The Dave Clark Five's Dave Clark

Dave Clark Fives Dave Clark

Though he began his professional career as a movie stuntman, Dave Clark

went down in music history as leader of the quintet that briefly rivaled

the Beatles in popularity among young British music lovers.

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Dave Clark was born Dec. 15, 1942, in London. While working in films,

Clark and a friend advertised in Melody Maker for musicians to

form a pop band. After recruiting singer Stan Saxon, Clark formed the

Dave Clark Five, which went through several personnel changes, including

Saxon's departure, before settling on the lineup that began cutting records.

The 1961 version of the Dave Clark Five comprised members of the Tottenham

Hotspurs soccer team. It featured Clark on drums (though he had never

played in a band before), Mike Smith on lead vocals and piano, Rick Huxley

and Lenny Davidson on guitars, and Denis Payton on sax.

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After recording a few singles for different record labels, the Dave Clark

Five signed with Columbia Records and issued a rock version of the nursery

rhyme 'The Mulberry Bush.' Then the band's cover of the Contours' 'Do You

Love Me' went to #30 in the UK, while Brian Poole & the Tremeloes' version,

released at the same time, topped the same chart.

'Glad All Over' ( RealAudio

excerpt ), the first of many of the band's hits written by Clark

and Smith, pushed the Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' from the top

of the UK chart in 1964. The song also went to #6 in the U.S., where the

Dave Clark Five became the first British Invasion group after the Beatles

to make it big (though the Rolling Stones soon overtook them).

The Dave Clark Five, whose music was louder than that of the Beatles,

thanks to Clark's heavy drumming and production, also went to #2 in the

UK and #4 in the U.S. with 'Bits and Pieces.' Other 1964 hits for the

group included 'Can't You See That She's Mine' and 'Because.' Their

recognition factor in the States increased due to the band's 18 appearances

on the popular 'Ed Sullivan Show.'

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The following year the group scored with the U.S. #1 'Over and Over,' 'I

Like It Like That' and 'Catch Us If You Can.' They also appeared in films

such as 'Get Yourself a College Girl' and 'Having a Wild Weekend.'

The Dave Clark Five's last relatively big hit in the U.S. was the #7 'You

Got What It Takes' in 1967. They had minor chart successes in the States

for the next year, including their final U.S. entry 'Everybody Knows.'

Until the band split in 1970, it continued to score hits in its home

country. These included a cover of the Youngbloods' U.S. hit 'Get Together'

titled 'Everybody Get Together.' Upon the group's demise, Smith and Clark

recorded as Dave Clark and Friends for three years to fulfill a contract

with EMI Records. Clark also took acting lessons. In the '70s he settled

into music publishing.

In 1986 Clark wrote and produced the musical 'Time,' which first featured

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Cliff Richard and then David Cassidy. The soundtrack LP, featuring Freddie

Mercury, Dionne Warwick and others, included Julian Lennon's take on the

Dave Clark Five hit 'Because.' In 1993 Clark compiled a double-CD Dave

Clark Five retrospective, History of the Dave Clark Five.

At the time, when asked by Ice magazine about a reunion, Clark

said: 'No. I was offered a fortune 10 years ago and five years ago. I'm

sure we could pack out certain venues, but we've done that. Leave it to

all the new exciting bands that are around.'

Other birthdays on Wednesday: Cindy Birdsong (Supremes), 60; Carmine Appice

(Vanilla Fudge), 53; Don Johnson, 50; Paul Simonon (Clash), 44; Doug

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Phelps (Kentucky Headhunters), 39; Nick Beggs (Kajagoogoo), 38; Kito

Trawick (Ghostown DJs), 22; Jesse Belvin, 1933–1960; Alan Freed,

1921–1965; John Hammond II, 1910–1987; Harry Ray (Moments/Ray,

Goodman & Brown), 1946–1992; and Max Yasgur, 1919–1973.