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Sunday 31st

Fresh after leaving “Oh Boy” both Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard are booked to appear in their first Royal Variety Show to be held at Manchester on 23rd June 1959. This event was not recorded for television - the 1960 show was the first recorded by ATV and survives to this day in the archives of Carlton International.

In early June Jack takes a long summer holiday in Italy, returning in August to begin rehearsals for his new television series commencing in September.

In early June Cliff Richard takes a two week break and travels by car with friends to Via Reggio in Italy before recommencing his heavy schedule of live concert dates in Britain on Saturday 20th June at the Hippodrome in Dudley.

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Friday 12th June 1959

The NME announces that fans are already missing the “Oh Boy!” series, especially Cliff and Marty, less than a fortnight after coming off air!:

THE fanatical appeal of Cliff Richard is reflected by his sudden rebooking for further concerts at Dudley Hippodrome just a fortnight after his debut there, scheduled for Saturday, June 20. In addition, Cliff plays no fewer than four consecutive dates in London at the end of the month. Three days after the management announced that Richard would appear at Dudley on June 20, every ticket had been sold, and still there were queues outside the theatre. Promoter Arthur Howes, to avoid disappointing fans, was able to rebook Cliff for a second one-night stand there on Saturday, July 5.

Between these two dates, Cliff and The Drifters have a heavy schedule, including his quartet of dates in London suburbs - Wimbledon Gaumont (June 24), Elephant and Castle Trocadero (25th), Edmonton Regal (26th) and Stepney Roxy (27th). On the last date, Cliff will also be appearing in BBC-TV's "Drumbeat." He will dash to his concerts.

Cliff follows with a one-nighter tour that includes Luton Cresta (June 30), Birmingham Town Hall (July 1), Leeds Odeon 2nd), Nottingham Odeon (3rd), Middlesbrough Town Hall (7th), Harrogate Royal Hall (8th), Blackpool Odeon (9th), Nelson Imperial (10th), Manchester Free Trade Hall (11th), and Southend Odeon (12th).


Cliff Richard is on holiday at Via Reggio, Italy where he told NME in a long-distance phone call on Wednesday: "I'm having a ball. I'm surprised English people here know me. "Italian groups play Presley numbers and someone got me to sing in a night club. I enjoyed it and so did the Italian girls, too!"

The above dates follow Richard's Italian holiday, from which he returns this week-end. At the same time he will be recording and learning the choreography for his new film "Expresso Bongo," on which studio work starts on July 31.

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Friday 19th June 1959

Cliff returns from his fortnight holiday in Italy.

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Tuesday 23rd June 1959

Cliff and Marty Wilde take part in their first Royal Command Performance held at Manchester. It was not until 1960 that the event was televised.

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Friday 31st July 1959

The NME reveals singer Dickie Pride is in hospital:

BEAT singer Dickie Pride was rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis, after collapsing on the stage of Blackpool's Palace Theatre on Monday afternoon.

But the diagnosis proved wrong. Dickie was released from hospital the next day and was planning to resume his appearances in the Palace matinee "2.30 Special" show on Wednesday.

Duffy Power, another young singer, made the overnight trip to Blackpool on Monday to deputise for Dickie during his indisposition.

The NME reveals that the future return of the “Oh Boy!” series has been thrown into doubt:

ABC-TV's "Oh Boy!" the series acclaimed by teenagers throughout the nation for introducing thrilling personalities, is not certain of a return for ITV as previously announced. Saturday, September 12 was the specified starting date by the television company. Several artists, - including Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard and Cherry Wainer - received contracts from ABC to rejoin the projected autumn - winter presentations. But these agreements were not signed (nor those of other artists) for various reasons.

The NME understands reluctance to rejoin "Oh Boy!" by some performers was because producer Jack Good had not settled terms and conditions with ABC-TV to continue with these new weekly shows. Accordingly the situation became more serious when those who failed to complete their contracts received a letter from ABC stating the documents had become null and void because of the artists non-co-operation.

