Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ring My Bell ~ it's Top of the Pops 14th June 1979!

Well the Maggie Stredder Singers (aka the Ladybirds) and the Top of the Pops Orchestra were back with a vengeance on this week's show, unleashed by Mike Read...

'Are they back from the pub yet?'

14-6-79: Presenter: Mike Read

(8) SISTER SLEDGE – We Are Family (and charts)
(68) MATCH – Boogie Man
(5) McFADDEN & WHITEHEAD – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now
(4) EARTH, WIND & FIRE with THE EMOTIONS – Boogie Wonderland (video)
(24) LENE LOVICH – Say When (danced to by Legs & Co)
(26) GERRY RAFFERTY – Night Owl (video)
(16) QUANTUM JUMP – The Lone Ranger ®
(10) EDWIN STARR – H-A-P-P-Y Radio (video)
(7) TUBEWAY ARMY – Are ‘Friends’ Electric? ®
(41) JANET KAY – Silly Games
(27) CHAS & DAVE – Gertcha
(13) SQUEEZE – Up The Junction ®
(1) ANITA WARD – Ring My Bell
(30)  JOHN WILLIAMS – Cavatina  (and credits)

Sister Sledge ~ at its number 8 peak We are Family plays over the chart rundown

Match ~ another group of Bee Gees wannabees, but Boogie Man was their only charting single, and it peaked at 48.

McFadden and Whitehead ~ now this was more like it. Not only a great song, but being performed live in the Top of the Pops studio with the Maggie Stredder Singers (who I thought had left the show by now) and the Top of the Pops Orchestra both in full view. And I thought it sounded pretty good!

Earth, Wind and Fire ~ another outing for this video, though not on the 7.30 edition on BBC4 tonight.

Lene Lovich ~ and a very quirky Legs and Co routine to go with this very quirky and highly enjoyable song.

Gerry Rafferty ~ sadly edited out of the 7.30 edition, but should be on again in two weeks time. Such a cool song this one.

Quantum Jump ~ busy leaping up the charts, but edited out tonight. Its the same performance as the 31st May though. Kenny Everett was largely responsible for this becoming a belated hit ~ using it on his tv show and playing it on his radio show.

Edwin Starr ~ 1979 was a good year for Edwin, with two top ten hits, Happy Radio will move up one more place. But this was also his final top tenner.

Tubeway Army ~ a repeat showing for Are Friends Electric, which had made a big jump up the charts on its way of course to the very top. And I remember buying this very edition of Smash Hits ~

Janet Kay ~ here's a song that totally passed me by at the time, despite it being somewhat eccentric and memorable. Silly Games was to be Janet's only hit (albeit 3 times) and made it all the way to number 2.

Chas and Dave ~ the gertcha boys are back and managed to slip in another 'cowson' again!

Squeeze ~ not shown last week at 7.30 but here is that same performance now in all its BBC4 glory. Up the Junction was the third of four singles to be released from their Cool for Cats album.

Anita Ward ~ replacing Blondie at the top of the charts, this was Anita's one and only UK hit, and here we are treated to another live studio performance to round off an excellent show.

John Williams ~ provides an unusually chilled feel to the end credits with his only top twenty hit.

Next week's show, the 21st June, is hosted by DLT. So the next edition on BBC4 will have to be the 28th June with Peter Powell.


  1. Thought that was John Williams' version of The Deerhunter theme at the end..?

    1. Yes you're right it definitely is John Williams and not the Shadows ~ no wonder it sounded so chilled :-)

  2. Match - Boogie Man seemed to be an attempt to emulate the mid-70s, as the sound was more like 1976 than 1979.
    Didn't KC & The Sunshine Band have a song then called I'm Your Boogie Man?

    McFadden & Whitehead - They needed the BBC Orchestra to help out as they had to sing live and brought no backing singers of their own from America. Does anyone know which was McFadden and which was Whitehead? Does anyone care?

    Earth Wind & Fire - last outing for this smash hit peaking at No.4 this week ahead of Peaches & Herb. I shall miss Boogie Wonderland, as it is one of the greatest disco hits of all time, and their studio set on the video was in the grandeur of an ELO set like the one on Mr Blue Sky. Sadly this EWF classic was chopped from the 7.30 show.

    Lene Lovich - second week in a row for Legs & Co swimsuits. I getting kind of used to this. I always wanted to be a beach towel when I was growing up.

    Anita Ward - good No.1 to replace Blondie, and Anita Ward, like McFadden & Whitehead, also came from America this week with no backing singers, and so too on this weeks show was helped out by the BBC Orchestra backing singers, although we only heard them, and not saw them like on the McFadden & Whitehead song.

    1. KC and The Sunshine Band released songs called I'm Your Boogie Man and Boogie Shoes, the latter featured in Saturday Night Fever.

