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The Spencer Davis Group: “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” and “Somebody Help Me”

The Spencer Davis Group had a few hits. In the final analysis, however, the band probably is best remembered as Steve Winwood’s last stop on his way to forming Traffic.

Spencer Davis — a native of Wales — formed the band in Birmingham, England, in 1963. Winwood joined as guitarist, pianist, organist and vocalist. Brother Muff was on bass and Pete York was the drummer. The group — originally called the Rhythm and Blues Quartette — was signed and produced by Island Records’ Chris Blackwell, who later became an important figure in the career of Bob Marley and, in general, the popularization of reggae.

The band’s hits were “Keep On Running,” “Gimme Some Loving” and “I’m a Man.” The Allman Brothers had a lot of success with a cover of “Don’t Want You Know More” and the Grateful Dead performed the band’s material.

Like many bands of that era, The Spencer Davis Group has resurfaced in various forms throughout the years. Wikipedia says that in 2010 — and presumably after — different versions of group tour in the U.S and Europe. Davis is the only person in both versions. He has worked as a record executive over the years.

Above is “Gimme Some Lovin’.” The vocal almost certainly is not the original — it may even be the track from the album — but the video is so interesting that I decided to use it anyway. It seems to have been shot in a department store. Below is “Somebody Help Me,” preceded by an interview in German with Davis.

Wikipedia and The Spencer Davis Group website were used to write this post.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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