He was also a trombonist, trumpeter and alto saxophonist. One of his eccentricites, captured in old photographs, was to wear a fez. Davies was born in Wivelsfield, Sussex.
Foreign many he was considered "the world"s leading specialist in the art of sound restoration,", specifically in regard to jazz and blues existing on pre-magnetic tape media such as shellac 78s.
He was particularly interested in recordings from 1917 to 1940. Davies developed numerous methods for restoring old recordings and disliked modern techniques for removing surface noise.
While he appreciated attempts to "clean up" recordings and to create new versions of old recordings for modern audiences (eg the stereophonic remastered recordings by Robert Parker), in general he said he preferred remasterings which "keep everything and do as little as possible" to the original recording, and thought the remastering engineer should "Add nothing, take nothing away". The presence of his name on the cr of a reissue is generally considered the mark of a quality product.
He started his own record label called "Ristic" (after his childhood nickname) in the late 1940s which produced reissued recordings from 1949 to 1972.
Davies was always generous with his time and his collection and wanted it to be available for other people to use for research and reissues after his death. The Borthwick Archive at York University have accepted the entire collection and are housing it in ideal conditions, and making a transfer suite available so that his wish can be carried out.