Versatility was integral to the musical mindset of John Davis. Although he was world-renowned as a blues pianist, he was proud of his innate ability to play ragtime, a little jazz, even a schmaltzy Tin Pan Alley ditty or two. And he did it all for more than half a century. Born in Mississippi, Davis was in reality a Chicagoan, having moved there before the age of three. He lost his eyesight after stepping on a nail when he was nine, but that didn't stop him from learning the 88s as a teen. That way, he could pick up a few bucks by playing in his father's "sporting houses."