The Dave Clark Five

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The Dave Clark Five
The Dave Clark Five in 1964. L–R: Mike Smith, Lenny Davidson, Denis Payton, Rick Huxley, Dave Clark.
The Dave Clark Five in 1964.
L–R: Mike Smith, Lenny Davidson, Denis Payton, Rick Huxley, Dave Clark.
Background information
OriginTottenham, London, England
Years active1958–1970 (Dave Clark Five); 1970-1973 (Dave Clark & Friends spinoff)
LabelsColumbia (EMI), Epic, Capitol
Past membersDave Clark
Mike Smith
Lenny Davidson
Rick Huxley
Denis Payton

The Dave Clark Five, also known as the DC5, were an English rock and roll band formed in 1958 in Tottenham, London. Drummer Dave Clark served as the group's leader, producer and co-songwriter. In January 1964, they had their first UK top-ten single, "Glad All Over", which knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at No. 6 in the United States in April 1964.[1] Although this was their only UK No. 1, they topped the US chart in December 1965, with their cover of Bobby Day's "Over and Over". Their other UK top-ten hits include "Bits and Pieces", "Can't You See That She's Mine", "Catch Us If You Can", "Everybody Knows", "The Red Balloon", "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll", and a version of Chet Powers' "Get Together" (retitled as "Everybody Get Together").[2]

They were the second group of the British Invasion to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States (for two weeks in March 1964 following the Beatles' three weeks the previous month). They would ultimately have 18 appearances on the show. The DC5 were one of the most commercially successful acts of the British Invasion, releasing seventeen top-40 hits in the US between 1964 and 1967, including several that did not chart as highly in the UK such as "Because", "Do You Love Me", "Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)", "Any Way You Want It", "I Like It Like That", "Try Too Hard" and "You Got What It Takes". In 1965, the group starred in a feature film vehicle, Catch Us If You Can, directed by John Boorman. The group disbanded in early 1970, though Clark and a few former members continued as Dave Clark & Friends until 1973. In 2008, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[3]


The Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. From left: Denis Payton, Dave Clark, Mike Smith, Rick Huxley and Lenny Davidson.

The band had its origins in 1958, as the backing musicians for north London vocalist Stan Saxon.[4] Dave Clark played drums and contributed background vocals, alongside a frequently changing line-up.[4] Clark and guitarist Rick Huxley both participated in the 1958 line-up.[5] Clark and his bandmates eventually split with Saxon and reconstituted themselves as a standalone concern in January 1962, making their home in the South Grove Youth Club in Tottenham, London.[4] After a little more evolution, a lasting ensemble was settled, with Clark on drums, Huxley moving to bass, Lenny Davidson on lead guitar, Denis Payton on saxophone (and harmonica and second guitar), and Mike Smith on keyboards and main vocals.[4] Davidson's previous bands were the Off Beats and the Impalas.[6][7]

The DC5 was promoted as the vanguard of a "Tottenham Sound", a response to Liverpool's Mersey Beat sound,[8] which featured an often loud and forceful production style driven by Clark's punchy drumming, Payton's saxophone padding and Smith's belting vocals. Dave Clark struck business deals that allowed him to produce the band's recordings and gave him control of the master recordings.[9] Songwriting credits for the band's original material went to Clark, or more often to the team of Clark and Smith. Clark/Davidson and Clark/Payton compositions were also not uncommon.[10] Session drummer Bobby Graham is also reported to have played on some of the band's hits.[11][12]

The Dave Clark Five had 12 Top 40 hits in the UK between 1964 and 1967, and 17 records in the Top 40 of the US Billboard chart. Their cover of Bobby Day's "Over and Over" went to No. 1 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 on Christmas Day 1965, despite less impressive sales in the UK (it peaked at No. 45 on the UK Singles Chart). They made 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show[13] – more than any other British Invasion group.

The band released a film, Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman) in 1965. It starred Barbara Ferris, and was released in the United States as Having a Wild Weekend. The short film Hits in Action highlighted a series of Dave Clark Five hits.

Other than the songs "Live in the Sky", "Maze of Love", "Inside and Out", "The Red Balloon" and "Lost in His Dreams", the band did not follow the psychedelic music trend.[14] Their popularity in the US mostly dried up by 1967, though they continued to score hits in Britain for another three years. The Dave Clark Five disbanded in 1970, having had three singles on the UK chart that year, two of which reached the Top Ten. In 1970, Davidson, Huxley and Payton left, and Alan Parker and Eric Ford joined on lead guitar and bass. That line-up, renamed "Dave Clark & Friends", lasted until 1972.

Between 1978 and 1993, none of their music was available to be purchased in any commercial format due to rights-holder Clark declining to license the band's recordings. In 1993, a single CD Glad All Over Again was produced by Dave himself and released by EMI in Britain.[15] After a 1989 deal with the Disney Channel to rebroadcast the 1960s ITV show Ready Steady Go! (which Clark owned), he made a deal with Disney-owned Hollywood Records to issue in 1993 a double CD History of the Dave Clark Five.[16] No DC5 material was then legally available until 2008, when the 28-track Hits compilation was released by Universal Music in the UK. In 2009, selections from the band's catalogue were released on iTunes. And in 2019, almost the entire catalogue from the band, including all the original 1960s studio albums, became available on Spotify for the first time.

