Friday, 21 December 2012

TOTP 15/12/77 (tx 20/12/12): Thursday night's alright for charting

Let's get down to brass tacks, it's your special guest host Elton John! Sporting a cap, because any port in a storm, and a jacket with red lining that's probably far more expensive than it looks, plus in an interesting development no glasses. The other Donna Summer single, I Love You, goes behind the rundown.

The Dooleys – Love Of My Life
Of course we (points at comments box) have seen this twice already but they (points at viewing public) haven't, which means they miss out on the transmogrification and join the Dooleys as their transformation into all-pearly grinning supper club entertainers with ideas above their station is complete. Jim of the flowing mane has an open-zipped Evil Knievel castoff of a top and a pair of white trousers that are hitched so far up his body, with the aid of a thick belt, he surely couldn't walk properly. Anne and Kathy are more properly dressed than first time around, in fact one of them not far from Catholic girls' school chic. The keyboard player, taking Jim on at his own game despite being stood right next to a large circle, has gone for the open jacket over bare chest. The bassist is standing right next to Jim on stage, which is building up your part somewhat given the usual vocal arrangement.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Egyptian Reggae
Elton's body language is all over the place, a ten second link sees him bobbing, weaving, shifting from foot to foot and sticking out his right elbow like he's trying to balance on a ball. Maybe because nobody could believe it first time round, "the fantastic" Legs & Co's meisterwork gets a second airing.

Carl Douglas – Run Back
It's now we can clearly see Elton has some sort of small reflective pendant on, could be diamond, could be glass. Should never leave home without one. As the camera pulls over to Carl we can see about a third of the audience are watching Elton instead. Not unsurprisingly, given his relative stature, but you're there for the music, dammit. And maybe for Douglas' dad clothes, a cream fleece for the larger figure and far too tight light brown cords. He's enthusiastic enough when it comes to improvised fist clenching and taking a step down to the lower part of the stage and when he spots a lurking lens it's little eyebrows and pretend surprise all the way. Then, right on the big brassy first note of the chorus, he delivers an over the top comedy wink. He knows alright. He also knows nobody else knows what melisma is yet as he arches backwards and delivers a big note, and then spoils it with another chorus to which he bounces jauntily about on the spot. There are, we note, two sailors down the front. Wrong week!

Julie Covington – Only Women Bleed
We lose Dooley Wilson's As Time Goes By for film rights reasons and pick up as on tape Covington stands, backlit, and sings to two different cameras from various distances in exactly the same way Bowie does in the Heroes video.

Darts – Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It
"Time to move yourself about a bit now". Here at the halfway point you begin to understand the problem with this show. It's not that Elton isn't entirely comfortable with performance to camera - ah, how times change - or that he starts every link looking at the floor followed by an "OK!", it's that this is the very famous Elton John and he's doing nothing other than 'that was, this is'. Nerves may be coming into play on that front, but why have a big name present the show - not even the last one before Christmas, by the way - and give him no room for manoevure? Anyway... Darts are back in town, Rita's in her most comfortably fitting leopardskin and Den's wearing a jacket that might be made out of discarded carpet material and what looks like adapted white dungarees underneath, looking for all the world like the lost Dr Who. Clearly the third wheel of the arrangement, Bob Fish tries to make up for it by proffering his fists as big chorus punctuation as if he's offering everyone outside, which may well have been the case. Hegarty then inevitably escapes, and after hurredly untangling his mike cable settles his chin upon one of the big set design rings, which suspiciously seems to be much lower and nearer than usual. It's when he puts his whole bodyweight upon the hanging structure and tries to swing forward on it that Griff Fender, who has up to now been miming along with Hegarty's lines, looks slightly worried. As they face off at the end the pair resemble teacher and problem child. Maybe that was the plan.

Elvis Presley – My Way
Some commotion can still be just about heard in the background as Elton brings in Legs & Co again. I can't work out whether this was thrown in at the last minute, as the unfitting pink dresses and last minute choreography involving lots of turning and arm waving during which a member gets out of sync at least once suggests, or planned so they could get Patti - at least we're led to assume it's her as she's not otherwise involved - into silhouette in wig, turned up jacket collar and guitar strummed in profile despite there being no acoustic guitar on the track.

