

R.I.P. Paul Davis, writer and singer of the 1977 soft rock classic “I Go Crazy,” who passed away Tuesday of a heart attack.

Many a one-night love affair began and ended with “I Go Crazy” on the hi-fi, a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumanti on ice and a few ice-breaking lines of blow… wait, that’s only how I imagine this song was listened to by millions of white folks in the 1970s.

“I Go Crazy” was one of the biggest, mellowest hits of the Carter era, peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard chart and staying in the Hot 100 for a record-at-the-time 40 weeks.

I was surprised and saddened to hear of Mr. Davis’s death, and equally surprised to learn that he was white. Even though “I Go Crazy” was a yacht rock touchstone, I had always assumed Davis was of African-American descent, closer in appearance to Cleavon Little than Duane Allman. (This was easy to do in the era before the web and MTV.)

White or black, yacht rock or country rock, Paul Davis is already missed. Herewith, a TV performance introduced by “Garden Party” heartthrob Rick Nelson.

YouTube: Paul Davis, "I Go Crazy"

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