It’s Friday – it must be RSG!

The Story of Ready Steady Go went out on BBC4 on Friday 20 March 2020 (available to view until 20 April). What a joy it was. It had the same excitement, the same exuberance it always had. I was taken back to those Friday evenings when the very act of watching the programme told me that I really was part of a special group.

The Story of Ready Steady Go was fronted by Vicki Wickham, who produced it throughout its three year run, 1963-66 and there were stories from director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, of working with Mick Jagger, and finding new ways to use cameras in the studio.

 

There was great commentary from Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, and Eric Burdon from the Animals.

    

      

There were clips of everyone who made the Sixties great.

    

        

    

The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Tamla Motown Tour, Dusty Springfield, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, the Supremes, Them, the Animals, the Who and Georgie Fame. It was like Saturday night at the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford, or listening to the juke box in the Orpheus coffee bar in London Road.

   

Theresa Confrey talked about her time on the programme. Every week she and Patrick Kerr  demonstrated a different dance, some of which came and went – I mean who ever actually danced the Mashed Potato? There was Annie (Anne as she then was) Nightingale with extraordinary hair and Donovan just looking extraordinary, with grey wavy hair down to his shoulders.

    

    

There were clips of Michael Aldred, one of the groovy and yet short-lived presenters. Apparently he didn’t have audience appeal. Unlike Cathy McGowan, who sadly didn’t take part in the BBC programme.

The mime competition was included and Melanie Coe (far right of the picture), who won miming to Jump the Broomstick by Brenda Lee. Paul McCartney judged the competition and when Melanie went back to school the next Monday (she was 14) she was asked for her autograph.

It was interesting for its description of those days in the 60s when anything seemed possible. Using the cameras in a way that they became part of the programme itself, as they moved round the tiny studio. It brought it all back. I wanted to dig out my suede and head off to the Orpheus for a frothy coffee and hang out with people with Vespas and Lambrettas.

And there was the famous clip of Otis Redding, Eric Burdon and Chris Farlow singing Shake.

It was a very good programme. Watch it again.

Solutions

That music quiz.  Did you get all the answers?  Some did, some didn’t.  Someone thought that Charlie Watts was in the Beach Boys and that there were 5 Beatles – but she was young and I forgive her.   Many people thought Van Morrison was in the Spencer Davis Group.  Who knows? perhaps there was a night at Ronnie Scott’s when that magic happened.  We just didn’t get to hear about it in Chelmsford.

So in a very particular order here are the answers

1. The Supremes, Roy Orbison, Lulu

2. Them

3. 5,3,4

4. Eric Burdon

5. My Generation, I wanna hold your hand, Walk on By.

6. Love Me Do

7. The Rolling Stones

8. Detroit

9. BBC 1

10. Friday (the weekend really did start there).

And if you missed the quiz – there are the answers, what were the questions?

No prizes, but listen to the Animals and notice the young Alan Price.

 

 

60s Music at the Fair

Indie Author Fair

At last week’s Indie Author Fair at Foyle’s in London the room rocked with over 50 authors and their books. Readers, agents, organisers, artists and poets cruised around the room, wine glasses in hands, surveying, perusing and purchasing great reading.

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In one corner of the room I lured people to my table with the offer of a 60s music quiz. People stood in the middle of the room, humming 60s tunes to each other, remembering the titles, guessing at the artists.  Christine Wilkinson, fabulous photographer and designer of the book cover and I answered questions as best we could, without giving too much away.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s the quiz. Unfortunately no fabulous prizes remain (gorgeous fridge magnets (see below).  I know! you’re sorry you didn’t come now), but you’ll be left with a comforting sense of pride that you know all the answers.  Or not.    If in doubt, ask your mum.  Solutions later.

EW bookcovers (5)

Quiz

1. Who sang …?
 a. Baby Love
i. The Ronettes
ii. The Crystals
iii. The Supremes
iv. The Chiffons

b. Oh Pretty Woman
i. Marvin Gaye
ii. Roy Orbison
iii. Del Shannon
iv. Marty Wilde

c. Shout
i. Brenda Lee
ii. Lulu
iii. Dusty Springfield
iv. Helen Shapiro

2. Van Morrison was a member of which group?
1. Dave Clark 5
2. Them
3. Spencer Davis Band
4. The Searchers

3. How many members were there in
1. The Dave Clark 5?
2. The Big 3?
3. The Beatles?

4. Who was the lead singer of the Animals?

5. Here’s the first line – what’s the song?
1. People try to put us down
2. Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something, I think you’ll understand
3. If you see me walking down the street and I start to cry

6. Which was the first record released by the Beatles
1. Please Please Me
2. Love Me Do
3. Can’t Buy Me Love

7. Charlie Watts was a member of which group?

8. In which city were Tamla Motown records first recorded?

9. On which TV Station did Top of the Pops start?

10. Which night did Ready Steady Go appear on TV?

 

a sense of occasion

The essential book about the 60s