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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).

28 August 2016

Saturday 15th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 10 (Compered by Tony Hall)

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

Cliff Richard & The Drifters
'Cuddly' Dudley
The John Barry Seven
Pat Lawrence
Peter Elliott

The John Barry Seven included three new members in this appearance: drummer Dougie Wright, tenor saxophonist Dennis King and guitarist Vic Flick. The band played their latest record, Farrago.

A complete telerecording of this show was recently discovered.


John Barry -
The Man With the Midas Touch

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Over 300 pages in length, with a foreword by Don Black, the hardcover book includes many unique photos, in both black & white and colour. Order now!

UK customers who order the book before Brexit is complete will receive a free copy of the CD -- John Barry - The Early Years  -- the only CD to include all the tracks John recorded for the Chappell Music Library in 1959.

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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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