Producer Jack Good is still on holiday in Italy. But unless ABC decide on a complete change of plans, the return of "Oh Boy!" (or a similar presentation with a different title), seems possible only if a satisfactory understanding is reached - between ABC, Good and his representatives, the Edward Sommerfield Organisation.

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Friday 21st August 1959

The NME reveals that Marty Wilde is to host the new Jack Good series “Boy Meets Girl” beginning on Saturday 12th September 1959:

SINGER Marty Wilde will get the full star treatment when Jack Good's ABC-TV show returns to commercial channels on September 12. Featured as host and compere, as well as resident singer, Marty will have the whole show built around him. The same week as this fantastic build-up, Marty will also have his first film shown in public at a London charity premiere on September 16. The film, previously called "Jetstream," but now re-titled "Jetstorm," will be generally released on the ABC circuit on October 5.

The TV show is also being re-christened. "Oh Boy!" has been dropped and the most probable new title, out of many being considered, is "Boy Meets Girls." Among other features of the new series is a new band called The Firing Squad, led by musical director Bill Shepherd. Saxist Red Price will once more be resident, together with organist Cherry Wainer and The Vernons Girls, who will be given a much bigger part in the show. Another regular artist, as predicted in the NME in June, will be Little Tony, Italian rock star. The first show in the new series will be transmitted live from ABC's Manchester studio.

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Saturday 28th August 1959

Cliff and the Drifters perform live on the last edition of the BBC TV pop show “Drumbeat.”

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Friday 11th September 1959

The NME previews Jack Good’s new television series “Boy Meets Girl” starting tomorrow.


'Boy Meets Girls' ready to roll!

At 6.30 tomorrow (Saturday) night, ABC-TV raise the curtain on the new pop music presentation -"Boy Meets Girls." Half an hour later, programme planners will know whether or not they have a hit show on their hands capable of attaining the same phenomenal success of its memorable predecessor, " Oh Boy!". "Boy Meets Girls" and "Oh Boy!" have much in common. Same producer - ambitious young ex-Oxford student Jack Good up to a point, the same stars - including singer Marty Wilde, organist Cherry Wainer, tenorist Red Price and the versatile Vernons Girls. The subject is the same, too - pop music. But here we encounter the first major differences between the two shows, for whereas"Oh Boy!" concentrated on rock 'n' roll in particular, "Boy Meets Girls" is a determined attempt to encompass all the varying styles of popular music.

"To my way of thinking, "Boy Meets Girls" will be more up-to-date in approach, and my aim is that it should concisely represent the varied tastes of the pop music fans," producer Jack Good told me. Elaborating on his theme, he added: "I feel that tastes have changed radically over the past few months. For a start, rock 'n' roll isn't the same as it used to be - lets say it's a little more subtle these days. Additionally, I feel there's also a greater demand now for ballads and light beat numbers and we mustn't forget either that the country and western style is growing in popularity. In short" Boy Meets Girls" sets out to present something to suit everybody's tastes. "In this way, we're hoping reach a wider and more mixed audience than "Oh Boy!" and one of my ambitions is to capture adult viewers too."

The format of the show? Basically it will be less frantic though just as colourful as "Oh Boy!", with longer breaks between numbers. Marty Wilde has a plum role as host, compere and resident singer and will be more heavily featured than at any other time during his career. The Vernons Girls will be in the spotlight quite a lot of the time, both in singing and dancing sequences, and Cherry Wainer and Red price will have their own spots. Because of the contrasting musical styles, two bands will be on hand - a big string orchestra and a 10 piece" big beat" unit known as The Firing Squad. Both will be under the direction of Bill Shepherd.

How about guest stars? "I aim to make "Boy Meets Girls" an international show and want to feature artists from all over the world." Jack explained to me. "As you've already reported, country and Western star Johnny Cash is our first major American booking on September 19. "Our first continental guest is Italy's rock 'n' rolling Little Tony and his Brothers, who'll be seen in the first three shows. Marino Marini's Quartet, also from Italy, will be appearing as soon as their heavy commitments allow. "Finally, there's two Swedish artists under discussion - Little Gerhard, who I'm told is rated very highly by Elvis Presley, and Little Babs," Jack declared. He went on: "Of course, I also intend to sign British singers for guest spots - the first is Terry Dene on September 26. Who else? Well, naturally I'd love to have people like Cliff Richard, Frankie Vaughan , Lonnie Donegan and Alma Cogan, but there's nothing settled yet. Bands? That's a good idea, but I haven't gone into it at this stage," he emphasised.