John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett – Really Free
Finding himself among the audience for the first time all night Elton gets really out of whack, referring to this "making its debut on Top Of The Pops, for the charts anyway". Mind you, knowing what was coming, wouldn't you be stutteringly apprehensive? No amp climbing or place losing from Otway this time but he does do a few laps of the tiny stage with a suitcase amp in the middle, tear open his shirt just as nobody's expecting or requesting it and have to be pushed back towards the mike by Barrett to start the last verse. Four people down the front headbang vigorously. The rest look confused, not least the next band briefly glimpsed on the other stage.

The Emotions – I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love
What must they have told people back home about their experience on Britain's famous pop show? Elton rates Best Of My Love as one of his favourite songs of the year, which doesn't stop the orchestra's blaring brass crashing in early and his having to shout over them. Whichever Emotion is taking lead almost immediately exerts the audience to clap their hands. Two people, one of the sailors inclusive, do so. Nevertheless she's pushing on with energy, grabbing the mike and completely foregoing her bandmates' routine with a series of shoulder exercises and playing to the front row. Fine work.

Wings – Mull Of Kintyre
Different clip this week, from the Mike Yarwood show, with Paul standing alone in the middle of a pretend forest clearing, namely one very plastic tree, some dry ice and an old painted backdrop. It must be catching, even Elton's calling it "the number one sound", and to add to the general DLT-ism he adopts a Yorkshire accent introducing the Floral Dance outro, stumbling over the name as he goes. Does he say anything to acknowledge this very famous and characterful pop star has been your guest host for the night? Of course not. Was he doing it under heavy duress?

50 comments:

Mark F said...

I wonder if Elton had any kind of screen test prior to doing this, or did the BBC care so little about TOTP that they were happy to have someone with no proven presenting skills doing it.

I suppose this was TOTP's first experiment with a guest presenter, and not a very successful one really. TOTP obviously thought so as well, since they didn't have another one until August 1980, when they decided that the ideal person to present the show would be.... Elton John! (albeit with Peter Powell this time)

70's Boy said...

The message to Elton must have been 'stick to what you're best at and don't give up the day job'. In an era of exclusive presentation by Radio 1 DJ's his presence here is rather odd.

Good to see the Dooleys back, and I like the Julie Covington song. No 'As Time Goes By', so we get another short show, which is a shame.

Stephen said...

Elton did stirling work with Morecambe & Wise this year - Maybe that got him the job?, wonder If he watched this and what he thought of his performance?.

The rundown pic of Elvis makes him look like he's going to sneeze.

The Dooleys - Bland 'Seaside special' type crap, more goolies than Dooleys to me.

Legs & Co has been dealt with before all I'll say is they've done worse.

Carl Douglas - great performance and not a bad tune (Don't think I've heard it before).

Julie Covington - How to kill an Alice Cooper song in one easy lesson.

Darts - Must get a Best of CD...Den in a deckchair as ever steals the show.

Elvis - Poor Legs and company having to try to dance to my way, I said earlier they did worse than Egyptian Reggae...

Otway & Barrett - Elton's getting more comfy, Yet another great performance from Mr O.

The Emotions seem to either be confused or enjoy seeing O & B and then try to get some clapping going (Fail) quite forgettable song but done with convition.

Wings - As Simon says the Yarwood performance gets a preview 10 days early (their time) for some reason I'm beginning to enjoy this again...well till the Bagpipes.

and out to the floral dance which needs Wogan.

Merry Christmas & Good Love to you all

Mike said...

A subdued Otway enjoys the experience of miming (and checking that the mic's earthed/off). Maybe safer after his OGWT rendition of Really Free. After accidentally killing Barrett's guitar feed, Otway performs the infamous speaker cabinet assault.
(Only Women Bleed is an Alice Cooper cover and still lives in his live set.)

daf said...

CARL DOUGLAS – Run Back
Did Billy Ocean do this? Sounds just like something he's do (in a crimson velvet smoking jacket, no doubt).

You wait all day for one Dooley, and then two come along at once . . . except it doesn't, because they cut it the second one. Curses! They spoiled my carefully crafted chucklesome chortler.

JULIE COVINGTON – Only Women Bleed
Miserable trout.

DARTS
Had enough of this now. I know it's not their fault, but this lot seem to have miraculously dodged the DLT/Savile poisoned bullet every time, while Noosha Fox, 'She's a Windup', and 'Mary of the Fourth Form' remain unseen. The injustice!

