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28 August 2016

Friday 21st

The NME announces Larry Parnes will not release Marty Wilde from his 3 year contract. (See first scan below)

NME announces Michael Holliday is booked for “Oh Boy!” in December. (See second scan below)

LARRY PARNES announced this week that, despite requests from the singer, he would not release Big Beat star Marty Wilde from his current contract.

He told the NME: "I intend to go ahead with my plans for Marty. At present they involve a film and a Scandinavian tour next year."

COLUMBIA'S Michael Holliday is the latest big name attraction booked by producer Jack Good for his ABC-TV Saturday evening "Oh Boy!" show. Mike is set to appear on December 6, while the following Saturday (13th), marks the debut of Parlophone's Glen Mason.

Bill Forbes, discovered by Jack Good at an audition, has been signed by Columbia records. He makes another appearance on December 13.

One week later, American rock singer, Vince Taylor, undertakes the first of several guest spots. Fontana's new artist, Carmita, is booked for the same date. (20th).

The King Brothers appear on December 27th, replacing the Dallas Boys, who will be appearing on "6.5 Special" on that date.

Resident singer Peter Elliott has been booked for a further seven appearances, plus an option of six more, making a total of 13. Comperes Tony Hall and Jimmy Henney have also been booked until March.

EXPANSION

It is likely that the show will shortly be increased in length, rather than presented as a two-part production. A gala December 27 production may launch the first of these longer shows.
Jack Good is confident of the show being extended still further, probably until June.

Midland viewers may have an opportunity of attending a performance of "Oh Boy!" in December. It is planned to run a special train from Birmingham to London one week-end next month so that fans in the area may form the audience in the studio.

Talks have progressed this week for the TV show to be presented on stage. The full TV cast are likely attractions, but television rehearsal rquirements will probably restrict the show to the London area.

EMI's LP record featuring most of the "Oh Boy!" company is scheduled for release on Dec. 5.

Harry Robinson, musical director of the series, was married on Monday to model Ziki Arnot. He returns from a brief Paris honeymoon today (Friday). Meanwhile, Cy Payne has deputised for him at rehearsals.

28 August 2016

Monday 17th

Cliff makes his variety debut at the Metropolitan, Edgware road, London. This was a gruelling three-week tour (42 shows) arranged by his manager Franklyn Boyd and intended to give the young Cliff an intensive crash course in the art of stagecraft.

The NME write up on the following Friday (21st) gives an interesting and not oft given detailed account of the songs in Cliff’s early act. Many of the songs here were undoubtedly featured on “Oh Boy!” too during the last quarter of 1958. Both “Move It” and “Don’t Bug Me Baby” were favourites performed on the opening show of the series, and “High Class Baby” (his 2nd single) was performed on “Oh Boy!” around late November as well. The Conway Twitty hit “It's Only Make Believe” was another number Cliff loved performing live with a wonderful look of ‘anguished pain’ on his face and grabbing his arm as if jabbed by a hypodermic syringe. It is probable that Cliff sang this track on “Oh Boy!” too. In fact when Conway Twitty himself visited Britain to appear on 2 shows in May 1959 he closed one of the shows with this number.

There are also a few surprise inclusions in this variety debut. Cliff had first seen Marty perform “Poor Little Fool” and “Baby I don’t Care” at his first “Oh Boy!” audition in September and liked them so much he decided to incorporate them into his own act. Cliff closed his 30 minute set with Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (as he did on his first live debut album “Cliff” in February 1959). During the song he would go down on one knee during its quieter moments and an actual picture from the show is reproduced here. (See photo above left)

Cliff Richard isn't going to forget this week in a hurry. When he woke up on Sunday morning this is what faced him: a concert at the huge Trocadero Cinema, Elephant and Castle, London; two days in the film studio for "Serious Charge"; a Wednesday afternoon recording session at Columbia; a Jack Jackson Show" the same evening; two days rehearsal for, and the actual transmission of "Oh Boy!" Dominating all this was his first week in variety - almost a full-time job in itself. Eighteen-year-old Cliff never flinched. In between houses at the Metropolitan Theatre, London, on Monday, Franklyn Boyd, his manager, suggested the friends that had gathered in his dressing room should leave to let the singer rest. "No don't go," Cliff said, "I'm not tired."

Neither was his later performance a tired one. Richard slogged hard all through his act, swinging his pelvis in the widest arcs yet seen in Britain, vocally forcing his numbers over and compelling the female part of the audience, at least, into an ever increasing frenzy. In the Drifters, Cliff has the best group yet to tour with a rock singer. It has an enormous power and compelling beat, yet was never too loud to drown out Cliff's singing. As the "Move It" boy was announced, it thundered out from behind the curtain. The excitement had already started. "Baby, I Don't Care" was his first number. Scarcely a pause and straight into "Summertime Blues," "I've Got A Feelin," and "Don't Bug Me Baby."

Wisely he cut his talking to the minimum. He introduced the members of the group: Hank B. Marvin, Bruce Wells (guitars), Jet Harris (bass) and Terry Smart (drums). Then the smouldering Cliff went into "King Creole," a slow, struggling "Only Make Believe" and a nonchalant, hand-in-pocket "Poor Little Fool," before coming to his record hits "Move It" and "High Class Baby."

Came his finale and he set out to include and exceed everything that had gone before with "Whole Lotta Shaking." Fast, slow; loud, soft; wild, quiet; shaking or kneeling - Richard scored a notable triumph. DON WEDGE.

Harry Robinson, musical director of “Oh Boy” marries model Ziki Arnot. The couple take a short honeymoon in Paris until Friday 21st November. Cy Payne deputizes at rehearsals for four days.

Bertice Reading, a star of the two trial “Oh Boy!” shows in June 1958, falls ill and cancels her cabaret commitments in Britain.

28 August 2016

Sunday 16th

Cliff’s act creates crowd hysteria when he appears at the Trocadero, Elephant and Castle, in south east London. Many fans, not content with just seeing him weekly on “Oh Boy!” wanted to see their idol in the flesh too.

Cliff was also causing jealousy among the ‘teddy boys’ in south and east London, too, who disliked the frenzied reaction Cliff was generating among his fast growing female audience. They began a campaign of trying to sabotage the shows when he appeared at some London venues through the latter part of 1958 and early 1959. (See scan of photo taken at Trocadero concert {Left} and NME article scan {below}) :

L-R Wee Willie Harris, Johnny Duncan and Cliff Richard at the Trocadero, Elephant & Castle, S. London

In order to avoid fans rioting outside the Trocadero, Elephant and Castle after last Sunday's all-star package show, Cliff Richard had to be smuggled out of the theatre through the foyer into a waiting police car. He was taken at high speed through South London to a pre-arranged rendezvous where he transferred to his own car. Between houses, Cliff Richard, Larry Page, Wee Willie Harris and the other artists had to stay in their dressing-rooms due to dense crowds thronging the stage door. On stage during the show, compere teenage d-j Gus Goodwin was showered with coins as the almost full house went wild with excitement. Tension grew to bursting point as the show closed and the predominantly teenage audience left the auditorium. The stage door was completely blocked by a sea of waving arms and chanting girls intent on securing autographs and a glimpse of the singers.

Cliff, now with two discs - "Move It" and "High Class Baby" - in the current hit parade, is set for a string of major provincial concert engagements before the end of the year. His complete Sunday date schedule is Walthemstow Granada (Nov. 23). Slough Adelphi (Nov. 30), Colchester Regal (Dec. 7), Worcester Gaumont (Dec. 14), Bristol Colston Hall (Dec. 21), and Hanley Victoria Hall (Dec. 28).

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