Monday, 18 July 2011

The disappeared: 1/7/76

As previously mentioned, eight shows from the second half of 1976 are missing from the BBC archive, which is why we're getting these Sky At Night breaks once a month so we all hit Christmas together. But what was on these shows? Playlists survive, and with those we can all fill in the gaps with linkage and speculation. In this Saville-fronted week, then...

Hello – Love Stealer
Don't you sometimes wish Noel or Diddy would walk on and straight off like that German host does? Another in that thankfully now broken but still bitty run of show openers that never chart, odd given they'd had a top 10 single at the end of 1975, but disturbing stomping glam was on its way out by mid-1976. I mean, look at that stare, slightly brought down by the underwritten and overlong phone break. Hope that involved the borrowing of a trimphone at TV Centre. (EDIT: it was in the public domain all along! See the comments for YouTube link)

Liverpool Express – You Are My Love
Of solarised sub-10cc fame. We hear that after its first showing it made possibly the biggest leap up the download charts of any song so far shown in this re-run. Does that prove anything? Not sure.

Dr Hook – A Little Bit More
The tremendously hairy and homoerotic video will be shown in a future week, but this sappy FM ballad got the Ruby Flipper treatment. We're picturing Lulu, Cherry, Gavin and Philip slow dancing in fake moonlight.

The Manhattans – Kiss And Say Goodbye
Despite reaching number four this is the only TOTP appearance for this big heartbreak ballad by the standard issue singer plus four blokes adept at turning in a circle soul group lineup.

T-Rex – I Love To Boogie
Not the same performance as two weeks earlier but I doubt Marc looked much better.

One Hundred Ton And A Feather – It Only Takes A Minute
A Ruby Flipper moment, a solo Lulu in fact, which is presumably what's overlaid at the start of the later studio appearance. As those who saw the TV Hell video post a couple of weeks ago will know the artist was ostensibly secret (though actually wasn't, as will be discussed come the time) and would turn up to perform in the studio the show after next. What will BBC4 do? Stay tuned.

Bill Oddie & The Superspike Squad With John Cleese – Superspike
Oh, nothing here.

Hot ChoNO, NO, HANG ON! It's Britain's foremost ornithological funkateer! Having been Britain's fourth most successful songwriter in 1975 the Goodies' hits suddenly dried up but Bill still felt a need to get on the one somehow and got the opportunity with an Olympics tie-in fundraiser for the International Athlete's Club, whatever that is. Cleese acted as commentator, Oddie as a running shoe with sentience. It didn't chart. You know what makes this show's loss all the more unfortunate? They showed the video, which apparently featured cameos from the top athletes of the day. Imagine how much of a modern talking point this could have been. Who cares about those Doctor bloody Whos when this has gone missing from the BBC archives?


Hot Chocolate – Man To Man
What a letdown this might have felt. With string interjections and toytown organ there were plenty of opportunities for the BBC orchestra to get the arrangement hideously wrong, and with spoken sections chances for Errol to look overbearing.

Our Kid – You Just Might See Me Cry
Pre-pubescent junior showtime, as seen before.

Don Williams – I Recall A Gypsy Woman
Britain liked its country in mid-1976, didn't it?

The Shangri-Las – Leader Of The Pack
Ruby Flipper, and you can probably see in your mind's eye what this might have been like.

The Real Thing – You To Me Are Everything
The Amoos and friends raid another dressing up box to mark the second of **SPOILER** three weeks at number one.


Arthur Nibble said...

While trying to research this edition, I read that Marc Bolan's last TV appearance saw him falling off stage (well, stepping off it by mistake, it was only about a foot high) when playing a joint composition with David Bowie on the "Marc" show. What made it worse was that they wanted to try the song again but were about to run out of studio time and the TV company refused to do any overtime, so the song never got played in full on the show.

According to another site I've found, the Bill Oddie single was pressed or released about four months earlier, so it's a bit strange if there was a long gap before it made TOTP. After Bill, the next release on Bradley's was the seminal "I'm Going To Spain" by Steve Bent, which made Kenny Everett's 'World Worst Record' compilation album, yet ended up being re-written and covered by The Fall. Well worth a listen, probably for all the wrong reasons.

wilberforce said...

you might think as it appears the two subjects have nothing in common, it would be more appropriate to describe bill oddie as britain's ONLY ornithological funkateer. however, i actually have a friend who also has the same disparate obsessions... he told me he once went out on a birdin' trip with oddie and some fellow twitchers before retiring to a local hostelry, where bill complained there was no funk on the jukebox!

btw, the flipside of "superspike" is an instrumental version without all the silly vocals and gimmicks, and it ROCKS! in fact all bill's funk efforts were pretty credible in my view...

Adam Maunder said...

Looks like this one may have had some real gems in it - loved Hello (what was their Top Tenner, New York Groove?), the Manhattans was always a classic, and I advise newbies to their work to check out their earlier stuff, too (Call Somebody Please being my personal favourite), and all that can really be said about Superspike is the fact that that didn't chart & Our Kid did, represents a serious error of judgement on somebody's part.

That Hot Chocolate was nice, too - hadn't heard that before. As regards our country-lovin' tendencies, I think we can just be grateful that it was Don Williams that was making the charts, and not say, Alabama, or Juice Newton; the US country charts slid into almost irrevocable decline by the start of the eighties (Nicolette Larson - what the hell?). Actually, there's a thought - does anyone know if the likes of Waylon or Willie made the journey to TVC for a Pops appearance? Unlikely, but it's a great thought.

As is the notion of Cherry & co. in leathers straddling motorbikes for the Shangri-Las' masterpiece, but we'll never see that now. {sob}

Noax said...

The other Hello song to do well was 'Tell Him' IIRC.

What would Floyd have worn for the Doctor Hook routine? Hmmmm - given the randomness of his other outfits I'm going for a Beefeater costume.

That 'Superspike' song was a complete mystery to me until I got it on a compilation of hits from 1976 - whoever put it on there must've been a bit strange. Or been Bill Oddie.

As for the rest of this missing Pops, I'm going for lots of 'UHuhUHuhUHuh', 'As it 'appens', flagrant wearing of vests and manhandling of 'lovely ladies' by our esteemed host.

wilberforce said...

missing shows? tapes wiped or lost? that's what happens when you employ people because they're your relatives rather than being any good at what they do...

PreciousBox27 said...

I'm devastated I won't get to see Cherry in leathers dancing to Leader Of The Pack :-(

Surely there must be a copy in private hands ?

Even if 01/07/76 was found would BBC Four show it at a later date out of sync with the rest of the series ?

Also I wish they'd show the uncut versions of shows they took the knife too as they cut out these Pan's People routines :-(

RODGER COLLINS – You Sexy Sugar Plum (Pan’s People) 22/04/76

THE FOUR SEASONS – Silver Star (Pan’s People) 29/04/76


Anonymous said...

Hello's appearance on TOTP doing Love Stealer is an extra on a compilation I have that came out a few years ago on 7Ts records (go to for more details). As the show is apparently wiped I don't know where it came from but I will upload it to YouTube soon. It's a great song. Hello's lead singer performs the song on crutches! Cool site by the way!

PreciousBox27 said...

Hi Andy,

I searched the Cherry Red site for Hello "Love Stealer" with no results. Which DVD is it an extra on ?

A collegue of mine has seen the Ruby Flipper "Leader of the Pack" sequence, he recalls that it consisted of the girls dancing around a motorbike on the stage in leathers with each girl alternatly getting on and off the bike

PS Is there no way to edit comments without deleting and re-posting ? Could not find an edit option

Anonymous said...

It's on a comp called 'The Glam Rock Singles Collection'. Here's the 7Ts label discography, with a link to the CD. But I will pop this on youtube right now!

Simon said...

And he has -

PreciousBox27 said...


I started this thread about 01-07-76 on the wonderful "One for the Dads" forum

And the routines from it discussed too here