Remembering The Dave Clark Five

Dave_Clark_Five_1964The “British invasion” landed in the U.S. 50 years ago obviously led by the Beatles, but followed closely on their heels by another British group which vied for early musical dominance, The Dave Clark Five. The Dave Clark Five (aka DC5) pumped out a string of top 10 hits in 1964 and 1965. I was in fact a DC5 guy and as told in earlier Struming, The Same Bands Over and Over and Over Again, I thought they were as good as the Beatles back in 1964. Guess I was a little wrong on that one. Like the Beatles, The DC5 also appeared on Ed Sullivan– twice in March 1964, no small feat.

mosqueThey were also the first band I saw in concert in Newark, NJ in 1964 at the 2,800 seat Mosque Theater, a famous venue which changed its name to Symphony Hall in the mid-60s. As the Stones and Who and others celebrate their 50th anniversaries, it’s important to remember the DC5 as one of the Invasion’s leaders, albeit for only a short while.

Here’s an excerpt from the earlier Struming:

The first concert I attended was on May 25, 1964. I went with my older sister, Barbara, and we saw the Dave Clark Five at the Mosque Theater in Newark, New Jersey. I was 11 at the time. The concert was the start of their U.S. tour. Stops in the following nights were in Philadelphia and Washington DC. The show was great, though I had no perspective given it was my first concert.

The Dave Clark Five were really big stuff in 1964. Obviously you need to be 55+ to remember this, but they were considered a rival band to The Beatles (I guess that didn’t last). I remember buying a Beatles vs. Dave Clark Five magazine with photos of the rival bands and pithy quotes like George saying, “Five against four isn’t fair”

The Dave Clark Five (also called the DC5) had the second most hits in 1964-1966, second to that other British band. The Dave Clark Five’s United States singles hits in 1964 and 1965 included:

Bits and Pieces (No.4, May 1964)
Can’t You See That She’s Mine? (No.4, July 1964)
Because (No.3, August/September 1964),
Anyway You Want It (No.14, December 1964),
I Like It Like That (No.7, July 1965),
Catch Us If You Can (No.4, October 1965),
Over And Over (No.1, December 25, 1965)

I remind Strumings readers that Dave Clark was the drummer, not the lead singer. The lead singer was the late Mike Smith, whose name hardly is remembered in rock history other than for his untimely passing less than two weeks prior to the induction of the Dave Clark Five into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Dave Clark Five made their mark 50 years ago. Their songs have stood the test of time.

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One Comment

  1. Stuart Marvin says:

    PBS produced a really great doc on the DC5 that’s now avail on You Tube.

    As big as the DC5 were in the U.S. during that relatively short 1964-1966 run, they were positively huge in England, as the doc clearly captures. The band frankly should have been called the Mike Smith Five or MS5.

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