Rocker Spencer Davis Dies at 81 While Battling Pneumonia

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The ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ musician who helped launch Bob Marley’s career has passed away at the age of 81 while receiving treatment in a hospital during his battle with pneumonia.


Veteran rocker Spencer Davis died in a California hospital on Monday (19Oct20) while battling pneumonia.

News of The Spencer Davis Group founder’s death was broken by bandmate Miller Anderson early on Tuesday and now the guitarist’s longtime publicist, Bob Birk, has confirmed his passing.

“Sadly, I can confirm the news that Spencer Davis passed away yesterday,” Birk tells WENN. “He died in the hospital, while being treated for pneumonia.”

“He was a very good friend. He was a highly ethical, very talented, good hearted, extremely intelligent, generous man. He leaves behind his long time, domestic partner, June and three adult children. He will be missed.”

Born Spencer David Nelson Davies in Swansea, Wales, he formed The Spencer Davis Group in Birmingham, England in 1963 with Steve and Muff Winwood and Pete York.

The group hit the top of the charts in the U.K. with “Keep on Running” and “Somebody Help Me”, while also recording hits like “I’m a Man” and “Gimme Some Lovin’ “. The group split in 1969 but Davis and York would briefly reunite in the mid-1970s.

Spencer’s solo career failed to take off with the release of 1970s albums “It’s Been So Long” and “Mousetrap“, so he formed a new Spencer Davis Group and became an executive at Island Records, where he helped launch the careers of stars like Robert Palmer and Bob Marley.

Spencer Davis died at the age of 81. “My dear old mate Spencer Davis,” bandmate Miller Anderson wrote in a tribute. “We will all remember the good times with you . R.I.P.”

Fellow musician Gary Kemp tweeted, “RIP Spencer Davis. He lead a magnificent band, one of the greats of the 60s, along with Muff and Steve Winwood. Keep in Running and Gimme Some Lovin’ we’re r&b classics (sic). He drove soul into the white rock sound of the time. #SpencerDavis.”