Spencer Davis

A Welsh guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist, Spencer Davis became one of the elder statesmen of mid-'60s British rock. As part of the Spencer Davis Band, which formed in Birmingham in 1963, Davis scored chart-topping hits on both sides of the Atlantic, including "Keep on Running" and "Somebody Help Me" in the U.K. and a pair of Top Ten singles, "Gimme Good Lovin'" and "I'm a Man," in the United States. The band -- which also featured a teenaged Stevie Winwood on vocals, guitar, and organ, Muff Winwood (Stevie's brother) on bass, and Pete York on drums -- continued to mix commercial pop tunes and blues-inspired R&B until the Winwoods departed in 1967. Inspired by American blues musicians, including Leadbelly and Muddy Waters, Davis left a career as a college English professor to form the Rhythm & Blues Quartet. After performing a series of gigs at Birmingham nightclub, the Golden Eagle Pub, the group became the club's resident band. Soon after adding regular Tuesday night sessions at the Marquee in London to their schedule, they changed their name to the Spencer Davis Group.