After learning of the passing of the great Bobby E. Davis of the S.U.R.E. Records, I pulled footage of us talking about the record pool’s importance, in regards to the music industry. This footage is from 1999, and it’s so interesting to hear about S.U.R.E.’s rich history and the value that it provided to both upcoming music industry professionals and the industry as a whole. You may not have heard of him since he wasn’t a performer or a high profile music executive, however, for many reasons, Davis was a hero in Urban music- including Hip Hop, dance and other forms of club music. A brief glance into Davis’s forward thinking can be found in the January 22, 1983 edition of Billboard magazine. In that issue of the staple music industry publication, Davis states, “…video will be the future. It is a tremendous force in the exposure of new music.” In a world where acts are made a broken on YouTube, those words aren’t so prolific, however, when you put his prediction in perspective. He predicted this nearly thirty years ago. Specifically, Davis was referring to the pool’s initiative to have video systems installed in night clubs to further push the music experience. Today, this is a common place in many clubs and dynamic DJ sets.
Below is an excerpt from the original post about his passing, and then segments one and two of my interview with Bobby E. Davis during a visit to New York nearly a dozen years ago. We discuss the importance of the record pool, and he also recalls his thoughts of first meeting with me a teenager in the eighties.
Bobby was one of the nicest people in the music business. Since the ’70s, he’s supplied records to some of the most influential DJs in urban and dance music. His company was a staple for breaking records for decades in New York City. Bobby has also mixed many dance and club records since the early ’80s to 2000?s. I first met Bobby as a teenager in the Bronx. He was a great role model and mentor. He provided inspiration for inner city youths, aspiring musicians, artists, and DJs. Bobby was a positive force. He had an uplifting spirit and great personality. It is with sadness that I say goodbye, however, I am so happy to have known this wonderful man. Thank you Bobby. You will not be forgotten. -Israel Vasquetelle
(Thanks to BJ Wheeler for operating the camera and to Anthony Torres for logging footage.)