Dim the lights and pour out a little rosé tonight for soft-rock pioneer Paul Davis, who passed away yesterday at 60. One of the formative experiences of my early musical life was listening to Casey Kasem‘s American Top 20 and for some reason keeping detailed lists of who was at what position each week. For a long time it was Paul Davis with his broken-heart ballad “I Go Crazy,” which was in the Top 100 for 40 weeks and on AT20 for what felt like twice that.

Here’s a video of Davis performing “I Go Crazy.” It’s instructive how little motion there is onstage. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L886mjb0O8]

Personally, I prefer “65 Love Affair,” (listen here) because I like to remember when rock ‘n’ roll was simple and clear.