Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Late 50s British Pop TV: By John Harper Part 3

             John Barry 7+4 Hit and Miss YouTube Video by Sids60sSounds

This posting is the third and final episode of John Harper's late 50s pop music journey from England to Singapore and back. I don't know if he was travelling light and hand jiving with a living doll but it was surely a pleasant and memorable journey without hits and misses:

"On our return to the UK in 1959 we arrived at the end of July in Blackpool just in time for the August Bank Holiday. There had been a heat wave, reservoirs had almost dried up. It should have been ideal for our return from the warmth of Singapore, but no, the weather changed the day we got back and it was cold and rainy!
Juke Box Jury with 'The Rolling Stones' in 1964.
We were in a transit hotel and novelty of novelties, there was a television in the lounge. Saturday evenings after tea was the Juke Box Jury programme and all of us kids and some of the mums and dads would sit down to watch and listen to the latest releases being voted on by a jury of celebrities.
"It's late we gotta get on home..."
For me one the most exciting parts was the introductory music to the programme, *Hit and Miss by the John Barry 7 + 4 (video above). John Barry later went on to produce the music for the James Bond films. A few of the songs and tunes that made a mark on me from the programme were by Connie Francis mentioned earlier, Ricky Nelson singing It's Late and then towards the end of 1959 after we had moved to Yorkshire came Johnny and The Hurricanes with Red River Rock.

"Please come back to the Red River Valley..."
This made an impression on me for several reasons, my mother was from Manitoba in Canada and had lived on a tributary of the Red River (above image). Then, of course, there were the saxophones and guitars. So by the end of 1959, I was well and truly hooked on twangy guitars and growling saxophones.

Biggest audience of 20 million in January 1960 featured Cliff Richard and Shadows.
Sunday night television was rounded out by the popular Sunday Night at The London Palladium had everybody enthralled. Opening with the Tiller Girls dancing then there was always some comedy, the Beat The Clock game show and then rounded off with a musical performance.

Cliff Richard with Singapore Orchids.
Popular at this time was an up and coming star by the name of Cliff Richard singing Living Doll, Willie And The Hand Jive and Travelling Light. I was particularly taken with the guitar solos. It was that twangy guitar thing again, I was hooked and was soon to become a fan of the Shadows, Cliff's backing group.

Although, this is not the full extent of my musical preferences and experience I think this period from late 1955 to the end of 1959 played a large part in shaping my musical preferences and the person I am today."

*Larry Lai used the same theme song for his Spinaround - UK Top Twenty programme on Rediffusion in the late 60s.

Original article: John Harper Copyright.
Images from Google.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi John,

Here's the final episode. Thank you so much for penning such a beautiful and memorable 60s music journey for the blog. I appreciate it very much and hope readers will too. Come by again to Singapore when you can and if I am still around I promise you a chilly crab and chicken rice dinner this time around.

Yours sincerely, said...

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ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I have left the above note from Maite in the hope that some of you who have blogs and interested in contributing could write to him/her.





It was a pleasure doing these articles for you Andy.

Best Wishes.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi John,

Thank you for your reply. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely and with warmest regards.

Val said...

Hi Andy,

I'm Val from The Moving Visuals Co. We are producing a TV programme about nostalgic things in Singapore.

One of our themes is entertainment and we are on the lookout for vintage items related to it, for example, old musical instruments or equipment, old sports equipment, film memorabilia etc. We are also interested in speaking with people who have been involved in the music scene in the 50s, 60s or 70s.

It would be great to speak with you and I'd really appreciate hearing from you!

Thanks a lot,

FL said...

Andy, I remember in the mid-1960, a popular songs program in RTS radio played this introductory music Hit & Miss every weekend. Couldn't recall which program or was it EMI's ? I like the music very much, funny at that time, I did not know the name of that piece of music. How we wished we had internet then ! But I do remember another introductory music for the Decca label record program on radio, and it's call "Telstar" by the Tornado, I think ?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

It's comments like yours that keep this blog alive. I am opening your questions to all readers for help. There are many times when the memory slips and questions left unanswered.

If you remember please answer this one. Thanks FL for your regular contribution of Singapore music fare from the 60s.

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ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

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