The Spencer Davis Group was a mid-1960s beat group from Birmingham, England. In their heyday, the group consisted of Steve Winwood (vocals), Muff Winwood (bass), Pete York (drums) and Spencer Davis (lead guitarist/vocals).
Spencer Davis moved to Birmingham from London in 1960 to study. In 1963, he recruited the Winwood brothers and started The Spencer Davis Group. The band performed regularly in the city and were signed to a recording contract after an appearance in a local club.
The group’s first professional recording was a cover version of ‘Dimples’, but they came to success at the end of 1965 with ‘Keep on Running’, the group’s first number one single. In 1966 they followed this with ‘Somebody Help Me’ and ‘When I Come Home’.
By the end of 1966 and the beginning of 1967, the group released two more hits, 'Gimme Some Lovin' and ‘I’m A Man’. These tracks proved to be their two best-known successes, especially in the U.S.
In 1967, Winwood left to form Traffic; his brother Muff moved into the music industry as A&R man at Island Records. In a so-called joint venture, the soundtrack to the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush featured both The Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.
Despite the Winwoods’ departure, The Spencer Davis Group continued performing and released more singles, though not repeating earlier successes. They released 'Mr. Second-Class' in late 1967, which was heavily played on Radio Caroline, and the group’s last minor hit, ‘After Tea’, in 1968.
Although short-lived, The Spencer Davis Group was very influential, with many of the band’s songs covered by other artists over the years.
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