All shakin’ and quakin’

An Honours degree in English and the ability to quote Chaucer and Beowulf would appear to be compulsory for the Light Entertainment producer of today. Jack Good, another Oxford graduate, was the galvanising spirit who brought a new dimension in quality production to beat music shows on television with his three ABC programmes, Oh Boy!, Boy Meets Girls and Wham!!

As the nation rocked to the beat of Lord Rockingham’s XI, teenage audiences stamped and squealed and the TV critics gasped and reeled.

But everyone admired the hard professionalism that Jack Good brought to this dynamic new form of presentation. With his director, Rita Gillespie, he established a record for camera cutting to illustrate the beat of the music; from the artists he demanded a distinctive form of showmanship, demonstrated above, left for Billy Fury to follow

The dramatic use of spotlights and silhouette effects was a signature of all three shows, as was the integration of the audience with the action: in Wham!! they actually became a background for the artists

Oh Boy!
Boy Meets Girls
Wham!!

Music, maestro, please!

For those who like their music sweet rather than beat, ABC presented two big orchestras supported by a host of stars in glossy, Hollywood-style productions.

First of these was maestro Mantovani and his internationally famous ‘singing strings,’ who were filmed at Elstree in thirty-nine half-hour shows under the title Mantovani

A date with Maxin

Leslie Davis

Another sweet-music man was Ernest Maxin, who introduced his Orchestra in Make a Date, a series of live studio programmes in which he performed the dual role of producer and star.

Bob Fuest designed the sets.

While producer Maxin bottom scratches his head, host Maxin left dances with Petula Clark and joins Dave King in a song and dance routine

Stanley Allen

Mr Wonderful

Another very welcome American visitor to ABC was the sensational Sammy David Jr, who made his only live TV appearance during a whirlwind visit to London last Summer in Sammy Davis Jr Meets the British, a one-hour ABC extravaganza relayed over the ITV Network and produced by Light Entertainment Supervisor Brian Tesler.

British dancing star Lionel Blair partnered the dynamic David in a challenge dance routine built around those traditional London sartorial ornaments, the bowler and the brolly

Stanley Allen

In a specially created scene in another part of the programme, ‘Mr Wonderful’ showed British viewers the brilliant caberet act which has made him the darling of nightclub audiences from London to Las Vegas

Stanley Allen
1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM