Monday, 28 April 2014

Jimmy Jimmy ~ it's Top of the Pops 3rd May 1979!

BBC4 will skip the 3rd May 1979 edition of Top of the Pops, but it is available online, so I am able to post the link to it.

Obviously if you are offended by the host of this show, Jimmy Savile, then do not click the link to watch it! But Top of the Pops is not really about the host, it's about the performers, and they have done nothing wrong (fingers crossed!) and deserve to be seen and heard. And we are all free to make our own choices.

So click here if you wish to watch Top of the Pops, 3rd May 1979.

At just over 20 minutes duration, this is a relatively short edition of the show, maybe something to do with having to make room for swingometers and such like, for the May 3rd 1979 was General Election night.......


3-5-79: Presenter: Jimmy Savile

(15) GONZALEZ – I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet (and charts)
(28) THE UNDERTONES – Jimmy Jimmy
(19) ABBA – Does Your Mother Know (footage from Snowtime Special: Abba In Switzerland 16-4-79)
(3) M – Pop Muzik
(22) THE DICKIES – Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)
(21) PEACHES & HERB – Reunited (danced to by Legs & Co)
(27) THE POLICE – Roxanne
(30) MIKE OLDFIELD – Guilty
(1) ART GARFUNKEL – Bright Eyes (video)
(5) WINGS – Goodnight Tonight (and credits)

Thanks very much once again to Darnall 42 for making this available online :-)


  1. Here we go on election night where Thatcher took centre stage over TOTP.

    Gonzalez were still dancing, but were left with the opening credits. Somehow I still find the tune very catchy and pleasant sounding in 2014. One of those timeless disco classics.

    Peaches & Herb - at this point there was no studio performance or video footage, so we had to call on Legs & Co, but the performance was not one of their best, but a fantastic balled nevertheless.

    I could not find anything else appealing on the show, but suffice to say that The Police (with Roxanne) made their TV debut on this Jimmy Saville edition, but how ironic that it would be the real police that started the whole yew tree stuff with Savile over 30 years later. Funny world isn't it, as JS himself introduced them on this show.

    Npw where's that crystal ball?

  2. Oh I forgot to say that the anorak worn on the show by the Undertones frontman, must have also been a first on TOTP, as two songs later we would see the M frontman with a complete contrast slick suit doing Pop Musik at No.3.

  3. The Police being introduced by Jimmy Savile ~ great touch!
    The Abba performance was interesting ~ a very different arrangement to the record - the band seemed to be playing live, and Bjorn singing live, but the girls backing vocals sounded pre-recorded.
    Had never heard that Mike Oldfield tune before - and such a camp performance too - and his t-shirt, was that a picture of his sister Sally?
    And we still don't get to see a full version of Bright Eyes!

    1. i actually remember getting quite excited at the time that mike oldfield was putting out a disco record, but i can't even remember how it went now (and currently have no audio on this pc so unable to find out!)

  4. just to reiterate:

    1 - as far as i know, despite the media and the yewtree squad's best efforts, jimmy savile has still yet be proven of doing anything illegal or even immoral, so why are his shows not being broadcast? (yes i know, a rhetorical question)

    2 - even if the beeb feel compelled to bow to the yewtree witch hunt, then they should at least do "TOTP 2"-style compilations of the shows in questions, airbrushing out JS and any other "banned" presenters

    1. I don't think that point 2 is an option, as the TOTP2 episode style takes away from the original flavour of the show, which were as much about the presenters as the charting groups.

      I would prefer BBC4 to admit that it has let down some of its licence payers like ourselves by bowing down to the whole yewtree thing and denying us the shows, instead of letting us choose for ourselves wether to watch these episodes or not.

  5. This show is another real loss to the BBC4 schedules, but at least it was on UK Gold! Some fine performances here, notably The Undertones and The Police, though I can't say The Dickies did very much for me. As Angelo says, the ABBA performance seemed to be a mixture of live and pre-recorded, and I thought it very odd that the catchy guitar riff had been omitted. Still a great song, though.

