Spencer Davis, founder member of the Spencer Davis Group died on Monday aged 81. They had a string of R&B (in the days when it mean rythmn and blues) hits from 1966 until they disbanded in 1969. Their first two hit records Keep on Running and Somebody Help me, were written by Jamaican musician Jackie Edwards. On the strength of that ‘black sound’ black stations in the US played their records until they realised that these musicians were English, Welsh and white. But by this time they were gaining notice.
The band started to write their own songs and their next two hits were Gimme Some Lovin’ which featured in the Blues Brothers film and I’m A Man which was covered by Chicago.
This is I’m a Man, my favourite, from Finnish (I think) television
Many people who were not familiar with the band in the beginning think that Spencer Davis was the vocalist. He wasn’t; he played guitar, harmonica and backing vocals. The main vocals, that very distinctive voice, was Stevie Winwood (his older brother Muff is on bass) also playing keyboard at the age of 16. He is known as Steve now he is an adult, still singing, still brilliant, toured with Steely Dan early this year before the pandemic.