Saturday, August 28, 2004

1979: Proudly Presenting Mr Shakin' Stevens...


From the TV Times, July 1979.

Shakin’ Stevens - known to his friends as Shaky - is a miner’s son from Cardiff who is rising to fame on the rock ‘n’ roll revival. From playing Elvis Presley on stage in the London hit musical “Elvis”, he’s now shaking up “Oh Boy!” on Monday evenings.

He doesn’t see himself as an out-and-out rocker. “I mean,” he says, “I’ve never worn Teddy Boy clothes. Never been a Ted. Never wore creeper shoes. I’m more casual. You don’t have to plaster your hair with grease to like the music. That’s the trouble - everyone’s putting everyone else in compartments. I’m just Shaky Stevens, rock artist.”

He says it’s always the same in the music business - fashions keep changing, but rock music stays much the same. Jack Good, who created this series of “Oh Boy!” as well as the original twenty years ago, agrees. “Music goes round in ever decreasing circles. Fashions come and go but the sounds still keep turning up again.”

Good is 47. Perhaps, he says, it’s a little too old to still be messing with rock ‘n’ roll but he’s not that bothered. “I don’t think it’s any more mature to play “Hamlet” rather than play “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”.

Viewers of this series of “Oh Boy!” aren’t just entertained by the rock ‘n’ rollers on stage, but by the committed, specially invited Teddy boys and girls in the audience.

Now that audience really DOES believe in the fashion. Take Barry Rodgers, aged 28, from Selly Oak, Birmingham. He is a Teddy boy and proud of it; his two best suits prove the point. One’s black and edged with silver-grey velvet, the other is blue drape set off with mauve. Sometimes he wears a bootlace tie, but basically, says Barry, he’s a “slim Jim” man. His wife Ann is a Teddy girl. “Our interests, our beliefs, brought us together. Ann wears stiletto heels, full circular skirt, suspenders, stockings and pony tail. She looks great.”

“One day,” says Barry Rodgers, who goes to his job as a fitter dressed in all the gear, “we’ll have a little Teddy boy or Teddy girl. And they’ll be wearing drainpipe nappies.”

The 70s had a huge love affair with the 50s.

Think Fonzie.

Roy Wood and Wizzard


Certain Abba songs, like Waterloo

The repeated 1950’s guitar riffs on certain Punk records



The Crocodile Rock

The Rubettes

The Bay City Rollers (with their “blue suede shoes, dancin' the night away”)

It could be annoying because watching Top Of the Pops in the 70s was a nightmare for me. My mother, who had been very much part of the 50s scene, always punctuated the show with squawks of “We did that! They’re copying us!”

But what the heck. Because of my 70s childhood I grew to love 50s (and some 60s) music.

And I’m glad.

"TV Times", July 1979 - we Love the 50s and 60s. 70s 50s retro pop star Alvin Stardust and his 60s mate Joe Brown welcome us back to two great musical decades.

What else can you see of interest in this TV Times clipping?

Clapperboard sure bored me.

Why Can't I Go Home? was great. It was aimed at kids a bit younger than me, so I watched it whilst apparently "doing my homework".

Crossroads was deeply into the hellishly long story of Alison Cotterill, her gloomy uncle Reg, her facial scar, her plastic surgery, etc, etc...

Jenny Tomasin, Ruby of Upstairs, Downstairs fame, was appearing as a character called Florence Baker. I vaguely recall Jenny appearing in Crossroads (not that I ever watched it, of course), and, if I remember rightly, her character in the motel saga was not a million miles away from Ruby.

Coronation Street was going great guns, now well into the Bill Podmore era.

And yellow dentures?!! I'll pass on that.

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