Spencer Davis Passes Away At 81
The Spencer Davis Group live in 1967 - Alcast3 / Youtube
Spencer Davis, the pioneer of his eponymous group that launched Steve Winwood’s successful career, has died at the age of 81 after fighting pneumonia.
In an interview with the BBC, agent Bob Birk said: “He was a very good friend. He was a highly ethical, very talented, goodhearted, extremely intelligent, generous man. He will be missed.”
The Spencer Davis group started out in 1963 and hit 7th place on the US charts with “Gimme Some Lovin'” in 1966, while in the UK, they were successful with the songs “Keep On Running” and “Somebody Help Me”. Steve Winwood fronted the group when he was still 14 but left in 1967 to co-found Traffic. He then went on to join the brief supergroup Blind Faith before launching into a highly-acclaimed solo career.
Davis’ band went on for some years before breaking up, and returned in the ’70s with the albums Gluggo and Living in a Back Street, before disbanding again. Davis then focused on jazz recordings until 2006 where he returned to touring with the group.
He was born in Swansea in 1939 and has lived in California since the ’70s. He has been part of early bands that included future members of famous groups, such as Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac.
“Keep On Running” was successful in booting out the Beatles double A-sided single “We Can Work It Out”/”Day Tripper”, which prompted a good-hearted congratulations from the party. “It’s in a pile of papers somewhere. It said, ‘Congratulations on reaching number one – the Beatles,'” Davis said in a 2009 BBC interview.