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28 August 2016

Article by Jack Good, September 1958

The following article was written by me, Jack Good,  towards the end of  September 1958 and was published in the music press at that time.

The bell rings for the end of the first round in the great slogging match between the reigning champion "Six Five Special" and the contender for the title, "Oh Boy!"

Now the fight is really on, how does it feel? Well, it's thrilling. At first I didn't like the idea of competing with 'Six Five' for which I had a great affection. I didn't want to see the programme's viewing figures nibbled away by the other channels. And anyway it was hard to imagine what programme could top the old "Six Five". But now it has all changed so much from the early days that it is virtually a different show, so I don't feel that in opposing it I am violently changing loyalties. In fact in "Oh Boy!" I feel that the excitement we used to feel in early Six Fives has been regenerated - only 10 times more intensely. Then again Oh Boy is crammed with friends with whom I had the pleasure of working on 6.5. Both Red Price & Rex Morris, the two Rockingham tenors, have played tenor in Don Lang's famous Frantic Five, Eric Ford (electric guitar) played on Six Five - as had the Vernons Girls, who by the way are a perpetual wonder to the rest of the cast, looking as they do lovelier every day (have they been using THAT soap) - & giving better & better performances (thanks vocally to Peter Knight & visually to Leslie Cooper). Harry Robinson, our musical director, used to be very much in evidence as Jim Dale's musical arranger & advisor.

Just in case this recitation gives you the impression that 'Oh Boy' is run by a crowd of old has-beens let me hasten to point out that the 'Oh Boy' team must be about the youngest in television. Harry Robinson is only twenty-four;  Trevor Peacock & I are 27. I haven't dared to ask Rita Gillespie the director, Bill Nuttall & Jim Boyers - our brilliant sound & lighting men - how old they are - but they all look far too young to have learned all the know-how at their command.

Many people say - & I used to agree with them - that it is unfair to the public that, for the sake of cut throat competition, two programmes of similar content should be transmitted at the same time. For the very people who would like to view one programme would also like to see the other - & the people who dislike one will probably hate the other & yet have no alternative kind of viewing. Well, of course, all this is very true. But you can't have your cake & eat it. If you accept that competition is a good thing because it keeps both sides on their toes to give the public the very best, then the public cannot logically complain at the necessary results of competition - programme clashes. To have competition that didn't compete might be desirable but it is impossible.
And in any case, the pop music haters can be reassured. The situation cannot last. Sooner or later the battle will be won or lost and the losing side will naturally replace the victim with a programme that will compete by attracting a different sort of viewing.

Well? And who will win? obviously I'm about the most biased person possible on this question - except perhaps Russell Turner. But here's why I think we will win. When 'Six Five' started, it was a mammoth sized task to try to peruade the powers-that-were that it was not only safe but essential to let our studio audience loose all over the set. This, I felt sure, would create a new & exciting atmosphere. The idea, luckily, seemed to pay dividends. But it is now definitely for the scrap-heap. It used to be fun but now, over the months, it has become a bore. The kids in Six Five now ought to be relegated to an auditorium out of vision. But this means that the whole production of Six Five would have to change in style. There would be no longer any grounds for snap-happy camera work catching spontaneous movement & expression. Everything would have to become more precise. In fact my impression is that Six Five would really have to run on the lines of 'Oh Boy'. But there's a snag to this. The terrible task of assembling the 'Oh Boy' team has convinced me that there are certainly not enough of the right people to form two 'Oh Boy' type programmes. There are only just enough to form one. So there it is . . . . meanwhile the battle rages. The first clever move was, I have to admit, made by Russell Turner who had it announced the week before the first Oh Boy that Bernard Bresslaw the star of last week's show would have to leave "before 6.30". - the time 'Oh Boy' finishes. The tactics of this move are unimpeachable.

'Fried Onions' has just been released in America, where rumour from fairly unreliable sources suggests that the Rockingham sound is causing quite a stir among D.J.'s over there. It is perhaps safe to assume that the record has been played at least once in U.S.A. Meanwhile Lord Rockingham has been at it again. A new 78 is being released late next week and it will be pursued hot-foot by an E.P. - the sides being "Lord Rockingham's Lament"; "Hoots Mon"; "What the butler saw"; & "Lord Rockingham Meets the Monster." This last epic title had the XI in hilarious fits of the dreaded screaming Nadgers during the session. Voices by H. Robinson & - J. Good had to be dubbed on to the record thrice every time we wanted an effect. One for Stereophonic sounds, once for Monaural & once for Funereal.

