0808 2000 247 Women's
domestic violence helpline
for all women living in fear and wanting help & support
a pilot show called 'Teen and Twenty Record Club' based loosely
on the BBC's radio show 'Pick Of The Pops' this was purely a
top of the charts show and has become the longest-running British
pop vehicle, arguably reaching its greatest heights in the early
was originally booked for only six programmes, but due to its
immediate popularity was extended indefinitely after only the
Transmitted on Wednesdays, later Thursdays,
the entire show had to be put together in about 24 hours as
the week's chart was released at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
The original four DJ presenters were Jimmy Saville, David Jacobs,
Alan 'Fluff' Freeman and Pete Murray who were generally considered
to be the country's best at the time.
original producer was Johnnie Stewart who
was responsible for the show's incredible success and growth
during the Sixties and early Seventies. His trademark logo silhouette
always appeared beside his name on the closing credits.
acts usually mimed their songs - not because they couldn't play / sing (
this was questionable in some cases ), but to achieve a higher transmission
sound quality. This
changed in 1966 after a Musicians Union ban on artists miming to their actual
this, the Top of the Pops Orchestra, directed by Johnny Pearson, provided
live backing to specially recorded tracks by the artists. Vocal backing
was provided by The Ladybirds - Maggie Stredder, Gloria George and Marian
As with Ready Steady Go, a live studio audience were
able to dance to and, in the early years, meet and mingle with the stars.By
mid 1967 the Manchester studio had become too small for the increasingly
complex production and it was moved to Lime Grove studios in London.
From there it went to Studio 2 at Television Centre and, eventually, to
the huge Studio 5 back at Lime Grove.
four original DJs compered the show in strict rotation, with the following
week's DJ appearing in a cameo 'handover' at the end of the show.
Assistants included Diane Hefforan, Denise Sampey ( who span the discs
on the first programme ) and Samantha Juste ( who took over the role
from Denise and eventually married Monkee Micky Dolenz after they
met on the show ). The first show was broadcast on 1st January 1964
from a disused church in Dickenson Road, Manchester, ( because most
of the other BBC studios were busy at the time ) which had been acquired
by the BBC and fitted out as a studio some years earlier. At 6.36
p.m. a new era in Pop was born with Jimmy Savile introducing The Rolling
Stones performing 'I Wanna Be Your Man'. The first show also featured
other 'live' acts Dusty Springfield ( I Only Wanna Be With You ),
The Dave Clark Five ( Glad All Over ), The Hollies ( Stay ) and The
Swinging Blue Jeans ( Hippy Hippy Shake ). Discs and filmed items
shown were Cliff Richard and The Shadows ( Wonderful Life ), Freddie
and The Dreamers ( You Were Made For Me ), Gene Pitney ( 24 Hours
From Tulsa ) and news clips of the Beatles to the sound of 'I Wanna
Hold Your Hand.
Also at this time, the show started using 'guest' DJs, the first of
which were Emperor Roscoe, Kenny Everett, Stuart Henry and Simon Dee
( whose TOTP career only lasted a few months before he was given his
own show ).
Stanley Dorfman (former producer):
"The show at that point was pretty much a teenybopper type
show. When it moved to London it became chic, it became stylish Ė
introduced by Panís People. There was a wonderful choreographer called
Flick ColbyÖ "
television threw up all kinds of problems, one of the most memorable
being in March 1967 when, in his first appearance on TOTP, Jimi Hendrix
was announced by Pete Murray and was quite bemused when he started
his 'mime' to the sound of an Alan Price record.
Never lost for a quick comment, Jimi was heard to say 'I like the
voice, man, but I don't know the words' just before the camera
switched to Pete Murray doing a quick cover-up while the sound engineer
frantically searched for the tape of 'Purple Rain'.
Another 'goodie' was on the November 9th 1967 200th
edition show when the normally immaculate Gene Pitney completely forgot
the words to his song and just made it up as he went along, giving rise
to an extremely dubious 'lip-synch'. This show, like the first, was introduced
by Jimmy Savile. Live acts seen were The Dave Clark Five ( Everybody Knows
), Val Doonican ( If The Whole World Stopped Loving ), The Kinks ( Autumn
Almanac ), the unfortunate Gene Pitney ( Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart
) and The Foundations ( Baby, Now That I've Found You ). Filmed items were
Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch ( Zabadak ), The Who ( I Can See For
Miles ) and Donovan with 'There Is A Mountain'. Guests on this special edition
show included two of The Bee Gees, Lulu, Alan Price, Paul Jones, Graham
Nash, Scott Walker and Simon Dee.
of the regular attractions of the show for some of the male viewers
during the Sixties and Seventies were the dance troupe Pan's People
who joined the show in 1967 (dancing to 'Mony Mony' by Tommy James
and The Shondells) after the departure of the original 3-6 girl outfit
'The Gojos'. Choreographed
by Flick Colby, they
performed their dance routines to backing music from current chart
hits in a variety of (sometimes bizarre) outfits. They usually had
a maximum of one week and, occasionally, only 24 hours to perfect
their routine for each show. The original PP line-up was Flick Colby
(who soon stopped performing to concentrate on the choreography and
business side), Ruth Pearson, Babs Lord, Dee Wilde, Louise Clark and
Andi Rutherford ( Cherry Gillespie replaced Andi when she left to
have a baby in the early Seventies ).
Colby: "I think people did think we were objects but I donít
think thatís true. People knew our names, we ran our own group, we
handled the business side of it and nobody ever made us do anything
we didnít want to do..... I think it was kinda outrageous and it was
our chance to take the mickey just a little bit."
The theme music probably most associated with the show was CCS's version
of 'Whole Lotta Love', but during the Sixties it was an instrumental
piece written by Johnnie Stewart and Harry Rabinowitz. It was first
performed as a percussion piece by Bobby Midgly, replaced by another
version of the same piece played by a five-piece orchestra and later
a third version played by Johnny Pearson's Top Of The Pops Orchestra.
The show celebrated its 250th edition in October 1968 when live acts included
The Tremeloes and The Love Affair. Mary Hopkin was at No1 with 'Those Were
The Days' and The Beatles at No2 with 'Hey Jude'.