BMG Rights Management, with whom Clark has recently joined forces to reissue the band's recordings, released a new DC5 greatest hits CD on 24 January 2020 in two configurations.[17]

Post break-up[edit]

Dave Clark was also the band's manager and producer of their recordings. Following the group's break-up, Clark set up a media company. In the process, he acquired the rights to the 1960s pop series Ready Steady Go!. Additionally, he wrote and produced the 1986 London stage musical Time – The Musical where he directed the last performance of Sir Laurence Olivier. A two-disc vinyl album was released in conjunction with the stage production featuring music recorded by Julian Lennon (singing DC5's song "Because"), Freddie Mercury, Stevie Wonder, Cliff Richard, Ashford & Simpson and Olivier's selected dialogue. This double album was digitally remastered and released on iTunes in May 2012.

Mike Smith teamed up with Mike d'Abo (previously with Manfred Mann) for one album in 1976. He also released a now-scarce CD in 2000 titled It's Only Rock & Roll and returned to performing in 2003 after a hiatus of 25 years. He formed Mike Smith's Rock Engine and did two mini-tours of the U.S. He died on 28 February 2008 in a Buckinghamshire hospital from pneumonia, a complication of a paralysing spinal injury sustained from a fall in 2003.[18]

Denis Payton died on 17 December 2006 at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer.[19] Rick Huxley died from emphysema on 11 February 2013 at the age of 72.[20] Lenny Davidson taught guitar for many years at a school in Cambridgeshire, the county he lives in.

In 2014, Dave Clark wrote, produced, appeared in, and partly presented the television documentary The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over.

Induction into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame[edit]

The Dave Clark Five made the list of nominees for the class of 2008, and on 13 December 2007 it was announced that the band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 10 March 2008.[3] The group was inducted by Tom Hanks, who wrote, directed and starred in the 1996 film That Thing You Do!, which was about an American one-hit wonder band that became popular in the wake of the British Invasion.

In attendance with the three surviving members of the DC5 were the families of Lenny Davidson and Rick Huxley, and Denis Payton's two sons. Mike Smith had planned on attending but died 11 days before the induction. Dave Clark opened up his acceptance speech by saying that he felt like he was at the Oscars. Davidson mentioned that they arrived in New York City for the ceremony on 8 March, exactly 44 years after the group's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Joan Jett honoured the Dave Clark Five by performing "Bits and Pieces" with John Mellencamp's band. To perform "Glad All Over", Jett was joined by John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel and other artists who performed throughout the evening.


The Dave Clark Five comprised:[6]

Classic line-up[edit]

  • Dave Clark – backing and occasional lead vocals, drums (1959–1970; 1970–1972, Dave Clark and Friends spinoff group)[7][21]
  • Mike Smith – lead vocals, keyboards (1961–1970; 1970–1973, Dave Clark and Friends spinoff group; died 2008)[7]
  • Lenny Davidson – backing and occasional lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars (1961–1970)[7]
  • Rick Huxley (ex the Riverside Blues Boys, the Spon Valley Stompers) – backing vocals, bass guitar, rhythm guitar[7] (1959–1970; died 2013)
  • Denis Payton (ex the Renegades, the Les Heath Combo, the Blue Dukes, the Mike Jones Combo) – backing and occasional lead vocals, tenor and baritone saxophones, harmonica, rhythm guitar (1962–1970; died 2006)[7][22]

Early members[edit]

  • Stan Saxon – lead vocals, saxophone[23]
  • Mick Ryan – lead guitar[23]
  • Chris Walls – bass[23]

Dave Clark & Friends members[edit]

  • Alan Parker – lead guitar
  • Eric Ford – bass



Studio albums[edit]


  1. ^ Gundersen, Edna (6 March 2008). "For Dave Clark Five, the accolades finally arrive". USA Today. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  2. ^ The Dave Clark Five, "Everybody Get Together" chart position Retrieved 18 May 2015
  3. ^ a b "Inductees for 2008". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame official website. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d Larkin, Colin, ed. (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). London: Omnibus Press. Clark, Dave, Five. ISBN 9780857125958.
  5. ^ "Dave Clark Five bassist Huxley dies". BBC News. 12 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The Birth of a Nation". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "The Dave Clark Five". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  8. ^ Clark, Dick; Uslan, Michael; Solomon, Bruce (1981). Dick Clark's the First 25 Years of Rock & Roll. New York: Dell Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 044051763X.
  9. ^ James E. Perone, Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion. ABC-CLIO. 2008. p. 94. ISBN 978-0275998608. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  10. ^ Richie Unterberger, "The Dave Clark Five PBS Special... and Beyond", Folkrocks, April 16, 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2020
  11. ^ "Bobby Graham | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Bobby Graham: Session drummer who played on around 15,000 records". The Independent. 23 September 2009.
  13. ^ Keith Tuber (December 1993). "A Second Wind, a New Generation". Orange Coast Magazine. Vol. 19, no. 12. p. 160. ISSN 0279-0483. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  14. ^ James E. Perone, Mods, rockers, and the music of the British invasion. ABC-CLIO. 2008. p. 99. ISBN 978-0275998608. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Glad All Over Again CD Edition by The Dave Clark Five @ – Shop, Listen, Download". Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  16. ^ Bronson, Harold (4 April 2014). "The Dave Clark Five: Dave Clark's Miscalculation". Huffington Post.
  17. ^ "Dave Clark Five 'All the Hits' Collection Coming: Listen". 30 July 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Dave Clark Five singer Smith dies". BBC. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
  19. ^ Laing, Dave (5 January 2007). "Denis Payton: Saxophonist who put the growl into the Dave Clark Five". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Rick Huxley, Bassist for the Dave Clark Five, Dies at 72". The New York Times. AP. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Dave Clark Five". Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  22. ^ "Entertainment | Dave Clark Five star Payton dies". BBC News. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred (11 March 2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 9780823076772 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]