  3. Match's influences obviously included the Bee Gees, and possibly Climax Blues Band in their jazzier moments. A polished piece of disco, if somewhat understated.

    Lene Lovich's 'Say When' - composed by Jimmie O'Neill of the Virgin Records band Fingerprintz - was, arguably, the 'Bo Diddley' of the new wave era!

    What a voice Janet Kay has - there aren't many singers who can reach C6! She also recorded an acclaimed reggae cover of Minnie Riperton's 'Loving You', but didn't manage to reach THAT note!

  4. In an idle moment during this show, I tried replacing the word "Gertcha!" in the titles of the songs featured. Up the Gertcha, Are "Gertchas" Electric?, The Lone Gertcha, Ring My Gertcha, etc.

    Anyhoo, a few too many repeats this time, but the other acts made up for that. Apart from Match, I think I'd have rather heard Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the lyrics were terrible here. Although bright orange boiler suit with medallion: brave choice, Mr Keyboard.

    McFadden and Whitehead, I'm not sure if the orchestra and backing singers were on form or whether the sheer exuberance of the duo were lifting everything up a level, but it wasn't bad at all.

    Lene Lovich danced to by Legs & Co: was it panto season already? Almost surreal in its facial expressions and gestures, the ladies had been turned into cartoon characters as a living embodiment of Lene's vocals.

    Gerry Rafferty, like this one better than Baker Street to be honest, maybe because you don't hear it as much. Boring video though - Jeff Lynne could have taught Gerry how to use his specs there.

    Janet Kay, with a pitch that would bring tears to the eyes. Really stood out at the time and stands out here as well. Another one which got the audience dancing this episode too, a rare feat.

    Anita Ward, liked her moves, although the TOTP Orchestra's version of the insistent "boo!" did sound as if someone was playing a game of Pong off camera.

    And remember, we cannot return your pictures.

  5. Can they not show the ones with DLT now that he has been cleared?

    1. Sadly he hasn't yet been cleared ~ he faces a retrial because the jury failed to reach a verdict on two of the charges, plus they've found a couple more charges to chuck in for good measure. No date set yet for the retrial so its looking less likely we'll see any of his shows for quite some time yet.

    2. It will be interesting to see if they show the 22.11.79 show where due to a strike DLT is heard in voice-over only and not seen in vision. Although I sincerely hope he is cleared by then.

    3. Assuming that we don't get to see any DLT episodes this year, I hope BBC4 have the sense to suspend the repeats during the Proms season, otherwise we will run out of "untainted" shows months before Christmas. If the repeats stop in mid-July and then resume in late September, there will be just enough shows left to take us to Xmas, by my calculations (sad, I know).

  6. A great shame that Night Owl was chopped from the early showing, as, with Are Friends Electric, it was the classiest song on parade this week - hopefully 7.30 viewers will get to see it on the 28th June show. In the studio, we had a fine performance by Janet Kay, though it's a pity those idiots in the audience had to keep waving at the monitors throughout. I think the cameraman should have mown them down...

    I thought McFadden and Whitehead's performance worked well, though that was really thanks to them rather than the orchestra and the Stredder Gang. Anita Ward, I fear, did not withstand the "treatment" so well - this version of Ring My Bell sounded distinctly anaemic to my ears.

    The main Match man wanted to be Barry Gibb so much he was even trying to look like him, but I suppose the song was inoffensive enough. The Lene Lovich track was rather more to my liking, and Legs were in good form again - Patti can teach me to count any time...

    1. Also, kudos to Mike Read for one of his best presenting turns so far, even if the edits to a few of his links seemed rather abrupt!

  7. host: mr read isn't quite as gauche as in previous appearances, although he's still got some way to go to catch up with the kid or even peter powell

    match: never heard of this act or this record before, but i liked it enough to check out further. yes, perhaps it does sound a bit dated with its constant shouts of "boogie!", but then again there was another slightly better known act also on the show this week extolling the wonders of said word...

    mcfadden & whitehead: they were backroom boys at philly int for several years before having a crack at the disco market as frontmen - perhaps fortunately their usual collaborator victor carstarphen chose not to accompany on this venture, or they would have sounded even more like a firm of solicitors than a pop act! this starts dreadfully and is far too fast, but once morecambe and wi... sorry - mcfadden & whitehead join in it improves somewhat

    lene lovich: not a patch on "lucky number" for me, and it seemed others agreed with regard to its fleeting chart success. it's funny how lene goes down in history as a one-trick-pony novelty act weirdo (and one-hit wonder accordingly), and yet someone like bjork can make a 20-year career out of practically the same schtick - i can only surmise that either lene was ahead of her time, or the competition was a lot stiffer back then...