In conclusion, how does Jack feel about the show? "I'm delighted to tackle something new. It's necessary to avoid stagnation - and that applies equally to artists and producers" he said.

Boom time for Marty Wilde

MARTY WILDE'S starring role in "Boy Meets Girls" - the most demanding and important assignment he's yet tackled - comes at a crucial point in his career. The success which everyone so confidently predicts should keep him at the top of the ladder for a long, long time. Why a crucial point? Right now, everything seems to be happening at once for Marty. Today (Friday), his latest Philips single "Sea Of Love" is released, tomorrow marks the debut of "Boy Meets Girls", on Sunday his first film "Jet Storm" is premiered at the Regal in London's Old Kent Road, and within a week or so his first LP "Wilde About Marty" reaches the shops.

Marty has so much on his plate at the moment that he hardly knows which way to turn. Not the least of his worries is "Boy Meets Girls," and the headlining part he will play in the production. "It's a challenge, and because of that, I'm looking forward to it. "Nervous? Who wouldn't be?" the tall gangling star told me at a crowded press conference last week. Of course, Marty has every right to feel nervous since the show is largely built around him.

"I've never done anything quite like this before, but it's what I've wanted all along. After all, singing is one thing, but on this show, I'll also be compering and doing allmanner of different things." he went on. "I'm hoping that the series will eventually help me to become a ... personality, instead of just a singer," he continued. "You see, my aim is to become an all-round entertainer, and with a show like "Boy Meets Girls" I hope to reach a wider audience. I'd really like to be accepted by adults as well as teenagers." he added thoughtfully.

One of the first songs Marty will perform on the series is "Sea Of Love," already a smash hit in America for Phil Phillips. He's hoping that it will take him to the hit parade's coveted No. 1 spot - an honour which has just eluded him on three occasions in the past.

In charts

Marty's first big disc hit "Endless Sleep" climbed as high as No. 4. "Donna" crept into third place, while more recently, "A Teenager In Love" reached No. 2. Working on the theory that progress is gradual, "Sea Of Love" seems a likely contender for top honours. At the start of the "Oh Boy!" series last September, Marty told me: "I know it's going to be a great show because we have such a fine producer - Jack Good. He feels the same way about "Boy Meets Girls" - for similar reasons. So let Jack , who is equally enthusiastic about Marty, have the last word here: "It's the hardest job he's ever had, but I know he's going to be good. In fact, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised just how good he really is"!

Little Tony From Italy

"Cliff Richard is very good - until you have heard Little Tony and His Brothers!" That was the opinion of Marino Marini, when he was over here earlier this year. You'll have a chance to judge for yourself tomorrow night (Saturday) when Little Tony and His Brothers (2) make their British TV debut in "Boy Meets Girls." And when their Decca recording of "I Can't Help It" is released next Friday (Sept. 19). Marino Marini's chance remark came while he was at rehearsals for "Oh Boy!" Producer Jack Good, ears always open, heard and was interested. A few weeks later in Italy, Jack found Little Tony and His Brothers. Jack signed them up on the spot.

Born in a war-torn Italy during the early 1940's, the three brothers were raised in San Marino. Their family was poor. The boys biggest ambition now is to become really good performers, go to the United States and make enough money so that their parents can retire and live in comfort. There's Alberto (19), Tony (18) and Enrico (17), but it is singer Tony who attracts the attention when the group appears on stage or in front of the television cameras. As you'll see...

The text of the Jack Good article - "Jack is no back room TV producer" is reproduced at the bottom of the Jack Good page.

The camera goes into a close-up shot of Marty Wilde seated next to Cherry Wainer at her keyboards, with Joe Brown standing at left of foreground.



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