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 MUSIC

Oh Boy! What a start

Normally it was a peaceful part of London.
But in the week ending Saturday September 13 1958 the area around the Four Provinces Club in Islington was shattered time and time again.
The New Musical Express of that week takes up the story …
“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.”
The paper could not have said a truer word.
X
X
To those of us who saw there was no doubt this was something extra special.
Names we had only heard of on record or – and only occasionally – on limited popular music radio programmes were there. Before our very eyes.
The first Oh Boy! Show was compered by Jimmy Henney and introduced resident performers who would become household names:
*Lord Rockingham's XI,
*Red Price (remember his fantastic version of the theme from Peter Gunn)
*The Dallas Boys
*Neville Taylor and The Cutters
*Cherry Wainer
*The Vernons Girls.
Special guests on Show No 1 were Cliff Richard, then 17 and backed by The Drifters. Cliff sang two songs – Don’t Bug Me Baby and his massive hit Move It.
The John Barry 7 also stared along with Marty Wilde and Ronnie Carroll.
Magic, pure magic.

Written by The Editor - 08/02/2005 19:51:50

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