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Friday 3rd

NME announces Terry Dene is offered “Oh Boy!” date. It is unclear whether Dene did honour this booking on 25th April:

TERRY DENE, demobbed from the army last Thursday, plans a comeback. An appearance on ABC-TV's "Oh Boy!" may mark his return to show business. Negotiations are going on for him to follow this with a series of Sunday concerts.

His agent, Hyman Zahl, said: Jack Good is interested in Terry for "Oh Boy!" on April 25. I have also been offered a series of Sunday concerts teaming him with his wife, Edna Savage."

Looking tanned and fit, Terry spent a long time with music publishers in Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street) on Tuesday, listening to new songs.

Terry hopes to cut a new disc within the next fortnight under his new agreement with Decca revealed in last week's NME.

CHERRY WAINER IN PALACE VARIETY

ORGANIST Cherry Wainer makes her West End debut on Monday. She is the latest name to be added to the big variety bill headed by American comedian Alan King at the Palace Theatre, London.

The mudlarks and singer-comedienne Audrey Jeans have already been named as other attractions.

The first performance on Monday has been sold entirely as a charity performance in aid of the Jewish National Fund.

The legal battle between Harry Robinson and Jack Good over the use of the Lord Rockingham name ends amicably, the NME reveals:

INTO my office on Tuesday morning, heavily laden with suit cases, struggled "Oh Boy!" producer, Jack Good - a refugee from ABC-TV's move from its Wardour Street address to its handsome new studios at Teddington.

"Got to find somewhere away from the chaos, so that I can do some work," he declared - and promptly transformed my office into the "Oh Boy!" administration centre.
Jack made a succession of telephone calls from my desk regarding artists he proposes booking for the next "Oh Boy!" series, when it resumes after a summer recess in September.

Since he is still in the throes of negotiations, I am not yet able to reveal the names he's attempting to secure. Let me just say that if certain plans materialise, "Oh Boy!" viewers are in for a very exciting time next autumn.

I was most anxious to know if Jack envisages any change in format when the show returns after its summer rest. Jack assured me that it would be "very different" from the present show.

I'm not quite sure what changes I shall make," he told me. "But I think it's most desirable that we shouldn't get into a rut.

When we started 'Oh Boy!' our lighting effects were very much of a novelty. Now they are no longer news, so I shall have to find some additional innovation.

"The secret of successful television lies in keeping one jump ahead."

Delicate

I tackled Jack on the rather delicate subject of his legal tussle with Lord Rockingham MD, Harry Robinson.

"It was an unfortunate misunderstanding," explained Jack. "Harry has always been a good friend of mine, but I realised that he felt he had a good reason for taking this attitude. Anyway, I am very glad that the complications have now been ironed out and that it's smooth sailing from now on."

Tomorrow (Saturday), "Oh Boy!" comes to the nation's screens for the first time without any direct competition from the BBC, who have switched their new "Drumbeat" series to the 6.30 time slot. "It's very flattering," grins Jack.

Reflecting upon the days when he was in such keen competition with "6.5 Special," Jack pointed out that it was rreally the this latter programme which was responsible for kicking off "Oh Boy!"

"It was a result of doing the stage presentation of '6.5 Special' that I gained sufficient insight into presentation and lighting for me to be able to think in terms of a show like 'Oh Boy!'."

Ambition

Jack's present beat-show commitments occupy practically all his time, but he still retains a burning ambition to produce a television drama. He also tells me that he would not be averse to devoting some time to films or the theatre.

"I should want to retain my contact with television," he said, "as obviously it is the medium of the day. But by exploring fresh fields, it's always possible to bring something fresh back into television."

Jack intends to have a complete break from the rigours of production, for when the show concludes its present run on May 30, he is going to Italy for ten weeks-"to get away from it all!"

Meanwhile, Harry Robinson looks as though he will have a hectic schedule of one-nighters with Lord Rockingham's XI, though he and his wife, Ziki, also hope to be able to snatch a mid-summer rest.

At any rate, it is pleasing to know that there is no longer internal controversy within the "Oh Boy!" camp, and that Jack Good-that stalwart creator of new television ideas - still hopes to find something fresh for the next series.

Final word from Jack, regarding BBC-TV's new "Drumbeat" series: "I should think they have a very good chance of succeeding!" Indeed it is possible that both channels will increase their audience rating, as a result of no longer being in direct competition.

DEREK JOHNSON

But lack of presentation mars Rockingham Band on stage

LORD ROCKINGHAM'S XI and Harry Robinson stood on their own feet on stage for the first time on Sunday. At Birmingham Hippodrome, topping a concert bill, they made their debut away from "Oh Boy!" surroundings.

