Miles Davis was born in 1926
into a very wealthy African-American family living in Illinois. His father was
a doctor. Despite this, Davis suffered extreme racism during his childhood.
As a child, Davis loved music and began playing instruments. He would accept
a scholarship to Juilliard School of Music in 1944.
Davis would become one of the
most influential musicians of the 20th Century. He recorded masterpieces, which
include “Bitches Brew,” and “In A Silent Way.” He was often
compared to Duke Ellington as a music innovator. Davis was huge in
Europe and was paid astronomical amounts to perform overseas.
A New Orleans native said he
was walking in the ‘French Quarter’ when he heard a trumpeter; the
sound had so much passion and was so unique, the man turned around and walked
in the direction of the distinctive sound, Miles Davis was on stage blowing
Davis was a trumpeter, bandleader
and composer and he was also addicted to heroin. Davis returned to St. Louis
in the winter of 1954. With the help of his father, he kicked heroin.
In 1959, several white cops
saw Davis get out of his yellow Ferrari (in front of the famous Birdland
night club) and allegedly beat him because they thought he stole the car.
He filed a lawsuit but eventually dropped the case.
Davis became known as aloof
and arrogant and he often turned his back on fans (during the whole set) when
he performed live. When he received awards, he would grab the award without
mumbling a word, he hardly ever made an acceptance speech.
In later years, his health
began to decline. Due to years of heroin abuse, he had severe kidney problems
and he also had diabetes.
In 1981, Davis married actress
Cicely Tyson (co-founder of the Dance Theater Of Harlem). They divorced
in 1988 because Davis never got over his first wife Frances, a professional
dancer. Davis was allegedly too strong-willed and stubborn for Tyson. In past
interviews, Tyson once mentioned a daughter (not with Davis) but there is no
evidence of her ever having children.
Before his death in 1991, Davis
told a magazine, “If somebody told me I had only one hour to live, I’d spend
it choking a white man. I’d do it nice and slow.”
*There was a coverup regarding
the death of Miles Davis, hopefully one day, those details will come to light.
To watch a performance of Miles Davis & John Coltrane, click the following link, Miles & Coltrane perform!