The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163398 Message #3897967
Posted By: keberoxu
07-Jan-18 - 04:31 PM
Thread Name: BS: simple stuff we might not know
Subject: RE: BS: simple stuff we might not know
Above the line, in the music section,
is a thread on singer Betty Carter,
and one post goes into some detail about Miles Davis and Irene Davis-Oliver,
the mother of Davis's three older children.
I beg your indulgence while I post, on this thread,
a sort of epilogue, non-music post, related to the one above the line.
In 2015, the story was carried by news syndicates of the death, and planned memorial/interment, of a middle-aged man named Muhammad Abdullah Davis,
whose birthname was Miles Dewey Davis IV.
The news agency which entered this story for the others to select,
included the statements released by those who managed the legacy and legalities of Miles Davis, as stipulated in Davis's will after his death.
The news story did not disclose, one way or another, if any effort was attempted to communicate with Gregory Davis, full-blood brother to the deceased, for a statement of any sort.
Of course Miles Davis, the father, had died first, and those who followed the news of the famous musician's passing
and its aftermath,
knew how Davis had cut both Gregory Davis and Miles IV / Muhammad Abdullah Davis
out of his will,
and how the inheritance and legacy questions were only settled
after the survivors picked sides, lawyered up, and negotiated a compromise beyond the terms of the musician's will.
Betty Carter, with her own extended family and her own two adult sons, was still alive --
though nearing the end of her life --
when Miles Davis died and the legal wrangling and estrangements became public and newsworthy.
While Irene Davis-Oliver, whose three children were divided into two opposing sides by the death of their father,
spoke briefly but forthrightly of her support for her two sons
(her daughter was included in the will),
Betty Carter was discreetly quiet as regards the press.
What Betty Carter could have pointed out was that
she took in the three children, when they were really young,
and their mother, at Miles Davis's request,
while he embarked on his boxing matches, as it were, with heroin.
Gregory Davis, in the book of memoirs published after his father's death,
has described Betty Carter as a surrogate/alternate mother to him and to his family.
By 2015, and the death of the second son -- known in childhood as "Squeaky" -- of Miles Davis,
Betty Carter herself had been dead for over ten years.
Irene Davis-Oliver, the mother, is still alive by all accounts I can find,
and living with Alzheimer's disease on the West Coast,
where her daughter Cheryl and the other relatives chosen by Miles Davis
to manage his estate planning and his legacy,
have relocated (this includes a son from a later relationship, and a nephew).
In the meantime,
while imagining the reunion of son with father
beyond the threshold of that portal to the plane of existence,
in which physical bodily arms are not required in order to embrace each other,
I cannot help but imagine
the soul known in life by her professional name, Betty Carter,
welcoming Miles Davis's son as though he were her own.
Thanks for listening.