- 21 Oct 20
Welsh musician Davis and his band The Spencer Davis Group enjoyed a string of hits in the 1960s.
Gimme Some Lovin' famously featured on the soundtracks of well-known movies The Blues Brothers and Notting Hill, with The Spencer Davis Band's music continuing to prove popular.
Following the news, tributes have been paid on social media by fellow musicians and friends of Davis.
Steve Winwood spoke about his former bandmate, praising Davis as “a man with a vision”.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Winwood recalled meeting Davis for the first time when he was 13 and Davis was 22.
“I was playing a show at Birmingham University with my brother and his band. Spencer, who was a student at Birmingham, was playing with a small group of musicians. We met, and the seeds of The Spencer Davis Group were sown.”
“Spencer was an early pioneer of the British folk scene, which in his case embraced folk blues and eventually what was then called ‘rhythm and blues’,” Winwood added.
“He influenced my tastes in music, and he owned the first 12-string guitar I ever saw. He was taken with the music of Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter and Big Bill Broonzy. I’d already got a big brother who influenced me greatly, and Spencer became like a big brother to me at the time.”
Winwood commented that Davis “was definitely a man with a vision, and one of the pioneers of the ‘British Invasion’ of America in the ‘60s”.
“I never went to the US with Spencer, but he later embraced America and America embraced him,” he said. “I feel that he was influential in setting me on the road to becoming a professional musician, and I thank him for that.”
Radio Caroline presenter Suzy Wilde, who names the guitarist as one of her friends, wrote a post on Twitter reflecting on passed memories.
"I'm so very, very saddened to learn of the passing of Spencer Davis. He was such a lovely man, generous and kind, warm and funny, and will be much missed. RIP dear Spencer," she shared alongside a nostalgic photo with the late singer.
Davis was inspired to begin a life-long career in music after hearing an American rhythm and blues band play a rare gig in his hometown of Swansea as a teenager.
He formed The Saints with friend Bill Perks - later known as Bill Whyman, the bassist for the Rolling Stones.
Davis later went on to study German at the University of Birmingham where he dated Christine Perfect, who went on to marry Fleetwood Mac's John McVie.
In 1963, Davis formed the self-titled The Spencer Davis Group after persuading established jazz artists Muff and Steve Windwood to join him and friend Pete York on the passion project.
The foursome went on to have a string of chart-topper singles 'Keep On Running' in 1965 and 'Somebody Help Me' in 1966.
The group disbanded in the late 1960s following a successful decade, but various incarnations of the beat band continued to tour in recent years under Davis' direction.
He leaves behind his partner June and three adult children.