Spencer Davis, one of the great heroes of British rock, has died

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He was one of the pioneers of the genre in his country and with Gimme Some Lovin’ Y Keep on Runnin’ He managed to climb to the top of the rankings and make his mark.

The Welsh Musician Spencer Davis, one of the pioneers of British rock and creator of classics like Keep on Running Y Gimme Some Lovin’ He died this Tuesday, October 20, at the age of 81 and a victim of pneumonia, in a hospital in the American city of Los Angeles, according to his relatives today.

His press agent Bob Birk explained to the press that Davis had been admitted to the institution a week ago due to pneumonia.

Spencer Davis was a pioneer of British rhythm ‘n’ blues, since from a young age he showed that his first musical references were skiffle, jazz and blues, the greatest genres of popular music in the 1960s.

His influences included Big Bill Broonzy, Huddy Ledbetter, Buddy Holly, Davey Graham, John Martyn, Alexis Kornet y Long John Baldry, entre otros.

At 16, Spencer hung up an electric guitar and tried to get out of Wales for London as soon as possible; once in the English capital, together with Bill Perkes he formed a group of skiffles called The Saints. Perkes was neither more nor other than who would later become Bill Wyman, el “futuro” bajista de The Rolling Stones.

Based in Birmingham, Davis in 1963 went to see Muff Woody, a traditional jazz band made up of Muff and Steve Winwood, who by then, with only fifteen years old, was already in the sights of several for his musical abilities.

Davis persuaded Winwood to join a band alongside drummer Pete York and thus the Spencer Davis Group, who took his first steps with the interpretation of blues covers that drew the attention of the entire movement of young English rockers.

Those shows strengthened the line-up that had Davis on voice and guitar, Steve Winwood on keyboards and vocals, Muff Winwood on bass and Peter York on drums. In 1964, after signing with the Fontana Records label, the group released various singles such as Dimples, a version of John Lee Hooker, I Can’t Stand It, Every Little Bit Hurts -adaptation of soul singer Brenda Holloway- and Strong Love.

While the A sides weren’t self-authored, most of the B sides were, such as Sittin’ And Thinkin’ The It Hurts Me So, songs that would later be part of his debut LP,?Their First LP (1965), published in July 1965.

Keep On Running, a milestone written by Jackie Edwards and produced by Chris Blackwell (who was also a producer on Edwards) led them to number one on the english charts in November 1965.

In March of the following year they published Somebody Help Me, another single written by Edwards, with which they once again reached the top in the UK. A month before the second LP appeared, The Second Album (1966).

The most significant thing about the band, led by Steve despite carrying the name of Spencer Davis, were their energetic renditions of black music themes y sus subgeneros: blues, R&B o soul.

The first single to have an A-side and was signed by a member of the group was When I Come Home, written between Winwood and Jackie Edwards. The song appeared on sale in September 1966, the same month that they released their third LP, Autumn 66. In November 1966 they edited Gimme Some Lovin’, written by brothers Winwood and Davis, which came to number two in England.

Gimme Some Lovin’ (1967) was an LP released in the United States, as was I’m A Man (1967). But in the process, after recording the single that gave this album its name in January 1967, Winwood left the group to create Traffic with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason.

Spencer Davis continued the trajectory of the group with the incorporation of Phil Sawyer and Eddie Hardin, with whom he composed Time Seller? and? Mr. Second Class ?, his last entry on the UK charts.

After the lack of success of the LPs With Their New Face On (1968), Letters From Edith (1969) and Heavies (1969), and the singles After Tea Y Short Change, the Spencer Davis Group ceased to exist. After leaving the stage, Davis moved to the United States, where he began to work in record companies, until in 2006 he returned to the road, along with Eddie Harding, with whom he continued in career until 2015.


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