The SOS Band leader updates fans on the group and singer Mary Davis

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    Photo courtesy of SOS Band Facebook

    (January 4, 2022) It was more than a year ago that the R&B world was rocked by the news that forty year SOS Band mainstay and lead vocalist Mary Davis had suffered a stroke, and would be forced to leave the group to focus on her health. Now, in a post on TikTok, SOS Band leader Abdul Ra’oof updates fans on the group and on Ms. Davis (see the video below or click here).

    (January 4, 2022) It was more than a year ago that the R&B world was rocked by the news that forty year SOS Band mainstay and lead vocalist Mary Davis had suffered a stroke, and would be forced to leave the group to focus on her health. Now, in a post on TikTok, SOS Band leader Abdul Ra’oof updates fans on the group and on Ms. Davis (see the video below or click here).

    In the video post Ra’oof lovingly speaks of Davis as his “partner for 41 years,” and the difficult transition to the two of them working to hire two new touring vocalists for the group to replace Davis. Ra’oof asks fans for their continued support as The SOS Band embarks on this new journey: “Pray for us. Please give us the opportunity to continue and allow Mary to focus on what she needs to do, and that’s her recovery.”

    This is yet another chapter for the historic band, originally formed in Atlanta as the "Sound of Success" Band. At its peak it consisted of singers Davis and Jason Bryant, multi-instrumentalist Abdul Ra'oof, saxmen Willie Killebrew and Billy Ellis, drummer James Earl Jones III, bassist John Simpson and guitarist Bruno Speight.

    Signed to the fast-rising Tabu label in 1980, the SOS Band debuted auspiciously, hitting the top of the charts with its self-titled album as well as the Sigidi Abdullah composition "Take Your Time (Do It Right)."  But bigger success lay ahead, as the group teamed with now-legendary hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for a series of albums that yielded hit after hit, including "Just Be Good To Me," "Just the Way You Like It," "Tell Me If You Still Care," and their biggest smash, a 1986 beat-heavy masterpiece, "Finest."

    The departure of Davis from the group and the loss of Jam and Lewis as producers led to a decline in the band's fortunes, and by 1991 the SOS Band was no more. However, in the mid 90s, Davis and Ra'oof joined together and reconstituted the SOS Band with a new set of musicians. The Davis-Ra'oof version of the band has performed regularly now for a quarter century, including such major shows as the Capital Jazz Cruise. They also issued the 2017 adult soul hit "Just Get Ready," which found them successfully recapturing the sound that took them to the top three decades earlier. That song was reissued in multiple remixes in 2021, finding a second life on radio.

    We will continue to pray for the full recovery of Mary Davis, in the hopes that she will be able to join the SOS Band again in the future. In the meantime, we wish the band continued success on its journey with its new singers, who will continue the legacy that Davis started there.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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