(Columbus, Ohio) — Looking blank when asked, local woman Irene Bean professed a “complete lack of awareness” of the music, or indeed the very existence, of funk musician Betty Davis.
“What, you mean the old movie actress?” she asked, demonstrating her total ignorance of the cult singer and her gritty soul albums.
Davis, born Betty Mabry, gained some notoriety during the mid 70s for writing and producing a series of hard-hitting funk Lps, which never quite crossed over. She retired from music following a final 1979 recording session. Precisely none of these facts are known to Bean, a part-time human resources advisor for a Columbus pharmaceutical company.
Bean also remains unenlightened about Davis’ 1968 wedding to trumpeter Miles Davis, the song he composed for her (“Miss Mabry”) and the subsequent, profound influence she exerted on his music during their brief marriage, leading the jazz great down an innovative, jazz fusion path.
“Nope, can’t say that I’ve ever heard of her,” Bean explained when told about Light In the Attic’s recent Davis re-issues.