The band started out as the Dave Clark Quintet in 1957, with Clark on drums, Dave Sanford on lead guitar, Chris Walls on bass, Don Vale on piano (and arranger). In 1958, Sanford was replaced by Rick Huxley and people were confused by the meaning of the word quintet, so the band renamed themselves the Dave Clark Five, with Stan Saxon on lead vocals, Huxley on rhythm guitar, Roger Smedley on piano and Johnny Johnson on lead guitar. Mick Ryan replaced Johnson in 1958 and Jim Spencer joined on saxophone, while Smedley left. Walls left in 1959 and Huxley became the bass player. Mike Smith joined on piano in 1960, and Lenny Davidson replaced Ryan in 1961. In 1962, the band changed its name to the Dave Clark Five when Saxon left. The group was Clark on drums, Huxley on bass, Smith on organ and lead vocals, and Davidson on lead guitar, adding Denny Payton on tenor and baritone saxophone, harmonica and guitar.
Originating in North London, the band was promoted as the vanguard of the "Tottenham Sound", a response to the Mersey Beat stable managed by Brian Epstein. Dave Clark, who formed the group, occasionally placed his drum kit at the front of the stage, with the guitarists and organ to his rear and sides, and struck business deals that allowed him to produce the band's recordings and gave him control of the master recordings. Songwriting credits went to Clark, Clark and Smith, Clark and Davidson and Clark and Payton.
The Dave Clark Five had 17 records in the Top 40 of the US Billboard chart and 12 Top 40 hits in their native UK between 1964 and 1967. Their song "Over and Over" went to number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 on Christmas Day 1965, despite less impressive sales in the UK (it peaked at number 45 on the UK Singles Chart), and they played to sell-out crowds on their tours of the U.S. The Dave Clark Five was the first British band of the British Invasion to tour the US, and they made 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – the most of any British Invasion group.
After the success of the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night in 1964, the band released their own film, Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman) in 1965. It also 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.
After their initial success, which included the film and a television special, the major hits dried up in the US after 1967's "You Got What It Takes", although the band had several substantial hits in the UK in the 1967–1970 period. Other than the songs "Inside and Out", "Maze of Love" and "Live in the Sky" (the latter actually quotes directly from the Beatles' "All You Need is Love"), the band did not follow the trend of psychedelic music. The DC5 disbanded in 1970, having placed 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. This line-up, renamed "Dave Clark & Friends", lasted until 1973.
Between 1978 and 1993, none of their music was available to be purchased in any commercial format, as rights-holder Clark declined to licence the band's recordings. In 1993, a single CD "Glad All Over Again" was produced by Dave himself and released by EMI in Britain. 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". No DC5 material was then legally available until 2008, when the "Hits" compilation was released by Universal Music in the UK. In 2009 selections from the band's catalogue were released on iTunes.
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 and had the privilege of directing the last performance of Sir Laurence Olivier. The production received critical acclaim and featured unique electronic and mechanical theater stagecraft. The production was seen by an audience of over one million. 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. The album and its accompanying singles sold a total of over 12 million records. This double album was digitally remastered and released on iTunes in May 2012.
Mike Smith 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 London from a spinal injury sustained after scaling a fence at his home in Spain.
Denis Payton died on 17 December 2006 at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. Rick Huxley died from emphysema on 11 February 2013 at the age of 72. Len Davidson taught guitar for many years at a school in Cambridgeshire, where he still lives.
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. 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 eleven days before the induction. Dave Clark opened up his acceptance speech by saying that he felt like he was at the Oscars. Davidson's family 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.
In March 2008 a 28-track collection, The Dave Clark Five: The Hits, was released on iTunes.
The Dave Clark Five comprised:Dave Clark (born David Clark, 15 December 1942, Tottenham, North London, England) – Drums.
Mike Smith (born Michael George Smith, 6 December 1943, North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton, North London – died 28 February 2008, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire) – Lead vocals, keyboards
Lenny Davidson (born Leonard Arthur Davidson, 30 May 1944, Enfield, Middlesex) (ex the Off Beats, the Impalas) – Lead guitar
Rick Huxley (born Richard Huxley, 5 August 1940, Livingstone Hospital, Dartford, Kent – died 11 February 2013) (ex the Riverside Blues Boys, the Spon Valley Stompers) – Bass guitar.
Denis Payton (born Dennis Archibald West Payton, 11 August 1943, Walthamstow, East London – died 17 December 2006, in Bournemouth, Dorset) (ex the Renegades, the Les Heath Combo, the Blue Dukes, the Mike Jones Combo) – Tenor and baritone saxophones, harmonica, guitar.
The Dave Clark Five's UK Top Ten singles (1963–70) were as follows: "Glad All Over" (No.1 for 2 weeks from 14 January 1964); "Bits and Pieces" (No.2, March 1964); "Can't You See That She's Mine" (No.10, June 1964); "Catch Us If You Can" (No.5, August 1965); "Everybody Knows" (No.2, November 1967); "The Red Balloon" (No.7, October 1968); "Good Old Rock'n'Roll" (No.7, January 1970) and finally, "Everybody Get Together" (a cover version of "Get Together", the Chet Powers' song popularised by the Youngbloods in the US), which peaked at No.8 in April 1970.
The Dave Clark Five's United States singles hits included "Glad All Over" (No.6, April 1964),"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), "Any Way 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, 25 December 1965) and "You Got What It Takes" (No.7, May 1967).
The Dave Clark Five's Canadian singles hits as listed in RPM Magazine (Sept.1964 onwards) included "Because" (No.3, September 1964), "Everybody Knows" (No.21, November 1964), "Any Way You Want It" (No.7, January 1965), "Come Home" (No.6, March 1965), "Reelin' & Rockin'" (No.10, May 1965), "I Like It Like That" (No.3, July 1965), "Catch Us If You Can" (No.5, September 1965), "Over And Over" (No.1, 25 December 1965), "At the Scene" (No.1, March 1966), "Try Too Hard" (No.5, May 1966), "Please Tell Me Why" (No.5, July 1966), "Satisfied With You" (No.32, September 1966), "Nineteen Days" (No.23, November 1966), "I've Got To Have A Reason" (No.31, February 1967), "You Got What It Takes" (No.7, May 1967), "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" (No.37, July 1967) and "Red And Blue" (No.42, December 1967).Glad All Over (US; 1964)
The Dave Clark Five Return! (US; 1964) / A Session with The Dave Clark Five (UK; 1964)
American Tour (US; 1964)
Coast to Coast (US; 1965)
Weekend in London (US; 1965)
Having a Wild Weekend (US; 1965) / Catch Us If You Can (UK; 1965)
I Like It Like That (US; 1965)
Try Too Hard (US; 1966)
Satisfied with You (US; 1966)
5 By 5 (US; 1967)
You Got What It Takes (US; 1967)
Everybody Knows (UK; 1967) / (US; 1968)
5 by 5 = Go! (UK; 1969)
If Somebody Loves You (UK; 1969)
Good Old Rock'n'Roll (UK; 1970)