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Spencer Davis Nelson Davis (born July 17, 1939) is a British musician and multi-instrumentalist, founder of the 1960s beat group The Spencer Davis Group.
Childhood and early years
Davis was born in Swansea, South Wales. His father was a parachutist. Influenced by his uncle Herman, who played the mandolin, Spencer Davis learned to play the harmonica and the accordion at 6 years of age. Then he attended the Dynevor School where he passed seven exams with a high level of the GCE. He moved to London when he was 16 years old, and began working in the Civil Service as an administrative officer of the Post Office Savings Bank in Hammersmith and also worked in HM Customs and Excise; but later he returned to his old school to study an advanced level in languages, becoming director in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Birmingham, to learn German at the University of Birmingham. In the music media, Davis was later known as “professor”.
His early musical influences were skiffle, jazz and blues, the biggest genres of popular music in the 1960s. His influential artists include Big Bill Broonzy, Huddy Ledbetter, Buddy Holly, Davey Graham, John Martyn, Alexis Kornet and Long John Baldry. During the time he was 16, Davis was hooked on American guitar and rhythm and blues making his way across the Atlantic. With few opportunities to listen to R & B in South Wales, Davis looked for any performance that came to the city. When he heard a band called Dixieland who performed a skiffle version of the R & B song “John Henry”, Davis formed a band called The Saints, with Bill Perks, who later changed his name to Bill Wyman.
When Davis moved to Birmingham, as a student he often acted on stage after his teaching as a teacher, he terminated that work. In Birmingham, he worked with Christine Perfect, who later married Fleetwood musician Mac John McVie. They were looking for and playing in several folk clubs with Ian Campbell’s trio. With Perfect on the piano and Davis on the 12-string guitar, they performed Canadian folk songs, such as “Spring Hill” and “Nova Scotia”. They also performed songs by W.C. Handy and “Lead Belly”.
In The Spencer Davis Group
In 1963, Davis went to a public house in Birmingham to see Muff Woody, a traditional jazz band composed of Muff and Steve Winwood. Steve, he was fifteen at the time, and he already had offers for his musical abilities. Books, five years older than his brother, was an accomplished jazz musician. Davis persuaded to join him and drummer Pete York as a quartet of Rhythm and Blues. Davis performed chords with guitar, vocals and harmonica, Steve Winwood on guitar, organ and voice, Muff Winwood on bass and Pete York on drums. Standing out mainly with covers of R & B, the band first played at the Golden Eagle pub on Hill Street, but within a year they had landed a regular concert at The Marquee, and in 1964 they had changed their name to The Spencer Davis Group. The group had No. 1 hits in the UK with consecutive releases in 1966 (“Keep on Running” and “” Somebody Help Me “). The Winwoods also sang on several hits from all the Spencer Davis Group until I’m a Man “in 1967.
Spencer Davis Group continued after Winwood split up to form the Traffic group in April 1967 and split up in 1969. Another formation of the group with Davis and York appeared in 1973 and was disbanded at the end of 1974. The members of the band have performed several concerts in recent years, under the direction of Davis.
After the group disbanded, Davis moved to California and recorded a live album with Peter Jameson, It’s Been So Long for Mediarts in mid-1971. He followed up with a solo album called Mousetrap published by United Artists. Not sold. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the United Kingdom and again formed the Spencer Davis Group with whom he signed a contract with Vertigo.
More Facts about Spencer Davis
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