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28 August 2016

Saturday 20th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 2 (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
John Barry Seven
Vince Eager
Ronnie Carroll

Cliff Richard returned for his 2nd appearance to sing the B side of his new single, "Schoolboy Crush" (originally the A side, until EMI swapped the sides over) backed by the Drifters, the Dallas Boys & the Vernons Girls.

Dudley Heslop, who had appeared in the two trial Oh Boy! shows in June, makes his first appearance under his new guise of  'Cuddly Dudley'.  Marty Wilde, although listed to appear, lost his voice and so did not in fact sing. His place was taken by Vince Eager.

Note that although TV Times lists The John Barry Seven as appearing in this episode, the NME stated just beforehand that they would not.  Wilde, Eager & The JB7 were also due to appear on a package tour concert at Burnt Oak, that evening. However, if Eager & The JB7 did appear on Oh Boy! that evening, they could not have arrived at Burn Oak in time for the first house.

28 August 2016

Saturday 13th

'OH BOY!' SHOW # 1 (Compered by Jimmy Henney)

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

Cliff Richard & The Drifters
John Barry Seven
Marty Wilde
Ronnie Carroll

An incomplete rehearsal schedule exists to this classic first show. (see Rehearsals). Ronnie Carroll sang "Seven Steps To Love”, the Dallas Boys sang Buddy Holly's “Think It Over" and Gene Vincent's "Rocky Road Blues”, Neville Taylor & The Cutters sang the Coaster's “Yakety Yak” and the Everly Brothers “Oh What a Feeling”, and Lord Rockingham's XI performed two medleys plus a full performance of their current hit  “Hoots Mon”. The audience went wild over Marty (he appeared in the 2 trial broadcasts earlier in June 58) who sang Buddy Knox's “Somebody Touched Me” in addition to a medley with the Dallas Boys in which he sang Elvis' “Baby I Don’t Care” and Ricky Nelson's “Poor Little Fool.”

Jimmy Henney introduced an exciting new talent making his debut television appearance -- 17-year-old Cliff Richard backed by his group The Drifters. Cliff pouted and gyrated his way through Milton Allen's "Don’t Bug Me Baby” and his first ever-record release, “Move It!”.

28 August 2016

Friday 12th

The peaceful tranquility of the shops and houses adjoining the Four Provinces Club in Islington was shattered beyond repair this week. Suddenly the area has become a hive of seething activity, though few people yet seem to know exactly what is going on.

Workmen cart large pieces of scenery into the club and glamorous showgirls periodically invade the quiet little restaurant around the corner in search of coffee; other girls peer out of windows, shoppers are startled by the waves of sound that waft out from the club, and schoolboys run the perimeter of the building frantically clutching autograph books.

The secret of the Four Provinces Club leaked out on a major scale on Tuesday - the second day of rehearsals for producer Jack Good's new "brainchild" series, "Oh Boy!"

Inside the hall, chaotic disorder reigns supreme. Sheet music litters every available chair, and instrument cases are strewn all over the floor; artists and musicians mingle with perspiring workmen as scenery is hurridly set up; the producer tries to make himself heard above the din of 70 or so voices, and a stray dog beats a hurried retreat between the legs of jiving chorus girls as the powerhouse Lord Rockingham's Eleven explode into action.

Slick show

Out of all this confusion will arise a slick, colourful show - the first of a new ABC-TV series that takes the air at 6p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).

Chaos will give way to a smooth, precision-timed show that promises to be one of the most exciting ever seen in this country.

In between sips of coffee and a goon-style cross-talk routine with musical director Harry Robinson, Jack Good outlined to me the basic aims of the show. "We intend to make this the most organised show on TV," he began, "and also one of the fastest and most exciting".

"I'm looking for a certain type of audience reaction. It's like as if an audience were sitting in a theatre quietly and then were confronted by a blistering stage show that never let up for one moment. They'd simply have to sit up and take notice, and that's what I'm looking for." Jack explained.

"We aim to startle viewers with quick, lively presentation, and because I'm convinced that comedy, no matter how good, tends to slow down a show of this kind, we won't be featuring any comedians. Team-work is going to count more than anything else, and I'm happy to say that everybody in the show is dead keen." he continued.

"Oh Boy!" will be in direct competition to BBC-TV's "6.5 Special" - formerly produced by Jack. How does he feel about it? "Frankly, I'm thrilled at the prospect, and the essence of competition must obviously encourage us to work doubly hard." he confided.

Finally, what style of music will we hear on "Oh Boy!"? For a start there'll be a preponderance of Big Beat material from the cream of Britain's "rockers." But that doesn't mean that ballads are out of favour.

"Right now, the trend in pop music generally is veering towards a more melodic conception, and we will follow that trend." Jack emphasised.

Now let's meet some of the artists who'll be appearing in tomorrow's show. I found newcomer Cliff Richard propped up against a wall listening to the Dallas Boys rehearsing. Introductions completed, we sought sanctuary in a quiet ante-room, where I managed to render Cliff speechless with the news that his first Columbia recording "Move It" had entered the hit parade.

