In Memoriam: Spencer Davies (1952-1960)
Ron Griffiths (Year of 1958) writes:
How sad I was, like so many, to hear of Spencer passing away. My earliest memories as a second-year at Dynevor in 1959 were seeing and listening to our popular School Captain sitting in the corner of the gym during the annual Hobbies Exhibition playing and singing authentic Blues by his blues heroes Muddy Waters; Huddy (Leadbelly) Ledbetter; and Big Bill Broonzy. All I could muster for the Exhibition was my stamp collection; but how impressed I was listening to Spencer. I didn’t realise that he had formed a skiffle group called “The Zodiacs” with other like-minded souls from Dynevor.
On leaving Dynevor, he moved on to University in Birmingham furthering his love of languages, and whilst there formed the band which were to find worldwide fortune and fame as The Spencer Davis Group, dropping the ‘e’ in his surname – as although we Welsh pronounce Davies as Davis, he was wary of people in the U.S, pronouncing it as Davees!
I recently exchanged e-mails with him following a request from Francis Morgan to provide the ODA with an article for our magazine. He was made aware of my Badfinger connections and replied politely with a “yes of course”. He also added that he had not been feeling very well lately and ended with, “I miss the Hams.” For those of you not aware, the late Peter Ham was my band mate throughout the Iveys and Badfinger days and his late brother, Old Dy’vorian John Ham, was a trumpet player on the local jazz circuit – Spencer knew them well.
The Spencer Davis Group were a huge influence on our cover material; we used to play their hits and many of their lesser known album tracks before we left Swansea.
So Spencer thanks for the music, and dare I say “Rock in Peace”.
Spencer Davis: 17 July, 1939 ~ 19 October, 2020
See edition 38 for more information The Dy’vorian.