His parents, Newrise Battle and Frances Good Battle gave him the name Newrise Battle when
he was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Later on as music became a part of his life,
he took the stage name of Beau David.
He began singing before he enlisted in the United States Air Forces in 1955.
His rendition of the song “Sixteen Tons” won the Air Force Tops in Blues Award
while he was stationed in Germany.
He taught himself to play guitar and enjoyed a wide range of music genres such as country, folk,
blues, and flamenco. But his favorite was country music.
While serving in maintenance and scheduling squadrons for the Air Force, Newrise continued
his military education and completed the Officer Candidate Course. He
began working on his undergraduate degree in the mid 1960's.
But music was still a part of his life. He performed in the local communities near the bases
where he was stationed in Hawaii and Washington.
He completed his bachelor's degree in Psychology at St. Martin College in Olympia, Washington.
While he was assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, he performed with “The Intrigues” which
his first band, for four years until he retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service in 1975.
He moved to Colorado in 1975 as well. Beau performed solo six nights a week while attending
graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned a master's
degree in Psychology.
His first band in Colorado, “The Day Drinkers”, performed in the Denver area for several years.
It was during this period he was to become known to Colorado country music fans as “Beau David”.
Beau married his second wife, Leora, in June 1975.
Building on his early days in Colorado, he continued his musical career and became a founding
member of the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame, an organization that began with six members
and grew to over 300.
He held the posts of first Vice-President for two years, and was their acting President for one year.
He organized the first Hall of Fame Festival at that the Arvada Eagles. He was honored to
receive the Parmelle Award for Country Music Entertainer of the Year Award from
the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.
Acting was another talent of Beau's. He portrayed the role of God in Green Pastures
among other roles. Sandra Dillard, the Denver Post Theater Critic wrote a review of the three hour long
production in a 2001 article. She notes the music was superb and noted that it almost makes up in charm
and exuberance what it lacked in polish and pacing. The play was written by Marc Connelly in 1929
was "...interspersed by rich spirituals that underscore and comment on the action." It was from
the point of view from people who lived in rural Louisiana. She tells us that Newrise first appeared
in a top hat and frock coat and had a wide, sunny smile that made her think of Ben Vereen. She said
Mr. Battle was "delightful" in his role as God. A sidebar accompanying the article tells readers
that the play was put on at the Temple Events Center Uptown at 1595 Pearl Street in Denver, Colorado.
It was put together by the EDEN Theatrical Workshop and the Spirituals Project. Ms. Dillard gave
the play two and a half stars out of four.
His obituary pays tribute to the person he was - enjoyed interacting with people and audiences.
He loved his music, had a beautiful voice and was at ease performing in front of appreciative
audiences. His last band was called Rawhide.
Neither his obituary or the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame site indicate if he ever recorded
for a record label under his name or with his bands.
This Colorado Country Music legend passed away in 2010.
Credits & Sources
- The above autobiographical sketch of Beau David's career was
adapted from the one found on the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame's web site honoring
Beau as a member as well as his obituary and other articles we have found in our research.
- Horan and McConaty Funeral Homes; Obituary for Newrise Battle (aka Beau David);
January 2010; Centennial, Colorado
- Spirituals Enrich "Green Pastures"; Sandra C. Dillard; The Denver Post; February 9, 2001;