Wednesday, September 21, 2011

O Johneron Davis, I finally found ya!

By: Joseph Middleton

It's been over a year since I released the original plea, but I am still searching for information on Johneron Davis, a longtime member of of the Caravans (1953-1962). Today, I received a wealth of information on her thanks to Libra Nicole Boyd and Rev. James Herndon of the Caravans (1959-1967).

Johneron was born on April 12, 1929, which is coincidentally just two days before Inez Andrews's birthday. According to Rev. Herndon, Johneron, a second soprano, was "wild about the Caravans" and was "a good soldier", singing in the group from their early days with early members such as Bessie Griffin, Gloria Griffin, Imogene Green, and Louise McDowell, until their early 60s heyday with Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews, and Cassietta George. She left the group in the fall of 1962 and was replaced by Josephine Howard. Johneron died on August 4, 1965 at the age of 36 of cancer. She was buried at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, IL, which is the same cemetery where Emmett Till, Dinah Washington, and Roberta Martin are also buried.

Johneron married at some point and became Johneron Austin. At this point, it is not known if she married an Austin from the family of Rev. James Austin, husband of Roberta Martin, son of Rev. Lucy Smith, and father of Lucy Collier, aka, Little Lucy Smith. There's still more infomation to be found. Did she have children? Does she have any descendants? I hope the answers to those questions can be found soon. I know there are other Golden Era Gospel fans awaiting those answers, too.
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