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Profile: Dave Clark Five


The Dave Clark Five

The Dave Clark Five

source: retrosellers.com


1961 (Tottenham, London, England)


Rock and Roll, Pop, Pop-rock, British invasion

Principal Members:

Dave Clark (b. David Clark, December 15, 1942, Tottenham, London, England): drums
Mike Smith (b. Michael George Smith, December 6, 1943, Edmonton, North London, England): vocals, organ
Lenny Davidson (b. Leonard Arthur Davidson, May 30, 1944, Enfield, London, England): lead guitar
Rick Huxley (b. Richard Huxley, August 5, 1942, Dartford, Kent, England): bass
Denny Payton (b. Denis West Payton, August 11, 1943, Walthamstow, London, England; d. December 17, 2006, Bournemouth, Dorset, England): rhythm guitar, harmonica, saxophone

Contributions to music:

  • Led the second wave of the Sixties' "British Invasion," after the Beatles
  • The first British rock band to tour the US
  • Cultivated a "cleaner" image than even the Beatles had, yet created an arguably harder sound
  • Drummer Dave Clark was the first prominent rock drummer to lead his own band, as well as the first to manage his own band, and one of the first musicians to produce his own band
  • One of the first UK bands to base their sound around drums as opposed to guitar, and to write its own material
  • Appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more often than any other band
  • One of the first and most successful bands to cross over into movies

Early years:

The DC5 began life as a side project, a way for Clark to raise money for his soccer team; although not a musician, he bought a set of drums, taught himself to play them, and formed a band, which soon found a steady gig backing up singer Stan Saxon in a North London club. Soon they were signed to Britain's Pye Records, and even enjoyed a small hit with their cover of the Contours' "Do You Love Me." But their next single, the original "Glad All Over," hit big, knocking the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" out of the top spot in their native country. Clark's primitive, self-produced tribal drum sound was a smash.


Soon, the group was getting airplay in the States, thanks to promoters looking for the logical followup to the Beatles. But the "Tottenham Sound" of the DC5 was harder and more raucous than the "Merseybeat" sound of the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Swinging Blue Jeans, etc. Clark, a natural businessman, managed and produced his own band, and made several smart business decisions which ensured the group would hang on to the money it made. Before the Stones, Kinks, and Who arrived in 1965, the Dave Clark Five were considered the Beatles' chief British Invasion rival, scoring 15 top 20 hits in three years.

Later years:

Although Clark and company tried to shift with the changing cultural tide in the late Sixties, they met with little success, being forever tagged as a teenyboppers' group. After some success in the nascent "oldies revival" trend, they called it quits in 1970. Original member Denis Payton died in 2006; on October 15th, 2003, Mike Smith was horribly injured while climbing a fence on his property in Spain, falling and leaving himself permanently paralyzed in both legs and one arm. Donations may be sent to Mike Smith c/o P.O. Box 4584, Wilmington, DE 19807.

Other facts:

  • Clark actually started out as a movie stuntman
  • Sold out 12 shows at Carnegie Hall in three days
  • "Bits and Pieces" created such stomping from crowds live that it was often banned from performance
  • "Over and Over" was originally performed by Bobby Day as the b-side of his hit "Rockin' Robin"
  • Clark owns the rights to the legendary British TV pop series Ready Steady Go!
  • The very successful London musical Time (1986) was written by Clark
  • Mike Smith went on to produce several successful artists, including Shirley Bassey
  • Session drummer Bobby Graham has claimed he, not Clark, played drums on the DC5's hits; this has been disputed

Recorded work:

#1 hits:
  • "Over And Over" (1965)
Top 10 hits:
  • "Glad All Over" (1964)
  • "Because" (1964)
  • "Bits And Pieces" (1964)
  • "Can't You See That She's Mine" (1964)
  • "Catch Us If You Can" (1965)
  • "I Like It Like That" (1965)
  • "You Got What It Takes" (1967)
Top 10 albums:
  • Glad All Over (1964)
  • The Dave Clark Five Return! (1964)
  • Coast To Coast (1965)
  • The Dave Clark Five's Greatest Hits (1965)
Other notable recordings: "Do You Love Me," "Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)," "Any Way You Want It," "Come Home," "Reelin' And Rockin," "You Musta Been A Beautiful Baby," "Try Too Hard," "At The Scene," "Nineteen Days," "Please Tell Me Why," "Satisfied With You," "I Know You," "All Of The Time," "Chaquita," "I Knew It All The Time," "No Time To Lose," "Theme Without A Name," "Don't Let Me Down," "Any Time You Want Love," "Thinking Of You Baby," "Whenever You're Around," "Little Bitty Pretty One," "Ol' Sol," "I'm Thinking," "Crying Over You," "Don't Be Taken In," "When," "Mighty Good Loving," "Hurting Inside," "(Having A) Wild Weekend," "'Til the Right One Comes Along," "I'll Be Yours, My Love," "I Am On My Own," "I Need Love," "On The Move" "No One Can Break A Heart Like You," "Red Balloon," "Live In The Sky," "Put A Little Love In Your Heart," "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll," "Everybody Get Together"
Covered by: The Rezillos, Kiss
Appears in the movies: "The Swinging Set" (1964), "Catch Us If You Can" (1965) Dave Clark: "Live It Up!" (1963), "The Being" (1983)
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