Monday, June 9, 2008


Frederick (born Frederick Millard Davis on April 7, 1957) is an R&B singer from the ‘80s. He is the fifth of eight siblings in his family. He began singing & playing musical instruments when he was 10 years old. His singing inspirations growing up were Al Jarreau, Donny Hathaway, Bobby Caldwell and George Benson.

During his high school years, Frederick joined a popular local band called the Soul Reactions. The band broke up when he enlisted in the Navy. While in the Navy, he boxed in the local Golden Gloves in 1975 and even trained with the Navy Olympic Boxing Team. 

After he was discharged from the Navy, Frederick revived his singing career and became a regular at gong & talent shows at the Sir Rah House and the Native Son Lounge, winning first place many times. A witness to his singing recommended Frederick to Le Ray Ruffin, a record producer & owner of Time Traxx Productions.

Frederick cut a demo of a song called “Gentle” when local deejays Jeffery Charles & Lynn Charles visited Time Traxx Productions, heard the tape and were able to convince Ruffin to let them take the song with them for a later listen.

DJ Jeffrey Charles played the “Gentle” demo on a quiet storm radio program called “For Lovers Only” on the WZAK radio station and the evening the song was played, the phone lines went crazy and by the next day, people were trying to buy the song from record stores.

“Gentle (Calling Your Name)” (which featured singer Janice Dowlen) managed to make the Billboard charts, peaking at #108 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and #48 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 15 weeks).

The success of the song earned Frederick awards: one for “Most Promising New Artist” from the Ohio Valley Urban Music Association in 1985 and “Best New Artist” from the Midwest Music Award Association. In 1999 (fourteen years after the song’s release), “Gentle” was highlighted in “Vibe” magazine’s “Top Five One-Hit Wonders” sub-category where it ranked at #2.

Le Rey convinced Frederick to sign a one-year record deal with Time Traxx and got Akron, Ohio record label Heat Records to release and distribute the “Gentle” single.

However, there were issues with the song’s arrangement.

Janice Dowlen never signed a contract with Time Traxx and instead Heat Records owner, James McCants convinced her to sign a long-term exclusive contract with his label. Frederick never signed anything with Heat Records and he would only commit to a one-year deal with Time Traxx Productions.

While touring to promote the single, Frederick went to many cities where record store owners complained about not being able to get copies. Because Frederick never signed a contract with Heat Records, James McCants wouldn't allow Janice Dowlen to tour with him.

In 1985, Heat Records released Frederick's debut album. It’s unknown how or if the album charted at all.
Two more singles were released from the album: “Games” (which did in well in some areas of the United States and received some airplay in England) and “Somebody Won’t Sleep Tonight.”

After Frederick's contract with Time Traxx Productions expired, he did not renew it and chose to venture out on his own, but to little success. He released three 12-inch recordings "You're the Best (That Ever Happened)," "That Kind of Lady," and "Shoulder to Cry On."

He also recorded a gospel song with Janice Dowlen in 1991 entitled "Find Your Way Home" shortly before she passed away of a heart attack.

In the '90s, he sang and played with a local music group called Eugene Ross & Company and also had his own band, 1SU (or 1 Step Up).

Since then, Frederick has opened and performed with various music artists such as Gladys Knight, George Clinton & the Funkadelics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass and Ashford & Simpson. He has also written songs for many local and national artists as well including singer\actress Gloria Loring.

In May of 2015, Frederick recorded a new single called “I Can’t Help But Love You”, but it wasn’t until 2017 when the song was officially released. Once it hit the airwaves, the song became a fan favorite on radio station, hitting #7 on radio station WNWV-FM 107.3.

It also received some airplay in the United Kingdom where it debuted on more than 20 radio stations and even peaked at #6 on the Top UK Soul Chart. It was even listened to over 2,600 times with BBC Local Radio’s John Leech.
In 2016, Frederick released the single "Forgive Me" which is available for digital download on the CD Baby website.
As of 2017, Frederick continues to perform and his new EP entitled “The Birth” is scheduled to be released sometime this year. The EP features a remix version of one of his songs “Games.”

To see Frederick's official website, go to:

To see Frederick's Reverbnation page, go to:

To see Frederick's YouTube page, go to:

To see a fan-made video for "Gentle (Calling Your Name)," go to:

To see a fan-made video for "Games," go to:

To see a fan-made video for "Somebody Won't Sleep Tonight," go to:

To see a fan-made video for "(You're the Best) That Ever Happened," go to:

To see a video of Frederick's song "Forgive Me," go to:

To see the music video for "I Can't Help But Love You," go to:

[Updated on October 2, 2017]

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