Most artists in 'Oh Boy' come to rehearsal by themselves. Some occasionally turn up with their wives or girlfriends, sometimes they come with their agent or accompaniest. Not our Marty. He comes with his Press Officer - who I hasten to say is a very nice and imaginative chap.

Quite a few people have asked how Lord Rockingham's XI get that rasping, edgey sax noise. Well here is one trade secret. Before a session whilst every other band would tune up, Lord Rockingham's XI carefully detune. The saxophones then, being fractionally out-of-tune have that cutting noise. The musicians in the band are amused by this 'sharp practice' & suggest that this sort of noise should be called "Un-Music", and that the Rockingham XI should form the nucleus of a newly formed "Un-Musicians DisUnion" and all those who did not join would automatically be branded as  "Whitelegs". The DisUnion would insist that UnMusicians should be contracted for a minimum number of 3-hour tea-breaks; and they would also decree that these tea breaks should be broken at regular intervals by a minimum of 20 minute rehearsal sessions. I only hope the idea doesn't catch on.

The week before last Marty Wilde lost his voice & Vince Eager had to take his place at the Finsbury Park Empire. This week Marty's voice has always been the object of concern & it was thought by most people at rehearsals of 'Oh Boy' that Vince Eager's furtive presence in the background was just incase he had to replace Marty again. But in fact Vince was waiting for Marty to have (a) spare moment to rehearse 'Bird Dog' with him - the number these two strapping 6ft 2" boys are going to perform together on the 'Oh Boy' of October 4th.

Many, many thanks to Jack Good who allowed this article to be reproduced from his original 1958 notes which he kindly loaned for copying purposes.

28 August 2016

Saturday 27th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 3 (Compered by Jimmy Henney)

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

The John Barry Seven
Lorie Mann
Marty Wilde
Ronnie Carroll

Both Ronnie Carroll and Marty Wilde were signed up initially by Good to appear in the first six shows of the series  (until 18th October). After this date Carroll left "Oh Boy" to appear on the BBC rival show "Six-Five Special" for a six week period.

On the day before this broadcast Larry Parnes had criticized Jack Good in the NME for not allowing his protege Marty Wilde to sing his new single release"Misery Child" on the "Oh Boy!" show. He stated Wilde would not be appearing after the 18th October show.

28 August 2016

Friday 26th

Marty Wilde gets his first record release in America next week, when American Columbia issue "Misery's Child" on their subsidiary Epic label. At the same time, the progress of Marty's new disc in Britain has been handicapped by the fact that he is unable to feature the number during his current "Oh Boy!" TV series.

Marty's manager, Larry Parnes, told the NME: "We are very disappointed that producer Jack Good feels this number is unsuitable for the programme. There must be many fans who would like to hear it. As four days rehearsals are needed for each "Oh Boy!" show, he has almost no time for other TV shows in which he could sing "Misery's Child". In view of this, it now seems unlikely that Marty will continue in the series after October 18, when he completes his six scheduled appearances. Meanwhile, there is more good news for him from the U.S. In New York, his agent Hyman Zahl is negotiating for Marty to tour with the Alan Freed show on a similar rock 'n' roll package.

Britain's latest teenage talent singing star, Cliff Richard, who is currently moving up the NME charts with his Columbia recording of "Move It!", has now become one of the resident team of ABC TV's Saturday evening "Oh Boy!" show.

Producer Jack Good, now back in action after a mild attack of pneumonia last week, confirmed that his aim is to dispense with guest artists, and rely solely on residents. Cliff, who originally appeared as a guest on the first show of the series, is now booked indefinitely. When Ronnie Carroll leaves the show on October 18 to go to "6.5 Special" he will be replaced on "Oh Boy!" by Peter Elliott who has been booked until the end of the year. Jack Good's other ABC TV production is now set to commence on October 18, and will be seen only by viewers in the Midlands and North. This is the disc-jockey show starring Sam Costa and Keith Fordyce, which will be titled "Sam and Keith."


John Barry -
The Man With the Midas Touch

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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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