Chip Davis

Louis F. "Chip" Davis Jr. (born September 5, 1947 in Hamler, Ohio) is the founder and leader of the music group Mannheim Steamroller,[1] and has also written and made other albums such as Day Parts and written several books.

Chip Davis
Birth nameLouis F. Davis Jr.
Born (1947-09-05) September 5, 1947
Hamler, Ohio, United States
GenresRock, Classical
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsPiano, bassoon, percussion
Associated actsMannheim Steamroller

Early life

Louis F. Davis was born in Hamler, Ohio. His family later moved to Portland, Ohio, and, when Davis was 11, to Sylvania, Ohio. He began piano lessons at age 4 and had composed his first piece of music at age 6. He graduated from Sylvania High School and went on to graduate from the University of Michigan music school, specializing in bassoon and percussion.


After touring with the Norman Luboff Choir, he took a job with an Omaha, Nebraska, advertising agency of Bozell & Jacobs, Inc. writing jingles. These included spots for a local company, Metz Bakery, featuring the fictional trucker C. W. McCall.[2] The spots were co-written with the advertising writer William Fries, who became the voice of McCall.[2] The spots were so popular that they were persuaded to begin writing non-advertising songs featuring McCall. The song Convoy reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of January 10, 1976,[3] using CB slang during the CB/trucker fad. The duo released five albums between 1974 and 1979. Davis was named SESAC Country Music Writer of the Year in 1976.[4]

Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller in 1974[5] to showcase his interest in fusing modern popular and classical techniques. The first album, Fresh Aire, was completed shortly after. It was turned down by major record labels so Davis founded American Gramaphone to release it. American Gramaphone has been the label for all subsequent Mannheim Steamroller releases. Eight Fresh Aire albums were released, concluding with Fresh Aire 8 in 2000.

Mannheim Steamroller released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in 1984; Davis is credited with revolutionizing the "traditional" sounds of Christmas. The group's subsequent Christmas music albums have sold tens of millions of copies and become among the most popular recordings in that genre. His annual Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert tour, utilizing two cover bands which tour simultaneously, has continued for over 25 years across the US. Davis was awarded his 19th Gold Record in 2010. The Recording Industry Association of America has also awarded Davis four Multi-Platinum and eight Platinum records.


As Chip Davis

  • Sunday Morning Coffee (1991)
  • Party: Music That Cooks (1992)
  • Dinner (1992)
  • Romance (1992)
  • Impressions (1993)
  • Sunday Morning Coffee II (1994)
  • Party 2 (1995)
  • Holiday Musik (1996)
  • Holiday Musik II (1997)
  • Romance II (1997)
  • Chip Davis Presents: Renaissance Holiday (1998)

As Mannheim Steamroller


  1. Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Chip Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  2. Citron, Peter (June 7, 1974). "Bread, Record Record Records". The Omaha World-Herald Newspaper. Omaha, NE, USA. p. 49.
  3. Note - Week of January 10, 1976. "billboard - The Hot 100". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  4. Wolgamott, L. Kent (December 18, 2018). "". The Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper. Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Retrieved March 7, 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  5. Manna, Sal (August 21, 1999). "Mannheim Steamroller, 25 Years of Fresh Aire, A Billboard Tribute". Google Books. pp. M1–M16.
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