Cyril Davies was perhaps the pivotal figure in the development of UK Blues and R&B, his pioneering work with Alexis Korner between the mid ‘50s and early ‘60s laying down the roots for a scene from which bands like The Stones later emerged. Sadly, his own life and career were cut tragically short in January 1964 when he died, suddenly and unexpectedly, of endocarditis. This is the first anthology of Cyril’s work, features virtually every track that Cyril is known to have played and/or sung on, ranging from a 1954 home recording to a clutch of tracks with The R&B All-Stars, cut in 1963 at the height of the British R&B/Beat Boom that, had tragedy not intervened, threatened to make him into a household name. Along the way, we encounter such important career milestones as his first official recording session, his genuinely ground-breaking partnership with Alexis Korner, and a veritable host of impossibly rare vinyl releases.
Given that almost any dodgy old band who recorded a one-off single back in the Sixties seems to have been disinterred and given their own showcase CD, it comes as a considerable shock to discover that one of the founding fathers of modern British Blues/R&B has yet to have his rather more vital career similarly anthologised. But that’s the way it is with Cyril Davies, whose incalculable influence on the scene hasn’t stopped many of his pioneeringrecordings languishing in the obscurity in which they were made, some fifty years ago. Finally, though, his seminal body of work is now assembled on this definitive collection. Compiled in conjunction with his memorial website.