ELVIS PRESLEY – My Way
Who's bright idea for a single was this? The Legs do their best, but there's only so much 'dancing' to be squeezed out of this shocker.

This performance from John Otway was the one they used in the 1977 documentary. Infact, a lot of this show ended up in the documentary (probably pulled off the shelf for Elton's appearance originally).
From his reaction, it's clearly Elton's highlight of the night.
Loved seeing The Emotions standing bemused on the other stage while all the chaos was going on!

Ooh! New Mull of Kintyre video - and a tremendous pair of tartan socks from Linda too. Nice!

Arthur Nibble said...

Elton John? Captain Scarlet! You'll now be unable to get the end-of-episides ballad "Marina" out of your head.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Reg Dwight straying into JS's territory with a few sailors on hand. Reg certainly looks like he wants to be, and probably is, somewhere else. Look at the eyes! Look at the eyes!

Donna again with I Love You which reminds me in part of Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor. Do we actually see a video of this song?

So we get The Dooleys but no Dooley Wilson. Same meat different gravy. The girls have changed position, the guys have changed clothes.

Carl Douglas with shortened intro again, this time in a zip up blouson rather than a hooded top. Littlewoods catalogues had a lot to answer for.

Only women Bleed with that lovely fretless bass that Kate Bush used on Breathing. Shame Ms Covington didn't make a video for Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

I remember this Darts performance more than the other two because it's just so brilliant. Den Heggarty's business with the hoop is really funny and I love the way the other guy pops up at the end to do the last chorus. If Wings hadn't been dominating the number one this would surely have been a contender for the top.

Poor old Legs given another Elvis song to dance to and a song that no one can dance to. I wonder who was the silhouette of Elvis?

I know they're not showing the second Xmas '77 show but it says on Popscene that they show the video of Way Down by Elvis, was there a video for this and why the hell wasn't it shown at the time?

Elton looks a bit pissed off with the audience after he announces John Otway like he can't wait to get away from them. I love the fact that we can see The Emotions in the background of John Otway. What can have been going through their heads?

A great performance by The Emotions and this deserved to get higher than it did.

Mull Of Kintyre was written by Denny Laine and Paul McCartney which seems a bit odd when you consider that Macca rarely co-wrote anything inc The Beatles songs (my theory is that Denny Laine may have written it and Macca added some lyrics and the bagpipes).

Was this video specially made by The BBC for TOTP or for The Mike Yarwood Show? I get confused. I think Denny Laine looks really cool and modern in this with a checked shirt, tweed jacket and jeans with massive turn ups. Macca just looks like someone's granddad. I won't say what Linda looks like.

Looking forward to more disco sounds in 1978.

NB: Simon I see the 12 Jan 1978 show was never made due to a strike - how about letting us make up our own show that week, what we think should have been on it and who should have been presenting it?

Angelo Gravity said...

loved the Julie Covington song ~ class.
Also enjoyed the new Mull of Kintyre video - though theres a verse missing, making it shorter - maybe thats why they used it.

Simon said...

Well, it'd be pretty much just the following week's show, as that has the same no-repetition rules as the missing one.

Way Down is a BBC compilation - like this, in fact, and probably wouldn't have made it to any repeat with those film clips.

Simon said...

Someone's uploaded As Time Goes By with Elton's links. The link after the video is staccato even by his standards.

Simon Jenkins said...

I enjoyed Elton John's Kenny Everett impression. Was that Leo Sayer guesting with the Dooleys?

Mark F said...

Just had a thought - if any film clips have to be left out for copyright reasons, isn't that going to cause a bit of a problem with the 1978 ones when tracks from Grease or Saturday Night Fever are at No.1 ? (in fact I'm pretty certain there'll be multiple Grease clips in some shows).

eightiespopkid said...

I wonder if the Bing Crosby clip that was cut out might have been a different one to the one we normally see. Didn't he record a Xmas special just prior to his death (the one that the 1982 hit duet with Bowie came from) - I'm thinking it might be a clip from this that they couldn't get the rights to? We will have to wait and see re the 'Grease' clips but I think TOTP2 have shown these without a problem, just like the usual 'White Christmas' clip.

Simon said...