    I am quite familiar with "Guilty," as my Dad had it on a double compilation album of Oldfield's work released around 1985. It's not one of my favourites of his, but it was fascinating to see him make a rare appearance in the TOTP studio. I guess this was probably the first time he ever appeared on the show in person, as he had only recently undergone the controversial Exegesis therapy to rid himself of crippling shyness. '79 was a pretty good year for Oldfield, with his reworked Blue Peter theme and excellent Platinum album still to come. It is perhaps somewhat ironic to have a song called "Guilty" on a Jim'll show, as a jury will never have an opportunity to pronounce him guilty or not - though this inconvenient fact has not stopped others from acting as judge, jury and posthumous executioner combined...

    1. According to the Popscene website, Mike Oldfield made four TOTP appearances, the first being three months before this run started ("In Dulce Jubilo", 15th January 1976), though I don't know how many of these were pre-recorded in an empty studio or having it large in front of the kids.

    2. Thanks Arthur - what a shame that the edition for 15.1.76 no longer exists, so we will never know for sure. If he was in studio for that, my guess is there wouldn't have been an audience. Equally, Popscene may have got it wrong and it was the video for In Dulce Jubilo that got shown.

  6. Not the greatest episode, but enjoyed ABBA, and also The Dickies! Sting never could mime! Thanks for making it avvailable.

  7. Did BBC1 really fit in the bulk of eight songs plus the rundown and end credits tunes in just over 20 minutes? Do you have the TV schedules from 30 years ago to show the show's length? I notice you tend to mention the Thames TV listings for ITV - my local region, as it 'appens - and would like to advise our viwers that other regions were available (unlike now - a huge, huge loss).

    1. i was unfortunate enough to come under the aegis of "westward tv", so whilst you londoners, midlanders and northerners were offered some decent locally-made fare (including several pop shows), all us carrot-crunchers got were farming programmes and gus bloody honeybun!

    2. Once we get to August, Angelo won't have any ITV schedules to give us for a while, thanks to the infamous strike that ran until October, and allowed the BBC unchallenged dominance of the airwaves! If I remember rightly, only Channel TV managed to keep a very rudimentary service going.

    3. Correct, John. Good knock!. The unions allowed Channel to keep transmitting, as being off air for too long would have made them only the second ITV station to go bankrupt, after the very short-lived Wales West and North franchise (September 1962 to January 1964).

      In order to fill out the schedule, Channel had to double their nightly news programme to an hour, probably padded out with items like Mrs. Le Fevre's cat stuck up a tree.

      I suppose Angelo could always keep the comparison going by showing the rival station's output something like this...
      6.00 strike caption 6.30 strike caption 7.30 strike caption 8.00 strike caption 9.00 strike caption

      ...or tell us what was on BBC2 instead?

    4. The TV schedules come courtesy of @tv30yearsago on Twitter but they don't do BBC2 unfortunately - but just for you Arthur, I've found the BBC2 schedule for May 3rd 1979:

      BBC2 3rd May 1979: 0640 Open Univeristy 0755 Closedown 1100 Play School 1125 Closedown
      1650 Open university 1855 When the Boat Comes In 1945 News 1955 Spring Quartet
      2010 Mountain Days 2040 The Paper Chase 2130 Written on the Wind 2305 News 2320-0015 Andy Williams

    5. Brilliant work, Angelo. Thanks!

  8. Apart from Jimmy Savile introducing the Police on this show with Roxanne (how weird as to what would happen over 30 years later with Yewtree and Savile), there was also a similar irony two years later in 1981.

    In the summer of 1981, the no.1 song at the time of the wedding of Charles & Diana was Ghost Town by The Specials, and the video of that song on the day of the Royal Wedding showed a speeding car in a dark tunnel with The Specials in the car driving recklessly. Then in 1997, when Diana died in a car speeding in a tunnel, I thought then how weird it was for such a thing to happen. If only the nation knew then what was to be 16 years later in a French tunnel.....

  9. Okay, Jim’ll was the original Crazy Frog, but why all the other hallucinogenic headgear? I take it the explanation was edited out?

