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Review: Dave Clark Five PBS special is group's version of 'Beatles Anthology'

"The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over"

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If the Dave Clark Five hasn't received their rightful place in history, “The Dave Clark Five and Beyond – Glad All Over,” which premieres in April on PBS' "Great Performances," goes a long way in making sure they're remembered. The two-hour special, not all brand new but updated for recent events, features a wealth of clips from the long history of the band from shows including “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Shindig,” plus their Royal Command Show performance and footage from their Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame induction.

Photos from "The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over."
Photos from "The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over."
Dave Clark/PBS
The Dave Clark Five
The Dave Clark Five
Dave Clark/PBS

Those interviewed include Paul McCartney, who talks about the Beatles' “rivalry” with the group, Stevie Wonder, Twiggy, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Elton John, Max Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen, Gene Simmons (in full KISS makeup), Steve Van Zandt, Dionne Warwick, Whoopi Goldberg, Freddie Mercury, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Laurence Olivier.

The show heaps praise on both the band, especially Mike Smith, who himself is seen in interviews about the band's height of fame.

Footage of the band performing live rarely seen is included here. The best is the Royal Command Performance, where the band sings “Nineteen Days” then drops the tempo for a cover of Ray Charles' “Georgia On My Mind.” More rare moments are seen in home movies taken by the band of arrivals in airports surrounded by fans. There's also a short clip of the band's TV special, “Hold On It's the Dave Clark Five” with Lulu and Richard Chamberlain

Not so rare is Tom Hanks' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, which is heard in short bits throughout the two-hour special. Maybe a couple of clips are ok, but there are way too many. Anyway, it wasn't Hanks' who made the band great; it was their music.

The last half-hour is given over to Dave Clark's accomplishments – with the band (he was one of the first to insist he get possession of the band's recording masters), his personal projects like the “Time” show (which included Olivier, McKellan, Mercury and Julian Lennon, who's also in the special) and the purchase of the British music series “Ready Steady Go.” The praise gets pretty lofty, as when Elton John calls Clark a "stone cold genius."

There are also tributes to the deceased DC5 members Rick Huxley, Denis Payton and the very underrated Mike Smith "In loving memory of Mike, Denis and Rick. Your spirit lives on in the music," the screen says. Huxley died in early 2013. Smith died in February, 2008, 4 1/2 years after a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. Payton died in 2007.

“The Dave Clark Five and Beyond – Glad All Over” is something that's long overdue and that fans of the band won't want to miss. You could call it "The Dave Clark Five Anthology." It's too bad, though, most of the band isn't around to celebrate it. The two-hour special is scheduled to premiere nationally on PBS at 8 p.m. April 8 and 10 p.m. April 11 (but check local listings since PBS air times do not always follow the national schedule in some cities).

Note: The PBS special will include an offer for a Dave Clark Five DVD, “The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over and Beyond,” on DVD and Blu-ray that will feature the special and two additional hours of extras. The group's films “Having a Wild Weekend” and “Go Get Yourself a College Girl” are also available on DVD.

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