Jimmy Davis Biography (Wikipedia)
James Edward Davis (1915 – 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, pianist and actor. He co-wrote the song "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)".
Davis was born in Madison, Georgia. He and his family moved to Gary, Illinois, and then to Englewood, New Jersey, where he completed his high school education. Being musically gifted, he was accepted into the Juilliard School in New York to study piano and composition, his fees being paid by a benefactress.
In the late 1930s or early 1940s he wrote the song "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)" with Ram Ramirez but could not initially place it, until he offered it to Billie Holiday in 1942. Because of the 1942–44 musicians' strike Holiday didn't record the song until October 1944, and although at first only a minor hit it soon achieved widespread success and went on to become a jazz standard, recorded by numerous artists including Linda Ronstadt and Barbra Streisand.
During the early 1940s Davis struggled to make a living as a songwriter and supplemented his meagre royalties by giving piano lessons. He was drafted in 1942, but Davis, a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), refused to be enlisted into a segregated regiment and demanded either exemption or service in the nonsegregated Canadian army. After a series of unsuccessful representations to the authorities, which drew press coverage and the support of several public figures, he decided not to report for duty and was imprisoned. His morale and health suffered in prison, as he revealed in letters to the writer and poet Langston Hughes (with whom he would maintain a 25-year correspondence until Hughes died in 1967), and he eventually relented and joined the army.