Thursday, 16 January 2014

Together We Are Top of the Pops

On an evening 35 years ago when the BBC1 line up was:

6.20 Nationwide 6.55 Tomorrow's World 7.10 Top of the Pops 8.00 Morecambe & Wise At BBC 8.30 Butterflies 9 News 9.25 The Good Old Days.............

11-1-79: Presenter: David Jensen

(14) CHAKA KHAN – I’m Every Woman (and charts)
(24) ROCKY SHARPE & THE REPLAYS – Rama Lama Ding Dong
(30) SALLY OLDFIELD – Mirrors
(13) PAUL EVANS – Hello, This Is Joanie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song) (video)
(NEW) BONNIE TYLER – Louisiana Rain
(21) LEO SAYER – Raining In My Heart
(25) MANKIND – Dr. Who
(27) DRIVER 67 – Car 67
(NEW) THE DOLL – Desire Me
(16) HOT CHOCOLATE – I’ll Put You Together Again (video)
(35) THE SHADOWS – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
(18) FUNKADELIC – One Nation Under A Groove (danced to by Legs & Co)
(NEW) STEVE ALLAN – Together We Are Beautiful
(1) VILLAGE PEOPLE – Y.M.C.A. (video)
(29) BILLY JOEL – My Life (and credits)

user posted image

Chaka Khan ~ plays over the opening titles, on the day when the newspaper headlines in the UK were
famously 'Crisis? what Crisis?'

Rocky Sharpe and the Replays ~ if they remind you a wee bit of Darts, that's maybe because both Den Hegarty and Rita Ray were both original members before they left to form.......... Darts.

Sally Oldfield ~ singing this irresistibly pretty song is the older sister of Mike Oldfield ~ and she also sang backing vocals on her brother's legendary Tubular Bells album.

Paul Evans ~ another irresistibly pretty song, if you regard ringing your girlfriend's answering machine to listen to her dead voice as pretty, Paul also wrote 'When' which got to number 1 in 1958 for the Kalin Twins and number 3 in 1977 for Showaddywaddy.

Bonnie Tyler ~ This Tom Petty cover failed to chart for Bonnie. Not too surprising, it's not a patch on It's a Heartache or Lost in France.

Leo Sayer ~ was edited out of the 7.30 BBC4 showing ~ catch his Buddy Holly cover on the second showing at midnight.

Mankind ~ ditto for the Dr Who theme tune cover.

Driver 67 ~ what a fabulous novelty record this was from Paul Phillips and Pete Zom, which is trending now 35 years later on Twitter apparently :-)

The Doll ~ are also not coming out to play until the midnight repeat showing.

Hot Chocolate ~ ditto HC, with the third irresistibly pretty song of tonight's show.

The Shadows ~ This fine instrumental Lloyd Webber cover peaked at number 5. Shadows drummer, Brian Bennett, also has a successful career composing tv theme tunes, including New Tricks and the Sweeney.

Funkadelic ~ This scantily khaki clad Legs and Co routine helped One Nation Under a Groove get to number 9 in the charts.

Steve Allan ~ Steve's real name is Alan Carvel and he had first appeared on the show back in 1977 with his band The Carvells, performing The LA Run. His version of Together We Are Beautiful failed to make the top 40, but a year later a much more emotive vocal from Fern Kinney took it to number one.

Village People ~ YMCA is the UK's 32nd best selling single, with sales of 1.47 million. Village People lead singer Victor Willis was married to Phylicia Ayers-Allen, who played Bill Cosby’s wife in The Cosby Show.

Billy Joel ~ from his album 52nd Street, this song peaked at number 12 in the UK.

Next week's show, from 18th January 1979, is presented by Peter Powell with performances by Frankie Miller, Ian Dury and Chic, amongst others.


  1. Paul Evans - so bad it's good. Anyone else notice the blonde hair just in view left of frame for a second or so as Paul started singing? The female singer was just out of camera and gave her hair a flick, not realising it would make the screen!

  2. Me again. I wonder if the gorgeous woman in the Paul Evans video was the singer on the single? Also, funny how you could clearly see her from the start on the TOTP re-run, but the video version on YouTube keeps her in a ghostly haze for the first chorus.

    As for The Doll, look out for the matching patterned top and guitar (I admit to cheating and using t'Tube - the iPlayer version isn't up yet, it's 11.00 and I'm off to kip!).

  3. Could't find that one, the whole episode is on Youtube?

    Nice work by the way Angelo Gravity, enjoying the blog so far...

  4. Thanks Time Machine :-)
    I'm going to keep it fairly simple so it doesn't tire me out ;-)

    The Facebook version of this page has just got its 25th Like, so that means I'm now the proud owner of a short url for it ~

  5. Another good one.
    Who on earth would call their daughter Ramalamalamadingdong? - just a thought.
    Sally Oldfield - it looked like one her backing singers was in the audience...
    ...and amusing to see a member of the audience during Mankind coughing at dry ice!
    Nice matching top and guitar for The Doll.

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  7. Hello all, good to see this continuing. Been out of the game for a bit.

    The shows still never fail to fascinate. I did not know the Fern Kinney track had been done before, and this is genuinely the first time I'd heard 'Joanie'. Always just been a curious entry in Guinness Hit Singles before.

    A couple of questions from this episode:

    The lead lass from the Doll. Anyone know her, she seemed familiar?

    Also, the bassist in the Shadows. Is he the same guy who was in Cockney Rebel?

  8. Good question on Shadiws bassist. I thought I recognised him, but couldn't think where. Given your info, google reckons George Ford was bassist in both bands, but can't find a descent enough photo to be sure if it is him.

  9. the cockney rebel/shadows bassist is definitely one and the same, although i never knew he played with the latter... like roxy music, the shads had a bit of a revolving door bassist problem... that probably at least partly inspired spinal tap's succession-of-drummers-dying-in-mysterious circumstances gag...

  10. Quick question which may seem a bit strange - does anyone have these shows in a computer-friendly format? I live in NZ and as the BBC have seen fit to change their iplayer service so you can no longer convert to an AVI, I'm a bit stuck. I'm happy to pay for someone's time etc in getting these shows to me if that's possible?

  11. Paul Evans - I'm sure Stewpot must have hammered this on Saturday and Sunday mornings (into his final year by this time) - he certainly played other death discs like Leader Of The Pack and Tell Laura I Love Her... Did we have answering machines in the UK in 1979?

    Nice to see the contemporary Dr Who title sequence during the Mankind performance - TV definitely had a 'cosy', 'family feel' prior to 1990!

    Driver 67 - if you have the 45, flip it over - it's great!

    I too was wondering who the Shadows bassist was, and I never knew that there was a connection between the Carvells' LA Run and Fern Kinney's Together We Are Beautiful!

  12. Try to avoid Driver 67's follow-up, though - "Headlights" was an ode to kerbcrawling / stalking a woman pedestrian which got banned after two plays at most on Radio 1.