The gutty sound and the impressive beat was there in full measure. They produced as much excitement on the stage as in the TV or recording studios. This was surprising. Cherry Wainer is not appearing with the band; indeed, there was no organ at all, yet it seemed to make little difference.

But the presentation - or lack of it - was very disappointing.

A pity

The ABC-TV show is so slick and polished and the dramatic lighting builds the excitement. It was a pity more was not done to preserve these features in the band's stage presentation.

Harry Robinson, the band's MD and arranger, displayed an unsuspected ability as a light comedian in introducing the show. He did an impression of Bill Haley, made the distinctive Rockingham comments (Moose loose," etc.) and did the novelty instrumental bits - kazoo and penny whistle, as well.

Red Price has two spots - a vocal of "Rumble, Tumble," and a tenor solo, "Week-end." Also featured were pianist Ian Fraser in "Gazachteshagen," guitarist Ernie Ford ("Cannon Ball") and the percussionists in "Topsy II."

Most of the band's numbers were drawn from its recordings - "Fried Onions," "Blue Train" "Wee Tom" and, of course, "Hoots Mon."

The music certainly scored. When the stage presentation is as good, Lord Rockingham's XI will be really sensational.

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Saturday 4th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 30 (Compered by Tony Hall)

ABC CATALOGUE SHOW NUMBER 5. (OF 13)

RESIDENT WEEKLY BAND & PERFORMERS:
Lord Rockingham's XI,
Red Price,
The Dallas Boys,
Neville Taylor & The Cutters,
Cherry Wainer,
The Vernons Girls.

THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL GUESTS:
Brenda Lee
Chris Andrews
Dickie Pride
Dean Webb
Don Lang
Lorie Mann
Mike Preston
Tony Sheridan

This is one of only two shows found in a search of the old ABC archives.

The other surviving show is the final edition from 30th May 1959 (No.38), clips of which have been widely used on commercial television.

The original 16mm telerecordings of both shows are retained in the archives of Canal Image Plus who now own the copyright to ABC material.

During the sixties it is believed ABC retained 13 titles of “Oh Boy!” on it shelves (given catalogue numbers 1- 13, these originals were then copied for export to America.)

In the intervening years, eleven of the original 13 have disappeared, (leaving just shows 5 and 13) much to the chagrin of John Heron, head of British sales at Canal Image, who would dearly love to see the missing shows returned. “They are one of the most popular titles requested from our catalogue,” said John, “ Television researchers making documentaries are having to re-use the same old clips time and time again due to the scarcity of material available.”

In this surviving edition, Lord Rockingham's XI perform a lively rendition of “Long John”, Neville Taylor and his Cutters perform the Coaster's hit, “Charlie Brown” and Tony Sheridan and his Wreckers perform the infectiously catchy “I Like Love”. During this song, a camera located behind the artists on stage pans the theatre and captures the animated audience in ebullient mood packed into the balcony.

Another highlight is Dickie Pride’s full performance of Little Richard's “Slippin n’ Slidin, which was also performed on the surviving final show of 30th May 1959. However this latter rendition contained only one verse of the song as Jack attempted to cram in abridged highlights of all the best songs in the series in this final show.

Without doubt, THE highlight of the show was the dynamic appearance of "Little Miss Dynamite" - Brenda Lee… her one and only appearance in the entire series.

Compare Tony Hall announces 14 year old Brenda as a young American singer making here debut television appearance in Britain. As the trademark “Oh Boy!” circular spotlight hits the mike at centre stage, the pint-size singer breezes on to perform her new single “Humming The Blues Over You” with a voice so strong, lucid and distinct there is little to tell it apart from the original recording.

To close the show Brenda lets rip with a superb rendition of “Wont You Come Home Bill Bailey.” The stage lights hit Lord Rockingham's band during the instrumental breaks and Brenda excels in some brilliantly executed vocals as the closing credits roll.

The famous final signature tune (as featured at the close of the Oh Boy! LP) is played at the end as Lord Rockingham’s brass section joins Brenda at the front of the stage to play out.

SEE ALSO:

“Where Have The Shows Gone?” page for further info and the NME article “JACK GOOD SEEKS AMERICAN ROCKERS” from 23rd. JANUARY in the JANUARY 1959 Diaries for more details of the American “Oh Boy!" broadcasts.

