Dave Clark Five

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Dave Clark Five

Dave Clark Five , hit-making British invasion-era combo. MEMBERSHIP: Dave Clark, drm. (b. Tottenham, London, England, Dec. 15, 1942); Mike Smith, kybd., lead voc. (b. Edmonton, London, Dec. 12, 1943); Lenny Davidson, lead gtr. (b. Enfield, Middlesex, May 30, 1944); Denny Payton, sax., har., gtr. (b. Walthamstow, London, Aug. 11,1943); Rick Huxley, rhythm gtr., bs. (b. Dartford, Kent, Aug. 5, 1942).

One of the few 1960s rock groups led by a drummer, the Dave Clark Five were an enormously successful

singles band from 1964 to 1966, briefly challenging the Beatles in popularity, particularly in the U.S. Despite featuring three songwriters and a potent lead vocalist, the Dave Clark Five never progressed beyond their raucous rockers and gentle ballads, disbanding in 1970, although principals Mike Smith and Dave Clark continued to perform until 1973.

Originally formed as a semiprofessional band in 1958 by Dave Clark and Rick Huxley, the Dave Clark Five comprised Clark, Huxley, Mike Smith, Lenny Davidson, and Denny Payton by 1961. Debuting in Tottenham, London, in early 1962, the group first recorded for the Pye subsidiary of Picadilly Records later that year. The group switched to Columbia Records (Epic in the U.S.) in 1963.

With Clark, Smith, and Davidson providing many of the songs, the Dave Clark Five achieved more than 20 British and American hits in the 1960s. They began their string of successes with the smash British and American hits “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” and “Can’t You See That She’s Mine,” written by Clark and Smith. Conducting a highly successful American tour in the spring of 1964, the group made the first of 18 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show on May 31. They scored major American hits with the ballads “Because” (by Clark) and “Everybody Knows,” and the originals “Anyway You Want It” and “Come Home” became major British and American hits. The group appeared in the 1965 film Having a Wild Weekend and toured America during the summer.

Later in 1965, the Dave Clark Five scored a smash British and American hit with “Catch Us if You Can” (by Clark and Davidson) and a top American hit with Bobby Day’s “Over and Over.” Major American hits continued with “At the Scene” and “Try Too Hard,” and the group once again toured the U.S. in the summer of 1966. The hits subsequently slowed down, and after the smash American hit “You Got What It Takes” in the spring of 1967, the Dave Clark Five never achieved another major American hit. Major British hits continued into 1970 with “Red Balloon,” “Good Old Rock and Roll,” and Everybody Get Together.”

The Dave Clark Five announced their intention to disband in August 1970, yet Clark and Smith continued to perform as Dave Clark and Friends until 1973. Mike Smith recorded a British-only album with former Man-fred Mann vocalist Mike D’Abo in 1975, as Dave Clark concentrated on business activities that included music publishing. In 1986 Clark co-wrote and produced the modestly successful London stage musical Time. The original cast recording of the show included performances by Cliff Richard, Dionne Warwick, Leo Sayer, and Freddie Mercury. The hit recordings of the Dave Clark Five, unavailable for years, were eventually issued on the 1993 anthology set The History of the Dave Clark Five.


American Tour (1964); Glad All Over (1964); Return! (1964); Coast to Coast (1965); Having a Wild Weekend (soundtrack, 1965); I Like It Like That (1965); Weekend in London (1965); Greatest Hits (1966); More Greatest Hits (1966); Satisfied with You (1966); Try Too Hard (1966); 5 by 5 (1967); You Got What It Takes (1967); Even/body Knows (1968); The Dave Clark Five (1971).

—Brock Helander

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Dave Clark Five