Ooh, good point, I know You're The One That I Want and Summer Nights at least are shown in clip form. I imagine they'll see this coming and see what they can licence - it may be they've been issued as proper videos by now. There'll doubtless be clips in The Story Of 1978, we'll just have to see if they come with telltale copyright notices.

White Christmas will be the Holiday Inn clip, that's the one TOTP2 always showed.

Dory said...

Very good show with Elton hosting. I think it made a nice change from the regular presenters in the run-up to Christmas 1977.

I particularly enjoyed the latest Darts performance with the lead singer's jacket and his duo with Den Hegarty hanging from the moon. Darts had more studio space this time compared to their previous two shows with this song on David Jensen and Noel Edmunds' shows, and it worked a treat. They were also a lot more dressed for a party!

Not so sure about the Elvis Presley song being given to Legs & Co. We certainly didn't see their legs this time like the previous week's full throw on Tony Blackburn's show with the disco sound of Chic.
Anyway wasn't this Elvis song a copy of the original by Frank Sinatra singing My Way, or was Elvis the original version? I'm totally confused.....need an answer please!

Finally, got to say that it was nice to have a different video from Wings for their third week at number one taking the whole of December at the number one position, rightfully so, and good to see the video from The Mike Yarwood Show being given another airing on TOTP to keep viewers interested.

Finally, will we be getting the Jimmy Saville Pre-Xmas TOTP of 22-12-77 as a UK Gold or other contribution, as BBC4 won't show it? It's just that I want to see the lovely Crystal Gayle, as we were robbed of her first appearance on the DLT show three weeks earlier. Typical that she only got to be on DLT and JS in the same month!

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Oh go on Simon let us make up our own show on 12.1.1978, we can call it The Never Was.

There's another version of White Christmas from the colour film of the same name, it might have been that one.

Does anyone know what they did for the Grease theme by Frankie Valli, was there a video or was it a Legs routine?

Noax said...

Phew, this is an exhausting week, a bit like running a marathon. Oh...better leave that one there.

Dooleys - I'm not keen on this one, though I like most of their other singles, especially 'Wanted'.

Carl Douglas - Glad that we all seem to think this is ace. Disappointingly not quite as good a performance as the one we didn't see, and certainly a worse outfit, but still a great performance.

Dooley Wilson would have been odd, it confused the hell out of me to see it at No.30 in the charts. Why was this re-released exactly?

Julie Covington - Couldn't be bothered to turn up earlier in the year when you were Number 1 and now you do and expect me to enjoy this? Well, I won't.

Darts - How lucky for Den Hegarty that health and safety didn't exist in those days, eh?

Elvis - Another in the 'why release this?' category. I absolutely detest this song in any form. Surely the silhouette Elvis was Floyd? I hope so, anyway.

Otway & Barrett - Still very funny, however many times we've seen it now.

The Emotions - Couldn't be bothered to turn up earlier in the year with your big hit and now you do and expect me to enjoy this?
Well, it was alright I suppose in a 'bit like the last one' type way.

Wings - Now, this is the clip I remember. Ingrained on my brain like the farting bagpipes. Linda's socks are quite fetching though.

Dory said...

Oh and I forgot to mention that you gotta love the way that Elton closed the show introducing the closing credits as the Brass band in a heavy Yorkshire accent, which I thought was the best Yorkshire accent I've ever heard.....better than any Yorkshireman could ever do!
Thanks Elton!

Darren said...

@Bamaboogiewoogie - Frankie Valli's Grease had the Legs & Co treatment once, was played behind the chart rundown once, and a video was shown once.

The chances of us seeing that video in full, though, are quite slim, as it's a JS fronted episode. However, I found this odd sampler clip from the 14th September episode the video was on, and on the last quarter you can see Frankie singing on a stage with about a hundred people behind him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NULtYljUo8o

So it looks like the video clearance won't be the problem here...

THX said...

Weird watching Elton when he wasn't swearing/mentioning rudeness/being horrible to Madonna, he really was awkward.

And a Merry Christmas to you, Julie Covington! She was always the best singer on Rock Follies, but this misery stood out like a sore thumb.

What Den needed was a rope swing to soar out over the audience on, maybe in their next appearance?

I notice Legs & Co had the words "Elvis" and "King" printed on their skirts, so in spite of all appearances there must have been preparation involved in this routine. Dancing to My Way? Not even Sid Vicious tried that.

