Prior to the Dazz Band, Levert, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s chart assaults, Frederick’s “Gentle (Calling Your Name)” held the distinction of being the most popular R&B/soul recording ever cut in the northeast Ohio area, reaching number 40 on the pop charts in 1985. Gentle was listed at #10 on Jet Magazines top 20. In 1986 the single climbed to #48 on Billboards Black 100 singles. In 1999, Gentle was named #2 on VIBE Magazine’s 99 Love songs of all time.
Cleveland natives Edwin Starr, Bobby Womack, the Hesitations, and the O’Jays recorded bigger hits, but in other places. Frederick cut his recordings in a tiny, homemade studio called Time Traxx, located on 23rd and Superior in the downtown Cleveland area. Frederick Millard Davis was born on April 7, 1957, in Cleveland, OH; he’s the fifth of eight siblings. Growing up, his singing inspirations were Al Jarreau, Donny Hathaway, George Benson, and Bobby Caldwell.
While attending High School, he joined the Soul Reactions, a popular local band that disbanded when Frederick enlisted in the Navy. His hobbies consisted of football, basketball, music, videos, and boxing. As a lightweight, Frederick boxed in the local Golden Gloves in 1975, held in Cleveland’s old Navy Park. He enlisted in the service shortly thereafter and continued boxing in the Navy, training in 1976 with the Navy Olympic Boxing Team.
He resurrected his singing career upon discharge and became a regular at gong and talent shows held at the Sir Rah House and the Native Son Lounge, winning first prize many times. A witness to Frederick’s talent recommended him to Le Ray Ruffin, a fledging record producer and owner of Time Traxx Productions. Frederick had cut a demo of “Gentle” when local DJs Jeffery Charles and Lynn Tolliver visited Time Traxx, heard the tape, and convinced Ruffin to let them take it with them for a later listen. To their amazement, Charles played the demo on his number one-rated quiet storm program, For Lovers Only, on WZAK that evening. The phone lines went crazy that evening and the following day. People were trekking to record stores trying to buy the romantic ballad. Another voice was prominent on the recording, that of the late Janice Dowlen. Frederick released two more singles: “Games” and “Somebody Won’t Sleep Tonight.” And “Games” Both songs did well in some overseas areas, and even received some spins in England courtesy of DJ Angie Dee.
Frederick has performed abroad touring the mid-west, and has opened and performed with such world-renown acts as “Kim Sax man Waters, Steve Tyrell, the Temptations, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Dennis Edwards and Ashford & Simpson to name a few.
Frederick recorded a duet with Gloria Loring, who played “Liz Chandler” on Days of Our Lives. Gloria Loring is the mother of the R&B singer “Robin Thick”. In addition the duet with Gloria Loring, Frederick has recorded new music that can be downloaded from iTunes. His single, “I Can’t Help But Love You” can be heard on WNWV 107.3 the WAVE in Cleveland, Ohio. This particular song has been in rotation for the past 15 weeks and it is listed in the top 20 songs played on this stations daily lineup. Frederick has also released the video for the single.
Be on the lookout for more music, live performances and recordings from Frederick.
2017 looks pretty good for more collaborations and music projects for Frederick.