In 1939, she met, and later married, bass player Calvin Ponder (October 17, 1917 - December 26, 1970), who went on to play in Earl Hines' band. In 1948, Davis and Ponder moved to California, and Davis developed her recording career on Jewel Records in Hollywood with a trio including Ponder, Ralph Williams (guitar) and Lee Young (drums). Their cover of Dick Haymes' pop hit "Little White Lies" reached # 11 on the Billboard R&B chart, followed by a duet with Louis Jordan, "Daddy-O", from the movie A Song Is Born, which reached the R&B top ten later that year. Davis and Ponder also began performing together on stage, developing a musical and comedy routine as "Martha Davis & Spouse" which played on their physical characteristics (she was large, he was smaller). The act became hugely popular, touring and having a residency at the Blue Angel in New York. They appeared together in movies including Smart Politics (with Gene Krupa), and in the mid-1950s, variety films Rhythm & Blues Revue, Rock 'n' Roll Revue and Basin Street Revue.
Several of their performances were filmed by Snader Telescriptions for video jukeboxes, and they also broadcast on network TV, particularly Garry Moore's CBS show. In 1957, after a break of several years, they resumed recording for the ABC Paramount label, with whom they cut two LPs. Davis died from cancer in New York in 1960, aged only 42, and Ponder died ten years later, aged only 53. 2. Martha Davis is best known as the lead singer of The Motels, a new wave pop band that scored hits in the 80s with songs such as "Only the Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer." Davis released her first solo album entitled Policy in November of 1987, and had a hit with "Don't Tell Me the Time" (#8 in Australia), but in the U.S. the song only went as far as #80.
Soon afterwards, Davis asked to be released from her contract with Capitol. After leaving Capitol Records, Davis focused on different music styles, and recorded songs for several movie soundtracks. In 2005 Davis released her second solo project entitled So the Story Goes. She is still touring and recording as "Martha Davis and the Motels." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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