What I like about the studio version of Mull of Kintyre is that the Hound of the Baskervilles seems about to be bounding onto the set at any moment.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Thanks Darren. I've seen that clip or something very similar which i believe is taken from the premier of the film it was shown on the Australian pop show Countdown. I never knew it was shown on TOTP.

I bought a box of old singles at a car boot recently. About 60 records for two quid (bargain!). I really on bought them because there was a Barry Gray Supercar flexi disc among them and I ignored the rest until I saw the box again yesterday when i was moving some junk into the spare room. To my amazement there is half this weeks chart in there including Run Back, The Love Of My Life, Daddy Cool, Put Your love In Me, Rocking All Over The World, Belfast, I Love You, It's A Heartache and Getting Ready For Love. Serendipity or what?!

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Elton looked very nervous/awkward I've heard him say that the reason he went for all the outrageous outfits and the glasses was to have something to hide behind because of his shyness. So he was being quite brave here.Probably had a snort of coke before closing the show though as he suddenly did that impression!
Actually thought he looked very boyish and the outfit sort of made the best of him.

Carl Douglass - looking a quite old 35 here - he should have shaved the remaining bits of his hair off it would have knocked years off. Good performance though and I loved hearing the BBC orchestra's attempt to do the 70s American cop show disco strings break bit.

Julie Covington - modelling the 70s anarchist feminist urban guerilla squatlook here.And the opening line about the man putting his seed inside her is the most near the knuckle opening line since the Wurzels "I drove my tractor through your haystack last night".

Darts - these performances just get better - sort of taking us back to the early 70s when you never knew what the glam bands would get up to/be wearing.

Elvis Presley - to answer someone's question I know Paul Anka wrote the words to a French tune but don't know who did it first but it's undoubtedly Frank's record.Incidentally what became Frank Sinatra's most identifiable song in the same chart as the most famous song by the person who was his biggest influence Bing Crosby.

Otway & Barrett - another performance right in a pre-light entertainment early 70s style.I love how in contrast to when the punk acts tried to get intense and the audience just looked at the them with a complete lack of interest they all look transfixed by this.And I noticed the man employed to make sure Otway's lead didn't get in the way.

Emotions - I never knew this would be on! the record containing one of the most famous rave samples of all time (used in 2 Bad Mice's 'Hold It Down')and the BBC orchestra try to replicate the instrumental part of it!Amazing!

I think Dooley Wilson might have been another Wogan hit as I remember him playing it all the time back then.And impersonating the "play it" bit.

I really liked that show (except that bloody droning number 1!) - not particularly for the music but for the overall spectacle and after all the spectacle is why we watch it as if it was just the music we could play/download the records.

Arthur Nibble said...

That's the only time we get to hear "I Love You" despite it reaching the top ten. Donna's singles were being released by two different record companies at this time. "I Love You" was on Casablanca, and maybe "Love's Unkind" on GTO was seen as the official release at the time?

Was Jim Dooley going grey prematurely? And was he the only Dooley in the band who didn't look facially like any of the other Dooleys?

Carl 'Dad' Douglas sure knew where the camera lights were. A shame he took a while to get into his performance, but still fantastic.

Woh! Very perceptive song written by a bloke. Well done, Alice...er, Vince! I know Julie Covington couldn't smile in this clip, but she just looked too morose for comfort.

Griff still can't draw a square properly. Still, he pulled the gal in the leopardskin outfit and I think they're still together, so he can't be that daft!

We reach the Legs & Co nadir with an awful song to interpret. Bring back Danny Mirror! No! Forget I said that!

Loved the way Wild Willy almost pushed John Otway off the stage and into the moshpit when he forgot to start singing again.

I hate going to gigs and seeing acts telling the audience to clap their hands or, worse still, make them sing parts of the songs instead. I've paid to see them entertain me, not vice versa. Didn't like this number 40 peaker by The Emotions much - more a groove than a song as the verses and choruses weren't fully defined.

In the end credits, does anyone know what the "L." in L. Rowland-Warne stood for? Was that his / her business name or was their first name just shown as "L." due to space restraints on the caption?

Finally, any idea when DLT's bail ends? Do you think the powers that be are waiting to see if he's found not guilty, seeing as he presents the second episode of 1978?

Arthur running back said...

