Whether you’re a longtime fan of The Dave Clark Five or you’re of the age that only knows of Paul McCartney from Wings, tune your telly to PBS on April 8 for Great Performances “Glad All Over: The Dave Clark Five and Beyond” and celebrate the work of a band that was at the forefront of the British invasion.
Unfortunately, it’s probably hard to fathom for some and impossible to remember for others that there was a London-based band in the early ’60s that rivaled The Beatles for popularity. If you need proof, you need go no further than the groups 1963 iconic single, “Glad All Over”, which knocked the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” off the top of the UK singles charts in January 1964. They were actually the first English group to tour America, in May 1964, kicking off the British Invasion.
Also known as The DC5, the band, according to leader (and drummer) Dave Clark, got its start playing American airbases around their hometown of London. The soldiers asked them to play songs they had on the jukebox from singers like Elvis and Fats Domino. Their music was labeled as the “Tottenham Sound”, which was a direct response to Brian Epstein and his “Mersey Beat” sounds of Liverpool to the North.
While the band was quite popular in the UK, they did enjoy huge success in the States which started with their first of 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in March of 1964, just weeks after three Beatles appearances in February of the same year. Supposedly, only Topo Gigio spent more time with Ed. I’m thinking I saw the plate spinning guy at least that many times too. Those appearances led to virtually instant stardom in the States for the DC5. Taking a page out of the Beatles playbook and “A Hard Day’s Night”, they filmed their satirical look at the business of advertising, “Catch Us If You Can” (titled “Having a Wild Weekend” in the States), which was a bit more ambitious than just a ‘day in the life’ look at the Beatles. The main goal, said Clark, was to do something different from what the Beatles had done.
The Dave Clark Five: Catch Us If You Can
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the British Invasion, Great Performances “Glad All Over – The Dave Clark Five and Beyond” will feature newly filmed interviews with Tom Hanks, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, Stevie Wonder, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Whoopi Goldberg, Dionne Warwick, ’60s fashion icon Twiggy and Sir Ian McKellen, all sharing their memories of how the music of the 60s and the cultural revolution of 1964 changed their lives forever.
Check it out Tuesday, April 8 on PBS.