John Henry Davis was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1913 but when he was three years old he moved with his family to Chicago. Tragically when he was nine years old he contracted an infection from a rusty nail that eventually led to him going blind. His father was a bootlegger and held regular parties where people consumed his illegal liquor. When he was 14 years old his father bought him a piano and Davis taught himself to play, listening to records and the radio. He soon became accomplished enough to begin performing, initially at his fathers parties and then at other joints in the area. In 1933 he moved to downtown Chicago and began playing the white speakeasies with the band Lee’s Music Masters, and later with his own band, the Johnny Davis Rhythm Boys. In 1937 he began working as the house pianist at the Wabash Music Company and he played on over 100 songs between 1937 and 1942. Artists he accompanied included Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Lonnie Johnson, and Tampa Red with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. He died in Chicago on October 12th 1985.