Just noticed on the bespoke 45cat website that "Only Women Bleed" had John Cale on keyboards, and former "Rock Follies" cohort and future Mayoress of Aberystwyth, Sue Jones-Davies on backing vocals.

THX said...

Didn't the version of As Time Goes By have dialogue from Casablanca inserted halfway through in the instrumental break? I seem to remember hearing it, though not at the time, because DLT once later claimed it was "Bogie and Bacall" when it wasn't.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Yes it included dialogue from 'Casablanca' the record was pretty inescapable on Radio 2 back then - on Terry Wogan anyway.

Simon said...

Griff and Rita are indeed still together, and indeed Rita is now something of a respected authority on Afrobeat, DJing and presenting BBC shows on the likes of Fela Kuti.

Sinatra's My Way came out in 1969; the Elvis recording was made a month before his death.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Arthur the costume designer was a man, Leslie Rowland-Warne, he did the costumes for lots of BBC shows including Doctor Who.

Re Dooley Wilson - In the mid 70s United Artists released a few 1930s soundtrack albums including The Golden Age Of Hollywood Comedy (feat Laurel and Hardy) which spawned the hit single Trail Of The Lonesome Pine and The Golden Age Of Hollywood Musicals which led to the singles Lullaby Of Broadway, a hit for Winifred Shaw in 1976, and this which was coupled with I'll String Along With You by Dick Powell.

Before the clip of Dooley Wilson Elton says the film Casablanca is "immortal" but afterwards says "You don't have to be dead to get a record in the charts but it helps these days. Someone who's very much alive however comes into the charts at 26 this week, Miss Julie Covington..."

wilberforce said...

reg, you should stick to what you're good at... oh hang on, you're no good at singing or making music either...

is this appalling chicken-in-a-basket-with-slight-disco-tinge dooleys track any worse than their later stuff? i seem to remember all of it being absolutely dreadful, but as long as they keep showing these shows i suppose i'll be painfully reminded (hopefully they'll appear on JS/DLT editions)...

carl douglas without his kung fu schtick is just a paunchy bald middle-aged guy singing some non-descript northern soul type drivel - how could you expect anybody to buy enough copies of that to turn it into a hit?

the julie covington thing was so dire i thought it had to be another thing from "evita" - was rather staggered to learn it's an alice cooper song...

darts once again by far the best thing on the show (scandalous that they never made the top thanks to macca's dirge)

otway & barrett? emperor's new clothes music - if you heard a couple of scrawny youths with guitars doing this in their bedroom or the garden shed you'd think it was complete rubbish and beg them to pack it in, so why do people go mental over this?

the emotions' effort sounded promising in places but lost its way at times too. btw the single that came out between this and "the best of my love" had a fantastic b-side called "love's what's happening" that i thoroughly recommend to all fans of earth, wind & fire who've not heard it already...

Simon Jenkins said...

John Otway has something of a Rik Mayall about him on this performance.

Arthur Nibble said...

Oooh dear, touch of the bah humbugs from Wilberforce! ;-D

Elton was going through a specs-free period at this time. He'd just recorded a number of songs ("The Thom Bell Sessions") which gave him the chart topper "Are You Ready For Love" some 25 years later. The sleeve pic depicts Elton from the period, in flat cap and no glasses.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Re Carl Douglas: is just turned 35 middle-aged?I think most 35 year olds would be outraged by the suggestion!

Dory said...

Will we get to see the next show after Elton, i.e., with jimmy Saville 22 dec 1977 on this website from UK Gold or other source, before BBC4 show the Xmas special on Monday night?

There must be a UK Gold copy somewhere, as the Legs & Co dance to Donna Summer's Love's Unkind is outstanding, and it would be a shame to let the continuing shambles of the absence of the JS shows spoil our weekly entertainment on BBC4.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Ironically John Otway appears in the last episode of The Young Ones doing a song called body Talk.

I was struck by how young Elton looks without his specs. Not sure about his satin jacket though.

Carl Douglas does look like a cab driver but this is an excellent song. I've got a PYE single by him from called Blue Eyed Soul but they forget to credit him as the artist on the label.

Arthur Nibble said...

Bamaboogiewoogie, I've checked for you and discovered that "Blue Eyed Soul" was credited in the USA to The Carl Douglas Band, but the labels for at least some of the UK and Netherlands releases (and even the netherlands sleeve) don't mention the artist at all.