Both the BBC's "Six-Five Special" & short-lived "Dig This" series had been broadcast in direct competition with Oh Boy!, but, probably because they were losing out in the ratings war, it was decided the successor, "Drumbeat", would be scheduled at the slightly later time of 6.30 p.m -- just as the Oh Boy! broadcasts finished. On hearing the news Jack Good said in a NME interview – "I should think they now have a very good chance of succeeding!  Indeed it is possible both channels will increase their audience rating as a result of not being in direct competition."

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Monday 6th

Cliff’s debut album, recorded before a live teenage audience on 9th and 10th February 1959, is officially released. Many of the tracks featured here were performed live on the “Oh Boy!" shows too.

SEE Diary entry for Tuesday February 10th for details and album cover/label scans.

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Saturday 11th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 31 (Compered by Jimmy Henney)
ABC CATALOGUE SHOW NUMBER 6. (of 13)

RESIDENT WEEKLY BAND & PERFORMERS:
Lord Rockingham's XI,
Red Price,
The Dallas Boys,
Neville Taylor & The Cutters,
Cherry Wainer,
The Vernons Girls.

THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL GUESTS:
Bill Forbes
'Cuddly' Dudley
Dickie Pride
Lorie Mann
Marty Wilde
Pierce Rodgers

This is the sixth show of 13 recorded for export to the United States. It is thought that this original telerecording, once catalogued with ABC at Teddington, Middlesex until 1968, may be in the private hands of someone in the United Kingdom.

Also some of the 13 copies sent to America are known to exist and in the possession of a private collector in Arizona or New Mexico.

Tommy Steele had been booked to appear on tonight’s show, after postponing the 4th April appearance, but he broke his ankle in an accident a day before the live broadcast and had to cancel.

Jack Good books Billy Fury for a further four shows on 25th April, 9th May, 23rd May and the very final show of 30th May 1959.

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Friday 17th

The NME announces that big American star Conway Twitty is to fly to England to make two appearances on “Oh Boy!" during May:

ABC-TV's "Oh Boy!" has made its most exciting capture so far! Top American recording star Conway Twitty is the first star to fly direct from the States to appear on these programmes - on May 9 and 16! In addition, producer Jack Good has lined up a glittering array of Britain's top stars headed by Alma Cogan, Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard to appear in the show during May, and hopes that another American, Jackie Wilson, will also be featured. Twitty, originally scheduled to visit Britain this month in a package show, is the second visiting American star to appear on "Oh Boy!" It is possible that he will also undertake concert dates while he is here, but none have yet been negotiated. His recording of "It's Only Make Believe" became a No. 1 seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and MGM here are to release his new disc, "Hey Susie," to coincide with his visit.


Cliff Richard returns to the show as a special attraction on May 2, 23 and 30, joined on the first date by Alma Cogan as the guest star.

Marty Wilde is booked for every Saturday in May, while Billy Fury and Dickie Pride appear fortnightly - April 25, May 9, 23 (and 30).

Other block bookings go to Don Lang (April 25, May 16 and 30). Cuddly Dudley (April 25, May 16, 23 and 30), and Mike Preston (May 2, 16 and 30).

An unusual booking is Renee Martz, American teenage preacher, who appears with Nicky Martin and Michael Cox next week (April 25).

Other single dates so far confirmed are Maureen Kershaw, Dene Webb and Tony Sheridan (May 9), Lorie Mann and Pierce Rodgers (May 16) and Terry White (May 23).

Negotiations are taking place for American rock singer Jackie Wilson, whose disc successes include "Reet Petite" and "To Be Loved," to appear in the show on May 23.

Producer Jack Good plans a May visit to America with a view to signing attractions for the new series in the autumn.

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Saturday 18th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 32 (Compered by Tony Hall)

ABC CATALOGUE SHOW NUMBER 7. (OF 13)

RESIDENT WEEKLY BAND & PERFORMERS:
Lord Rockingham's XI,
Red Price,
The Dallas Boys,
Neville Taylor & The Cutters,
Cherry Wainer,
The Vernons Girls.

THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL GUESTS:
Dickie Pride
The Inkspots
Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group
Lorie Mann
Pierce Rodgers
Tony Sheridan

This is the seventh show of 13 recorded for export to the United States. It is now thought that this original telerecording, once catalogued with ABC at Teddington, Middlesex until 1968, may be in the private hands of someone in the United Kingdom.

Also some of the 13 copies sent to America are known to exist and in the possession of a private collector in Arizona or New Mexico.

Lonnie Donegan makes his second and final appearance in the series. He had previously appeared on show No.20 on 24th January 1959.

