Spencer Davis, the guitarist best known for his hits ubiquitous late-’60’s hits “I’m a Man” and “Gimme Some Lovin’” with his band the Spencer Davis Group, died in California at the age of 81, the BBC reports.
According to his agent Bob Birk, Davis died in the hospital on Oct. 19 while being treated for pneumonia “He was a very good friend,” Birk told the BBC. “He was a highly ethical, very talented, good-hearted, extremely intelligent, generous man. He will be missed.”
Born in Swansea, Wales, Davis’ first group, the Saints, featured future Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. He also performed with Christine Perfect, who, using her married name of Christine McVie, went on to join Fleetwood Mac.
The guitarist and multi-instrumentalist formed the Spencer Davis Group in Birmingham, UK in 1963, with then-teenaged Steve Winwood, enjoying hits internationally, and in 1979, even seeing the Blues Brothers famously covering “Gimme Some Lovin’.”
Check out the original version of the classic below.
After Winwood left to form Traffic and supergroup Blind Faith, Spencer Davis Group broke up and its namesake ended up moving to California. There, facing financial ruin due to a bad record deal with Island Records, he confronted label head Chris Blackwell and was subsequently was given a job in artist development at the label in the mid-70s, the BBC reports. Davis worked there with acts including Bob Marley, Robert Palmer, and again with Winwood, who was then a solo artist.