    “Jimmy Jimmy” was brilliant, despite the miming with a very early broken guitar string. I used to play solo gigs with a backing tape and, on one occasion, Feargal Sharkey (by now a record company A&R man) came in to watch and left after less than 30 seconds. He got sacked the following week. Served him right for not recognising talent! :-D

    Strange to see Agnetha and Frida relegated to backing singers, though more polite than M’s Brigit, a graduate from the Paul Weller School of Chewing, and much more sultry than Mike Oldfield’s, who looked like Grange Hill students about to bunk off down the pub for the day. That was a right old prog- EWF stagefest. Still, at least it was a hit. Gordon Giltrap must have watched and cried into his hair mousse.

    For a moment I thought that dry ice was going to envelope Legs & Co in a similar manner to the classic clip of Cliff Richard being fogged out at the London Palladium while singing ”Some People”. I wish they’d smoked The Police out. I love the song – indeed, I was a big fan of their early stuff before they jumped off the career- making bandwagon and showed their true colours - but I though the ever slappable Sting and Stewart Copeland acted like tools.

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Dickies and the ingenious nanas as mics. Took me back to those happy days of The Sour Grapes Bunch, The Arabian Knights and that cuckoo cuckoo clock. I always think the theme tune to “The Flashing Blade” was the best punk theme tune never made into a hit. You’ve got to fight for what you want….

    It felt a bit weird being treated (?) to a whole 128 seconds of “Bright Eyes”. It almost felt illegal! Still, I don’t think even Leonard Cohen could have made this sound more doom laden. One of the few chart toppers to have its title snuck into the lyrics of another chart topper? ”Total Eclipse Of The Heart” includes the phrase “Turn around, bright eyes”. Now then!

  10. Nice stuff from The Undertones and The Dickies (still gutted that we won't see the latter again, haven't checked for further appearances of 'Jimmy Jimmy')

    Less keen on the version of the ABBA song. I believe the story behind it is that it was performed while they were still sorting the album out. Therefore the guitar bits got dropped in the end. Thank goodness.

    The Mike Oldfield song was....odd.

    And I like The Police - the band that is, not the crooked lot at the Met, West Mids, South Yorks etc. I know it's not trendy to say it, but there you go.

  11. The Undertones have turned out to be very unlucky with their 1979 TOTP appearances - four of them for three different singles, and only the second staging of "Jimmy Jimmy" isn't Yewtreed. Thank God that Max Clifford never presented the show.

  12. Met a new neighbour for the first time today. She's actually a work colleague of a friend so we already knew about each other. Late 20s, very 'modern', very 21st century - gave the impression of the sort of person where I would have to watch my tongue. Things that may be normal and everyday to me might make her very upset and offended. You know, things like 'Jimmy Savile'.

    Anyway, the show, short but unmissable! The Undertones and the Dickies were right up my street and the Police, although not quite as youthful as the Undertones (especially the guitarist!*) were also brilliant. The stand-up drumming thing would seem to be a feature of their early TOTP performances.

    Don't know if I saw this show the first time round - that awesome ABBA clip was new to me. Haven't seen Benny so excitable before. The absence of drumkit mics reveals that it wasn't live.

    A new performance from M - I think the female backing singer runs my local corner shop these days. And what was that... a bass drum pedal? I thought they were banned! But I can just imagine Sham 69's drummer smuggling one in and playing it off-time.

    Mike Oldfield's Guilty brings back memories of Heathrow Airport(!) - my father made several business trips abroad at the time and I certainly remember seeing him off/meeting him back during the Easter hols. Sounds like an alternative mix of the single version here.

    * - A now-established fave of mine, since first hearing it on Radio 2's Sounds Of The Sixties back in the 1990s, is Big Time Operator by Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, from 1966 - same guitarist!

    1. i can't imagine mention of jimmy savile going down very well in a charity shop... regardless of the millions he raised for them! i wonder if any of the charities he appeared to work tirelessly for have handed back his "tainted" money?

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