Showing posts with label mike smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mike smith. Show all posts

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Glad All Over

It's impossible to convey the awe of discovering new music in the sixties to anyone who wasn't there. It was a singular time that will never again happen. There was probably a reason for it, but I don't know what it is. "Experts" ponder that it was an optimism borne out of the Kennedy era, but I don't think so. First of all, most of the fresh music emanated from the British Isles. Perhaps it was a post-war release, a baby leaf sprouting out of bombed-out soil. The Beatles came first, but there were, oh, so many others.

Everyone hypes the so-called rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but I was there, and The Beatles' competition was not The Stones--it was The Dave Clark Five.

It wasn't long after The Beatles debuted in America (on The Ed Sullivan Show) that The Dave Clark Five showed up. Long forgotten is the fact that The Beatles began their career by featuring tons of cover songs. Yes, they had She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand, but they also covered Chuck Berry and Motown. The Five also copied previous hits, like Do You Love Me and You've Got What It Takes, but they also had originals:  Glad All Over and Can't You See That She's Mine.

My wondrous discovery of The Beatles in 1964 only made me salivate for more. And I didn't have to wait. It seemed like a confetti bomb burst and suddenly I was showered with more music than I could absorb into my tiny brain. And they were all British Invasion artists. Bam, bam, bam -- they exploded out of my transistor speaker. There were so many, I could afford to be picky. Gerry and The Pacemakers -- kinda boring. Freddy and The Dreamers and Herman's Hermits -- novelties.

But, ahhh, The Dave Clark Five. When one is nine, they ponder mundane realities like, why is the band named after the drummer? Nobody does that. It's not called "The Ringos", after all. At first I assumed the lead singer was Dave Clark, but I was oh so wrong. The soul of The Dave Clark Five was the astounding Mike Smith.

Mike Smith was hands-down the heart of the band.

At age nine, I didn't know what the tiny piano/organ was; some kind of jet-age invention. But the primary appeal of the band, aside from the drums, was Mike Smith's cuteness. Cuteness was a primary factor in a nine-year-old girl's assessment of...well, everything.

I didn't appreciate this song at the time, but boy:

Surprisingly, I can't find a live performance of this song, but c'mon:

Speaking of "c'mon":


In actual years, The Dave Clark Five had a short run, but it's not the calendar that signifies greatness. The Beatles had kind of a short run, too, but it seems that people keep listening to their songs.

Let's not forget The Five -- or if you're younger than me (as most people are), let's discover them. To a giddy nine-year-old, this band was out'a sight!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Goodbye, Mike Smith

Mike Smith, lead singer and keyboard player for The Dave Clark Five, passed away yesterday.

Ironically, The Dave Clark Five will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in two weeks. It's really a shame that it took so long for this group to get into the Hall, and now it seems too little, too late, in some ways. Mike had intended to be present at the induction.

In addition to being the "soul" of the DC5, Mike also co-wrote a lot of the group's hits, along with Dave Clark, including, "Glad All Over", "Bits And Pieces", and "Can't You See That She's Mine".

Mike was paralyzed in an accident in 2003, but he had enjoyed a long career as a record producer prior to his injury. He produced, among others, Shirley Bassey.

My favorite performance by the DC5 was a song written by Chuck Berry, "Reelin' And Rockin'", but I really enjoyed all their recordings. I also have very fond memories of "Over And Over".

The Dave Clark Five hit the music scene around the same time as the Beatles, and they suffered by comparison, which is really unfair. Of all the British Invasion groups of that time, the best three would arguably be The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Dave Clark Five. The DC5 was the second British Invasion group, after the Beatles, to have a chart hit in the US (in 1964, "Glad All Over").

Here is a Dave Clark Five performance of one of their hits that went to #3 on the US charts in 1964; "Because":

So, thanks for the memories, Mike Smith. Be seein' you on my iPod.