|Spencer Davis Group|
Years: 1963–1969; 1973–1974; 2006–present
Styles: Beat, Mod Rock, Pop Rock, Rhythm and Blues
Spencer Davis - 12 string guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Steel guitar , Vocals
Steve Winwood - Guitar, Harmonica, Lead guitar, Lead vocals, Organ, Piano (in band: 1963 - 1967)
Muff Winwood - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1963 - 1967)
Pete York - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1963 - 1968)
Nigel Olsson - Drums
Charlie McCracken - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Eddie Hardin - Electric piano, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1967 - 1968)
Phil Sawyer - Lead guitar (in band: 1967 - 1968)
Ray Fenwick - Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1970)
Dee Murray - Bass Guitar (in band: 1968 - 1970)
The Spencer Davis Group was formed in 1963 in Birmingham when Welsh guitarist Spencer Davis recruited vocalist and organist Steve Winwood and his bass playing brother Muff Winwood. The group was completed with Pete York on drums. Originally called the Rhythm and Blues Quartette, the band performed regularly in the city.
It was Muff Winwood who came up with the name Spencer Davis Group on the pretext that Davis could do the interviews while the others could stay in bed. Their first single release in April 1964 was a cover of the John Lee Hooker song "Dimples".
The group took on a heavy schedule of bookings across the country and because of this exposure, their next three single releases, "I Can't Stand It", "Every Little Bit Hurts" and "Strong Love" managed to make the upper end of the British charts. Up to this time, the songs performed and recorded by the group were covers of existing blues and R&B standards, but Chris Blackwell knew the group's success would lie in original material and brought in songwriter Jackie Edwards to compose the next three singles for the group. The first was "Keep On Running", British number one record in November of 1965.
A tour of Europe followed and the next single, "Somebody Help Me", also written by Edwards, although not as strong as the first, still gained another number one position. The final song by Edwards, "When I Come Home" managed to reach the number 12 spot. For the next single release, the group was pressured by Blackwell to come up with their own material. The result was "Gimme Some Lovin' " which became an instant hit, reaching number 2 on the British charts and number 6 in the USA.
In 1967, Steve Winwood left to form Traffic; his brother Muff moved into the music industry as A&R man at Island Records. After the Winwoods' departure, the Spencer Davis Group regrouped with the addition of guitarist Phil Sawyer (ex-Les Fleur de Lys) and keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin (ex-A Wild Uncertainty). This line-up released the "Time Seller" single in July 1967.
This was followed by "Mr. Second-Class" in late 1967, which received heavy airplay on Radio Caroline (at that time one of the two remaining pirate radio ships off the British coast), and the album "With Their New Face On" in 1968. At that time Ray Fenwick had replaced Phil Sawyer.
After one further single ("Short Change"), at that time Eddie Hardin and Pete York had left to form the duo Hardin & York. They were replaced by future Elton John Band members Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums. This line-up produced the album "Funky" in 1969 (only released in the USA)
The group reunited in 1973 with Davis, Fenwick, Hardin and York, and newcomer Charlie McCracken on bass. The group released the albums "Gluggo" and "Living in a Back Street" before once again disbanding.
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