His jaw dropped, and he groped unsuccessfully for words. He spoke in short, monosyllabic phrases: "Already?.....well.....I mean....what can I say? Everything is happening all at once."

His composure regained, Cheshunt-born Cliff, 17, set about telling me of his sudden attack of nerves. "It's wonderful to be going on TV for the first time, but I feel so nervous that I don't know what to do.

"I mean, I only turned professional five weeks ago, and before that I was working as a clerk and only playing at local dances and things in my spare time. I wore sideburns then, but I shaved them off last night - Jack (Good) thought it would make me look more original. I think he's right." he said.

John Foster, Cliff's burly, 19 year-old manager, broke in to tell me how ten London agents had given the thumbs down sign after hearing a tape recording by Cliff. "Seems like those fellows can be wrong after all." he grinned!

Coffee for two

Though his first year in show business is still not yet complete, Marty Wilde takes the hectic whirl of rehearsals in his stride. After singing his way through "Think It Over" and "Baby, I Don't Care," he greeted me with a smile and a handshake, and guided me to the nearest coffee bar.

Two steaming cups were placed on the table by an inquisitive waitress, and Marty requested extra sugar with a firm "got one heck of a sweet tooth." The sugar arrived together with a grubby piece of paper which Marty dutifully signed for a devoted fan.
To the accompaniment of Peggy Lee's "Fever" from a nearby juke box, we chatted about Marty's role in the show.

"I'm very proud to be associated with the series because I know it's going to be a great show. That's because we have such a fine producer. You know, I predict that one day Jack will be the world's greatest producer." he confided.
"Rehearsals," he echoed, in answer to my question. "They're fun. I enjoy them because I learn so much watching other people work. I like learning because it helps to broaden my scope. You know, pretty soon I want to have a crack at all kinds of songs - ballads, rock, everything."

In panto

About his future, Marty was very frank. Towards Christmas, he'll be temporarily leaving "Oh Boy!" to make his debut in pantomime at Stockton. "It'll be my first and last pantomime," he declared. "I'm not awfully keen on the idea, but I realise that the experience will be good. Anyway, I've always fancied myself as a comedian, so maybe this'll be a good opportunity to try out some gag lines."

Marty is his own severest critic, but I feel he was being hyper-critical when we discussed his latest record, "Misery's Child."

"It's a bad record," he stressed. "And if it gets into the hit parade, it doesn't deserve to." And with that, Marty strode off to the juke box to drop another coin in the slot. The tune? "Fever"!

Back in the Provinces Club, Lord Rockingham's Eleven were blowing up a storm on Harry Robinson's new composition, "Hoots Mon." Girls in sweaters and shorts - the Vernon Girls - were running through dance steps, and Jack Good was frantically waving a piece of music in front of organist Cherry Wainer.

Grouped around a piano were Neville Taylor and The Cutters - the "Oh Boy!" resident vocal quartet and the group who supplied the high-pitched scat lyrics on the Rockingham outfit's Decca recording of "Fried Onions".

A drum roll brought "Hoots Mon" to a close, and The Cutters broke into a pounding version of "Yakety Yak." A couple of choruses later, Jack Good nodded his approval, and the group dispersed to various corners of the room.

"Like it?" Neville asked. "I want to record with the group soon because I think we've got a good sound. Anyway, the audiences seemed to like us when we did those two "Oh Boy!" trial shows a while back."

"You know the boys?' I shook my head, and Neville pointed out Wilf Todd, Basil Short, and Sonny McKenzie. "Funny thing, but they all play bass," he beamed. "All good musicians - couldn't work with a better bunch," he beamed again.

Further conversation with Neville was cut short by the arrival of a harassed-looking Jack Good, requesting Neville's presence on the bandstand. We turned around, and I succeeded in treading on Ronnie Carroll's toe!

Finding a relatively quiet spot to talk, Ronnie proceeded to eulogise about Jack. "Great producer," he said. "Jack knows what he wants and he always gets results. That's why I'm very pleased to be working with him on this series."

TV rehearsals hold no worries for Ronnie, and he was even looking forward to the 45 minutes ahead of him. But I don't think he'll be so keen in a couple of months time, for within the next 12 weeks, he is set to make 20 major TV appearances on shows like the "Jack Jackson", "Cool For Cats"", and "Rainbow Room" programmes.

"I'll be the contrast in "Oh Boy!" because whereas most of the other artists will be singing beat stuff, I'll concentrate mainly on ballads. It'll add a touch of variety to the show," Ronnie told me.

Variety dates have no place in Ronnie's work schedule these days. "In the first place, I don't get the time and apart from that, I never was very keen on variety. But I'm looking forward to doing pantomime for the first time at Sheffield this Christmas," he added, before dashing off to sing the opening bars of "Seven Steps to Love."

In the studio, everything seem to be happening at once.

Bertice Reading and John Barry - two further stars of tomorrow's debut show - weren't scheduled to arrive for at least another two hours, and I suspected that by the time they got there, I wouldn't be able to get a word in edgeways. So I left!


John Barry -
The Man With the Midas Touch

Order our book here

Our book "John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch" is now only available for purchase at a reduced price via this website.

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.

Apologies that due to the high cost of postage we can only make this offer to UK residents.




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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