16th February 1957.

Today in 1957 the black and white ‘Six-Five-Special’ was the first ever pop-music programme on BBC TV.

Initially it featured subjects such as mountain climbing for boys and Hungarian acrobats. Later came ‘Oh Boy’,‘Wham’, and ‘Boy meets Girl’, a time when Tommy Steele, Lonnie Donegan, Adam Faith and Cliff Richard..

In 1957 there was a pact between BBC and ITV that there should be no transmission between 6-7 pm as it was naively thought parents could put their kids to bed. Then ITV broke the pact and the BBC decided to do a programme for adolescents and chose Jack Good to produce ‘6-5 -Special’ with the music purely as background for the acts.

But Jack had seen the film ‘Rock around the Clock’ and wanted to get the kids behaving as in the film to create a stir.

Only later did rock become a subject in itself and was vilified by Melody Maker and New Musical Express. The irony was Good didn’t like the pop culture and its bad behaviour and thought he had a hand in corrupting the young of the country.

The period also saw BBC’s ‘Juke Box Jury’ with David Jacobs, which presented the latest in ‘Popular Records’, with opinions from the likes of Pete Murray and Catherine Boyle.

It was very far removed from the ‘popular’ scene at the end of the 19thc when sheet music predominated to be sung or played on the piano.

On Sunday July 30th 2006 ‘Top of the Pops’ ended after 42 years with 150 presenters and 2204 programmes. It was the UK’s longest running weekly chart show. It appears that now there is no blanket appreciation of pop music as the young download  in a niche market, of a less generalised nature.

Ref: wikpedia, org/ 1950′ pop_culture.


About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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