I've marked this as OT (ish) as there is "some kinda Stones connection" (© Rockman).
Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Cyril Davies, an unsung hero and true pioneer, along with Alexis Korner, of early British R'n'B.
Although he played banjo and guitar, he is best known as an excellent blues harmonica player heavily influenced by Little Walter.
Having played skiffle as part of Ken Colyer's jazz band, Davies and Korner eventually formed their own "Roundhouse Jug Four" and "Breakdown Group", still playing skiffle, before forming "Blues Incorporated", Britain's first "proper" R'n'B group, in 1962
opening at the Ealing Club
in March. Later that year, in May, they also secured a Thursday night slot at the The Marquee Club
in Wardour Street.
The lineup of Blues Inc. was fairly fluid but for a time a young Charlie Watts held the drum stool.
Alexis Korner was very encouraging to the many young blues fans and aspiring performers that turned up at Blues Inc.'s gigs and often invited them to perform with the band including many that would go on to have careers of their own including Brian Jones, Paul Jones, Mick Jagger, Eric Burdon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton & Rod Stewart.
Cyril Davies, on the other hand, was notoriously "grumpy" but he did give Mick Jagger some advice when he was asked for some tips on harmonica playing.
"You f*cking blow it, you f*cking suck it, that's all there is to it"!
The above lineup shows the band that was invited to perform on the BBC radio's "Jazz Club" programme on July 12 1962.
From left to right: Dave Stevens, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger, Cyril Davies and Charlie Watts (just seen behind Cyril)
You can see Charlie better in this picture:
Unfortunately, the BBC wouldn't pay for a seven piece band so Mick Jagger wasn't included. But as the recording for the broadcast clashed with Blues Incs' Thursday night slot at the Marquee, Mick said that he'd get the band that he'd been rehearsing with to fill the slot and the rest is history.
This is Blues Incorporated's recording from July 12 1962:
Blues Incorporated released the album "R&B from the Marquee" in November 1962 although it was actually a studio recording.
Cyril Davies left the band soon after the album's release due to "musical differences" and formed the "Cyril Davies R&B All Stars" recruiting Long John Baldry, Carlo Little, Ricky Fenton and Nicky Hopkins. Jimmy Page was also briefly a member too.
Signing to Pye Records he released two blistering singles in 1963:
The All Stars even appeared on TV:
Cyril Davies died on January 7 1964 of endocarditis just short of his 32nd birthday.
Gone but not forgotten,a plaque was placed on the site of the old Ealing Club on Saturday 17th March 2012.
Obituary in Record Mirror, January 18, 1964.
For more information visit this excellent website co-run by ChicagoCalling, an occasional contributor to these pages:
"As we say in England, it can get a bit trainspottery"
Edited 13 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-03 15:28 by Deltics.