Neil Barker said...

I have uploaded 22/12/77 so maybe Simon will be posting that very soon...

Dory said...

Thanks Neil, hopefully we will get to see it before Monday, as the post-saville Xmas edition is on Monday night, so let's get this final one in before.

Neil Barker said...

I would post the link in here but Simon might object.

Simon said...

It'll be up tomorrow (well, today now) anyway.

Neil said...

Great. I'll get Boxing Day uploaded next then...

babblingmouth said...

Great double bill. And I LOVE the Julie Covington song and 'video' (just to balance things). Darts are always value, and great there's so much more to come of them. I saw them live in 1978, a year when (spoiler!) they miss out on number one SO many times :)

Dory said...

I would add to that in saying that Darts had the edge over similar groups like Showaddywaddy, in that they had the mix of craziness not seen since years earlier with The Scaffold's Lilly The Pink, one of whom john Gorman went on to be one of the hosts of Tiswas around the time of Darts coming onto the scene.

I always saw Darts craziness as being more in line with Tiswas, but TOTP seemed to be a perfect vehicle for their type of fun on stage.

Darts I think were the first, or one of the first groups on TOTP to appear with black and white performers in the same band. I don't recall other examples of this before 1977.

1978 was Darts at their peak with the other performers taking over lead vocal, whatever his name is fronting Come Back My Love which got to No.2.

Arthur on the oche said...

Dory, the other Darts lead vocalist is Bob Fish, who's also the main vocalist on "It's Raining", the one written by Ian..er, Griff, who's the 'life partner' of Lydia...hang on, she's known as Rita!

wil"bah humbug!" said...

with regard to my carl douglas "middle-age" jibe:

1 - 35 was considered past-it and ancient back in those days... especially when it came to pop music (i remember people being flabbergasted that punk pin-up debbie harry was actually in her early 30's)

2 - carl looks a lot older than his actual age

3 - as barry cryer once said: "how many 120-year old men do YOU know?"

THX said...

@Dory: The Foundations were the first multi-racial band to have a number one hit on TOTP way back in 1967, it's one of the few 60s clips which survives (and notable for nerves getting the better of the vocalist!).

AndyMac said...

Does Den Hegarty have retractable blades in his knuckles?

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Loads of multi racial groups before this - off the top of my head Hot Chocolate, The Equals,Jimmy James & vagabonds, Geno Washington & Ram Jam Band, Jimi Hendrix Experience,Beatles with Billy Preston, Heatwave.

re Wilber - yes he does look a very old 35 that's the hair mainly - bit like a friend of mine who along with all his brothers had male pattern baldness in his late teens - once when we were 17 another friend of mine cruelly asked this girl in a nightclub how old the prematurely bald one was and she said "on 30 something!" To add insult to injury the bald one asked the insulter outside the club to sort it out and was then left stuck in the car-park as the insulter after agreeing never followed him outside!

Steve Williams said...

Sorry I'm late, but nobody has yet pointed out what sets Elton apart from the other presenters - he's using a clip-on microphone rather than holding it! Which is a bit interesting, you'd think as a singer he would have more experience with that kind of thing. He would have had something to do with his hands anyway. But as pointed out, such is the format of the show in those days, he may as well have been Paul Burnett for all the personality he could bring to the links.

As I mentioned the last time they were on, I first saw that Otway and Barrett clip exactly fifteen years ago to the week when it was on TOTP2 and I kept it on VHS for ages. The single version, for Wilberforce's benefit, sounds completely different what with it being produced and not just a madman shouting over some guitars. I like the roadie who had clearly been employed as the Beeb were now well aware of John's stage presence.

As for The Dooleyes, I'm just waiting for The Chosen Few which is an absolutely demented song.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Elton John was rather disappointing but got better as the show went on. Sadly his best bit about being dead to get a hit (see above) was cut out of the show.

But I think it's unfair to compare him to Paul Burnette who I think think a good job on his one solitary show this year.

Arthur hits a single towards the pavilion said...


It's a real shame Paul Burnett didn't fancy the gig. I thought he was really good when we saw him. Still, we're about to be ushered into the age of Peter "Wow" Powell.

(Couldn't leave this on 49 posts - far too tantalising!)