ob boy logo 1400

Rate this item
(2 votes)


 Musical Director: Harry Robinson
Dance Director: Leslie Cooper
Scripts: Trevor Peacock
Director: Rita Gillespie
Producer: Jack Good
An ABC Network Production
Broadcast by Associated TeleVision
on Channel 9


A fabulous unseen-for-over-40-years shot from the balcony of Cliff giving his all and making the girls scream with delight! The 'Oh Boy!' UK Television show first appeared as two pilot show broadcasts in various ATV regions during June 1958.

The following September the show went nationwide and was televised each Saturday evening, live from the Hackney Empire, in direct competition to the BBC's '6.5 Special' show. Within the first 6 weeks, the show became a smash hit and the number of viewers doubled.

Many top British performers who went on to achieve international fame made their early TV appearances on the show. Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, John Barry, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury are some examples.

The cast listings read like a who's who of UK 'Hit Paraders' of the time and were household names - The Dallas Boys; Ronnie Carroll; The Vernons Girls; Emile Ford; The King Brothers; Lonnie Donegan; Vince Eager; Dickie Valentine and Alma Cogan.

The show was even blessed with appearances by non British acts: The Inkspots; Conway Twitty and Brenda Lee from the USA and the Marino Marini Quartet from Italy all appearing to promote their latest recordings.

[Right: A fabulous unseen-for-over-40-years shot from the balcony of Cliff giving his all and making the girls scream with delight!]

Jimmy Henney and Tony Hall took it in turns each week to compere the show.

[TONY HALL (on left) & JIMMY HENNEY (on right)]

In an interview for TV Times in 1958, Jimmy Henney explained how he came to be a compere for the show:

"I'd known Jack Good as a telephone voice for years, but I'd never actually met him. One day he came over to my house and, during our conversation, he asked: 'Why don't you do some TV?' I replied that if someone liked to ask me I'd be only too happy. Jack said he'd try and do something about that, and when this show came up he gave me a camera test." He added "I'd never done a show like this, and was a bit worried. But it was so exciting that I couldn't have felt happier once it started."

'Oh Boy!' was Tony Hall's TV debut. He was a jazz critic and in contrast to serious jazz enthusiasts deploring the vulgarities of rock'n'roll, Tony raved about it. In the same TV Times article, he also explained how he came to be a compere for a rock'n'roll TV show: "I saw the two trial shows and thought they were the most exciting things I've ever seen on television.

The lighting, the camera work was great, and I thought the music was swinging more than most of TV's attempts to present jazz. I applied for an audition and of course, I'm delighted to get this chance on television and extremely happy to be associated with Oh Boy! I only hope I will be able to match the pace."

One factor which made Tony so enthusiastic about the show was that many of the musicians on the programme were, on other occasions, leading exponents of British Jazz!

From TV Times, 5th September 1958 edition. (One week before the nationwide debut of 'Oh Boy!')

[Right: A wonderful early picture of Marty Wilde taken during a live 1958 broadcast of “Oh Boy!” An ebullient Jack Good can be seen in the wings, clapping to the beat of Marty’s song. The atmospheric stage lighting captures the balcony of the Empire Theatre, Hackney, where 200 lively teenagers who made up the audience each week were seated. Note also the TV set and monitoring equipment to the left of the stage, possibly recording the show for future posterity?]

The Pilot Shows:

Sunday 15th June 1958: 10:35 – 11:05 pm
The Dallas Boys, The John Barry Seven, Lord Rockingham's XI, Ronnie Carroll, Bertrice Reading, Marty Wilde, Cherry Wainer, Red Price, Neville Taylor and the Cutters, Dudley Heslop, Kerry Martin, The Vernons Girls

Sunday 29th June 1958: 10:50 – 11:20 pm
The Dallas Boys, The John Barry Seven, Jackie Dennis, Lord Rockingham's XI, Bertice Reading, Marty Wilde, Cherry Wainer, Red Price, Neville Taylor and the Cutters, The Vernons Girls.




The Stringbeat Years cover2

Now available!

The Stringbeat Years: Songs accompanied by John Barry

Now available, a 4-CD box-set comprising of 144 tracks, a 24-page booklet (replete with period photographs and comprehensive notes) and including ten bonus tracks (among them the CD debut of the first ever cover version of a John Barry instrumental composition).

Featuring – for the first time – the film versions of ‘Mix me a Person’, ‘The Time has Come’, and ‘What a Whopper’ (slightly shortened). There’s also an unique opportunity to hear the original version of ‘Ah, Poor Little Baby’, making its premiere appearance on CD.

The box-set is limited to 500 copies and is only £16.99 post-free in the UK, so don’t miss out! It is available direct from this website!

£16.99  post-free in the UK
£19.99  anywhere else in the world

Order now!

Let us know if you aren't able to do this and we'll work out another way. 

Track listing


HitAndMiss 1000

Thoroughly and painstakingly researched over a number of years, it features contributions from several ex-members of the band and from friends and relatives of John Barry.

Comprising of over 360 pages, it is packed with an array of rare photos of the band, and the singers they often supported, as well as some unique images of memorabilia and documentation from that era; some never previously published, many more seldom seen.

Even if you are not necessarily a devotee of The John Barry Seven per se, the book offers a fascinating historical insight into the British music scene of the period and, more importantly, provides an essential read for anybody remotely interested in discovering more about John Barry’s formative career.

The book’s cover price is £30, but anybody ordering direct from us will receive a 33% discount, reducing the cost to £19.99.

Order now (click this line)!

© 2020 - Oh Boy! Geoff Leonard. All Rights Reserved. ohboy.org.uk was re-constructed from the original website. Template Design By ThemeLan.