The Spencer Davis Group – particularly its incarnation with Steve Winwood – proved to be influential, with many of the band's songs covered by other artists over the years. Notable among these are Chicago's 1969 version of "I'm a Man"; The Allman Brothers Band's 1969 take of Davis and Hardin’s instrumental "Don't Want You No More"; Three Dog Night's 1970 recording of "Can't Get Enough of It"; and The Blues Brothers' 1980 recording of "Gimme Some Lovin". The Grateful Dead also covered Spencer Davis Group material in live performance on occasion, and Spencer Davis himself performed "I'm a Man" with the Grateful Dead at a 1989 performance at Los Angeles' Great Western Forum.
His ferocious soul-drenched vocals belying his tender teenage years, Stevie Winwood powered the Spencer Davis Group's three biggest U.S. hits during their brief life span as one of the British Invasion's most convincing R&B-based combos.
Guitarist Davis formed the band with Winwood on organ, his brother Muff Winwood on bass, and drummer Peter York. Signing on with producer Chris Blackwell, the quartet got their first hit (the blistering "Keep on Running") from another of Blackwell's acts, West Indian performer Jackie Edwards. After topping the British charts in 1965, the song struggled on the lower reaches of the US Hot 100.
The group's two hottest sellers were self-penned projects. "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man" were searing showcases for the adolescent Winwood's gritty vocals and blazing keyboards and the band's pounding rhythms. Although they burned up the charts even on the other side of the ocean in 1967, the quartet never capitalized on their fame with an American tour. At the height of their power, Winwood left to form Traffic, leaving Davis without his dynamic frontman. The bandleader focused on producing other acts, including a Canadian ensemble called the Downchild Blues Band during the early '80s.
The Spencer Davis Group was a mid 1960s British beat group from Birmingham, England.
Although short-lived, the Spencer Davis Group - particularly its incarnation with Steve Winwood - was influential, with many of the band's songs covered by other artists over the years.