Monday, December 10, 2012

The Band’s Namesake is Not the Lead Vocalist: The Dave Clark Five

Our second post in our second week feature, “The Band’s Namesake is Not the Lead Vocalist” takes us back to 1964 when the second British Invasion band after The Beatles hit the American charts. The group was The Dave Clark Five; however, despite his control of the band’s affairs, the drummer was not the lead singer. That job belonged to keyboardist Mike Smith.

Recorded in November 1963, “Glad All Over” was The Dave Clark Five’s first big worldwide hit single. It topped the UK charts in January 1964. It also hit the number one slot in Ireland, #2 in Canada, #3 in Australia, #4 in the Netherlands, and #6 in the US.

Two performances in March 1964 on the famed Ed Sullivan show sparked interest in the band in North America. The DC5’s two performances followed the three by The Beatles. The DC5 appeared on 18 episodes of the show – more than any other British Invasion band.

Although Mike Smith was the lead singer, he was not the band’s leader – that legitimately belonged to Dave Clark who started the band, placed his drum kit uncharacteristically out front, was the band’s manager, obviously owned the band’s name, played the role as the band’s executive producer, and was one of the first artists to control his master recordings.

If anything, Clark was a shrewd businessman who started a media company that eventually purchased the British music show “Ready Steady Go!” He currently owns its library of episodes that ran from 1963 to 1966 and the world is awaiting the show’s output on DVD. Although Dave Clark’s influence and name were all over the DC5, the fact remains that Mike Smith and not Dave Clark was the actual front man.