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Customer Review

on 7 December 2013
Television producer Jack Goode wanted something more exciting, immediate and new than the BBC's offering for young people and the music they liked 'The Six-Five Special' so He put up a -programme idea to the fledgling Independent Television (that staertd broadcasting in October 1955) for a show made by and for teenagers. Actually it borrowed heavily from Alan Freed's 'American Bandstand. The new show was titled 'Oh Boy!' and it featured young British talent from the stables of Larry Parnes and his contemporary managers of young performers like Joe Brown, Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde (who fronted the show) and the three Vernons Girls. On a bare proscenium arch stage with only the curtains as a backdrop, they sang the latest hits from America and Britain with a few of their own songs thrown in. The emphasis was squarely on rock'n'roll with a saxophone section led backing band assembled especially for these shows - The Lord Rockingham's Eleven (based as I say on Alan Freed's The King's Henchmen in American Bandstand). This set of jobbing musicians included the female organist Cherry Wainer who is still going strong today and has her original Hammond organ from the show. Allthough this band never performed anywhere other than the show and never toured, it achieved chart success with its two singles releases. Cliff Richard is still performing with a guitar here and his band The Drifters had not yet changed their name to the one we know now - The Shadows, because they were normally only seen as shadows against the back curtain since only Cliff was spot-lit. This disc gives you a flavour of the quick-fire presentation and lively performances; they follow the format of American shows like AB and Ed Sullivan in curtailing the numbers to shortened versions of between one and two minutes. (This was achieved by cutting a repeat verse or the 'middle eight' instrumental break. Since most of the hits of the 1950s and early 1960s were barely more than two minutes in length anyway, it was possible to maintain the momentum of the show by hustling performers on and off stage in a whirlwind performance supported by energetic blowing and percussion from Lord Rockingham's barely pausing for breath.
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