The American vocal group The Inkspots make their only appearance. Jack Good’s attempts to secure big US names for “Oh Boy” begins to pay dividends.

Renee Martz, an American teenage preacher, makes the first of two appearances in the series. He later appeared on the 23rd May edition.

Jack Good secures appearances for Cliff Richard and the Drifters for 3 dates in May: 2nd, 23rd and the final show on the 30th. Their appearances on “Oh Boy!" were increasingly sporadic in 1959 while they performed a heavy schedule of provincial theatre dates around the country. The group did not appear in the series for the entire months of February and April. Jack wanted them for the final shows in May to ensure the series went out with a bang!

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Saturday 25th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 33  (Compered by Jimmy Henney)
ABC CATALOGUE SHOW NUMBER 8. (OF 13)  

RESIDENT WEEKLY BAND & PERFORMERS:
Lord Rockingham's XI, 
Red Price,
The Dallas Boys,
Neville Taylor & The Cutters,
Cherry Wainer,
The Vernons Girls.

THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL GUESTS:
Bill Forbes
Billy Fury
'Cuddly' Dudley
Dickie Pride
Don Lang
Michael Cox
Nicky Martin

This is the eighth show of 13 recorded for export to the United States. It is now thought that this original telerecording, once catalogued with ABC at Teddington, Middlesex until 1968, may be in the private hands of someone in the United Kingdom.

Also some of the 13 copies sent to America are known to exist and in the possession of a private collector in Arizona or New Mexico.

This is Michael Cox’s only appearance. He and Billy Fury were photographed with a couple of the Vernons Girls on the day of this broadcast.  (See photo at right)

Nicky Martin makes his only appearance, singing Jerry Lee Lewis' "Big Blon' Baby"

(For list of songs performed in this show, see the "Who sang what?" page)

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Sunday 26th

Riotous scenes greeted Cliff and the Drifters when they gave two concerts at the the Gaumont, Lewisham, in south east London. The police were called to disperse fans amassing outside the theatre after the show which halted traffic along Lewisham High Street.

MIDAS TOUCH

John Barry -
The Man With the Midas Touch
Order our book here

John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch

Our book "John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch" is still available.

The book is also available from high street bookshops and the usual online (film-music) stores.

Please note that this book, first published in 2008, is not a re-issue of the 1998 book. It is unique in its own right, with new text and many new photos.

Hardcover, 304 pages, Redcliffe Press Ltd;  31 Oct. 2008, English
ISBN-10: 1904537774; ISBN-13: 978-1904537779
Product Dimensions: 18 x 2.1 x 25.5 cm

THE EARLY YEARS

John Barry -
The Early Years CD

You can order our CD here

The full track listing: 1. Be Mine - Lance Fortune; 2. It's Not Too Late - Johnny Gavotte; 3. The Clanger March - Des Lane; 4. Arrivederci Baby - Little Tony & His Brothers; 5. You Made me Love You - Johnny De Little; 6. Easy Beat - Bert Weedon; 7. Heartbeat - The England Sisters; 8. Youthful Years - Danny William's; 9. I Vibrate - Larry Page & The Saga Satellites; 10. Mood One - The John Barry Orchestra; 11. I want my Bed - Bobby Shafto; 12. Keep A Walkin' - Tony Rocco; 13. Mood Two - The John Barry Orchestra; 14. Action - Lance Fortune; 15. If the Young Ones can be Happy - Billy Cotton; 16. Mood Three - The John Barry Orchestra; 17. Love's a Secret Game - Dennis Lotis; 18. Love Me - Danny Davis; 19. Mood Four - The John Barry Orchestra; 20. The Makings of a Man - Peter Gordeno; 21. Marilyn - Larry Page & The Saga Satellites; 22. Moonbird - Des Lane; 23. Never Ending - Mark Tracey; 24. Nowhere in this World - Derry Hart & The Hartbeats; 25. Opposites - Billy Cotton & Kathie Kay; 26. Smoky Blues - The John Barry Orchestra; 27. Ramona - The Five Dallas Boys; 28. They - Johnny De Little; 29. Trouble Shooter - Bob Miller & The Millermen; 30. You're My Only Girl - Danny Davis; 31. Baby Talk - Bill & Brett Landis; 32. I Got Eyes - Peter Gordeno; 33. The Lolly Theme - The John Barry Orchestra; 34. Santa Claus is coming to Town - Nina & Frederik; 35. Silent Night - Nina & Frederik; 36. White Christmas - Nina & Frederik; Total running time 78' 59"

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