Nearly 50 years ago Chip Davis sought a way to create some new music; especially holiday music.
Davis found that way…what today is known as New Age music and some unique arrangements of old traditional holiday songs.
Going by the name Mannheim Steamroller, Chip Davis released his debut album “Fresh Aire 1” 44 years ago and has sold 41 million copies so far.
Trained in classical music, Davis said that he wanted to mix his classical music with modern rock and roll…and “Fresh Aire” was born.
A Hamler, Ohio native; Chip Davis is the son of musicians, his father played saxophone in the Glen Miller Orchestra and his mother played trombone with the NBC Symphony Band.
Davis himself went to the University of Michigan where he studied music education and played basoon. After college he sang with the Norman Luboff Choir and later a middle school music teacher.
But it was a meeting with Don Sears while working as the musical director for “Hair” in Omaha that Davis began writing jingles and the music behind C.W. McCall of “Convoy” fame. It was at this time that Davis created “Fresh Aire”, the music that would become his first album.
Davis and his band made appearances at festivals and fairs performing the music of C.W. McCall. One night the opening act did not show up, so Davis and his band went on as the opening act as Fresh Aire.
When Davis began performing as Mannheim Steamroller, there wasn’t enough original music for a full show and he began playing his own versions of Christmas music…and a new genre of holiday music was born – modern Renaissance Christmas music.
Since Mannhem Steamroller began performing, the band has earned 10 gold albums, four platinum albums, and four multi platinum albums.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas tours. While Davis himself no longer tours with the band due to an old injury, two touring groups will travel around the country and perform the original Christmas album and some songs previously not performed live.
Mannheim Steamroller tour dates:
Nov 13 at the North Iowa Community Auditorium in Mason, IA – two shows
Nov 13 at Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL
Nov 14 at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, IA
Nov 14 at the Broward Center in Ft Lauderdale, FL
Nov 15 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre in Savannah, GA
Nov 15 at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN
Nov 16 at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee, WI
Nov 16 at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA
Nov 17 at the UIS Performing Arts Center in Springfield, IL
Nov 17 at the Classic Center in Athens, GA
Nov 19 at the Clay County Regional Events Center in Spencer, IA
Nov 19 at the Crown Theatre in Fayetteville, NC
Nov 20 at the Wicomico Center in Salisbury, MD
Nov 21 at the Aiken Theatre in Evansville, IN
Nov 21 at the Charleston Coliseum and Events Center in Charleston, WV
Nov 22 at the Koger Center in Columbia, SC
Nov 22 at the Clowes Hall in Indianapolis, IN
Nov 23 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO – two shows
Nov 23 at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC
Nov 24 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA
Nov 24 at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, MO
Nov 25 at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, KS
Nov 25 at the Macon City Coliseum in Macon, GA
Nov 26 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, SC
Nov 26 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City OK
Nov 27 at Cape Fear in Willmington, NC – two shows
Nov 27 at the Civic Center in Amarillo, TX
Nov 29 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA – two shows
Nov 29 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, VA
Nov 30 at the Gallo Center in Modesto, CA – two shows
Nov 30 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ – two shows
Dec 1 at The Playhouse in Wilmington, DE – two shows
Dec 1 at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, CA
Dec 2 & 3 at the Harris Center in Folsom, CA – two shows on the 3rd
Dec 3 at the Scranton Cultural Center in Scranton, PA
Dec 4 at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY
Dec 4 at the Hult Center in Eugene, OR
Dec 5 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, WA
Dec 5 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY
Dec 6 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, OR
Dec 6 at the Lyric Opera House in Balitimore, MD
Dec 7 at the First Interstate Center for the Arts in Spokane, WA
Dec 7 at the Tilles Center in Brookville, NY
Dec 8 at the Luhrs Performing Arts Center in Shippensburg, PA – two shows
Dec 8 at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA
Dec 10 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, ID
Dec 10 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA
Dec 11 at the Adams Center in Missoula, MT
Dec 11 at the RBTL Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, NY
Dec 12 at the Great Falls Civic Center in Great Falls, MT
Dec 12 at The Stanley in Utica, NY
Dec 13 at the Casper Event Center in Casper, WY
Dec 13 at the Warner Theatre in Erie, PA
Dec 14 & 15 at the Buell Auditorium in Denver, CO – two shows on the 14th
Dec 14 at the Santander Theatre in Reading, PA
Dec 15 at the Crouse Hinds in Syracuse, NY
Dec 17 at the Veterans Memorial Civic Center in Lima, OH
Dec 17 at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, UT – two shows
Dec 18 at the Kent State Tuscarawas in New Philadelphia, PA – two shows
Dec 19 at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, IN – two shows
Dec 19 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, CO
Dec 20 at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, NE
Dec 20 at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL
Dec 21 & 22 at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha, NE
Dec 21 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI
Dec 22 at the EJ Thomas in Akron, OH
Dec 23 at the Clemens Center in Elmira, NY
Dec 23 at the Hartman Arena in Park City, KS
Dec 26 at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ – two shows
Dec 26 at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, OH
Dec 27 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL
Dec 27 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM
Dec 28 at the Wagner Noel Performin Arts Center in Midland, TX
Dec 28 at the TPAC in Nashville, TN
Dec 29 at the Civic Center in Mobile, AL
Dec 29 at The Pavilion at the Music Center in Irving, TX