Dave Clark Five singer Smith dies at age 64

By | February 28, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Mike Smith, the lead singer of the 1960s British band the Dave Clark Five, died on Thursday of pneumonia at an English hospital, his U.S. agent said. Smith, 64, was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday morning with a chest infection resulting from complications of a 2003 spinal cord injury that had left him paralyzed from the waist down, his New York agent, Margo Lewis, said in a statement.

His death at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, north of London, came just two weeks before the Dave Clark Five — one of the leading bands of the 1960s “British invasion” — was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York.

The Dave Clark Five, whose hits included “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces” and “Because,” were one of the first British bands to find major success in the United States after the Beatles.

According to a biography of the band on the Web site allmusic.com, it was the Dave Clark Five who knocked the Fab Four’s hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand” off the top of the British charts with “Glad All Over.”

And they made more appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” than any other English act of their era.

Despite a string of more than 10 other hits, the group disbanded in 1970. It had sold more than 50 million albums by the end of 2007.

The Dave Clark Five was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a March 10 ceremony in New York that Smith had hoped to attend despite his September 2003 injury.

Smith, who was both lead singer and keyboard player with the quintet, had spent the years since his injury hospitalized until December 2007, when he moved into a specially prepared home with his wife, Arlene, the statement said.

“These last five years were extremely difficult for Mike, Lewis said.

“He was extremely excited and honored to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I am glad that he will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, because he was in so many ways,” she added.

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