    gerry rafferty: a boring video for a boring song

    janet kay: didn't care for this much at the time (especially when it got played in discos at the expense of some funky boogie!), but i've grown to like it more since. i think the beardy bassist was dennis bovell, who produced the track and was considered blighty's premier dub exponent at the time...

    anita ward: i take it that she was a big fan of campanology? i hated this when it was played at the same disco as "silly games", and unlike that i still have very little time for it. possibly like many, the syndrum got on my nerves - i seem to remember it being non-stop throughout the track, but if this totp version is faithful to the original arrangement then i am remembering wrongly... although even one whack on the damn thing is too much for me!

    mark: 6/10 (might have been more if so many things weren't repeated from the last show we were "allowed" to watch)

  8. Hooray! Very glad that the Leggers' performance to Say When has come around. It's probably my favourite - quirky, different, top class mugging to camera and Rosie looking DAMN fine!

  9. a couple of amusing incidents i forgot to mention:

    1 - the floor manager obliviously strolling into shot when the camera pans from the maggie shredder singers to m&s, then realising his error and hastily trying to shuffle to one side

    2 - a somewhat dazed-looking yoko ono putting in an appearance before quantum jump come on

  10. i've done a bit of research on the opening act match, and have discovered that the track was written and produced by chris rae and frank mcdonald, who are very familiar to me as session musicians for the likes of biddu, and as library/production music practitioners - not only under their own names but also as "groups" such as funkaloo! it would be interesting to know if one or both of them appeared here in this line-up of the band, just to put faces to the names...

  11. You can't go wrong with Sister Sledge but Match's Boogie Man is song to be heard and not seen, a good dance track but the band have a terrible image.

    The McFadden and Whitehead performance is superb and that goes for Johnny Pearson and his band and The Maggie Stredder Singers, for once both clearly visible. Remember they only had a day to rehearse this and it really works as a live track. The only let down is the stupid nit who almost walks into shot at the start and suddendly ducks out of sight. Sack that man!

    Mike Read clearly reading the autocue here, his moley eyes squinting more than usual and they keep glancing to one side.

    Oh no Legs should NOT be dancing to Lene Lovich but somehow it works. So you can dance to new wave but only if you're wearing the right outfits. The applause comes in rather too early at the end.

    Hard not get moist eyed watching the Gerry Rafferty doing Night Owl. I loved this song at the time and it's a great performance video, shame they had to fade it early.

    Repeat of Quantum Leap with a more added special effects.

    Very sharp cut from Mike Read into Edwin Starr, did Jimmy Savile make a sudden surprise appearance at this point?

    Repeat of Gary Numan. A lot of repeats this week.

    Janet Kay gives a sterling performance here with the band really getting into the groove and I didn't appreciate how good this was at the time. How does she hit those high notes?

    All three members of Chas and Dave and Mick all had beards at this point, getting into the old geezer mode even though they were all only in their thirties. Robin Nash can't have been that upset about the extra cowson last time because they did it again this week.

    Anita Ward, I'm afraid i fast forwarded through this. I hate this song. It's a sin to syn a drum.

    Interesting to see that one of Chas or Dave or Mick has signed the Gertcha! sign being held up behind Ready's head. Wonder if they still have it?

    Cavatina by John Williams. Is this the first time we had two versions of the same tune in the Top30 since Lets Do The Latin Hustle in early 1976?

    1. No - there were two versions of 'Blame It On The Boogie' in the Top 30 in '78, one by The Jacksons and the other by the song's composer Mick Jackson (no relation). The brothers from Indiana won the race, reaching No.8, while Mick's version peaked at No.15.

    2. Oh yes I'd forgotten about Blame It On The Boogie, I blame it on the middle age. But that's only three songs in the years so it doesn't happen that often.

      But there a third version of Cavatina on the way in the form of He as Beautiful by Iris Wiliams.

    3. there were two versions of "una paloma blanca" in the charts at the same time circa 1976: the original by george baker selection and the cash-in copy by jonathan king (maybe under one of his many pseudonyms?). i'm sure they were next to each other in the charts at one point and were played one after the other on what were the radio 1 tuesday lunchtime/radio 2 sunday evening top 40 chart rundowns as a result...
      there were also 2 versions of "deck of cards" charting a year or two earlier: max bygraves did a cover, which inspired the re-release of the original by wink martindale - not sure if they ended up side by side though...

  12. I don't have the listings for the BBC but the line up on ITV today was as follows:

    1.20pm News
    1.30pm Crown Court
    2pm House Party
    2.25pm Tennis
    3.20pm Sounds Of Britain
    3.50pm Quick On The Draw with Michael Bentine, Roy Castle and pop group Styx!
    4.20pm The Next Week Show
    4.45pm Beachcombers
    5.15pm Emmerdale Farm
    5.45pm News
    6pm Local News
    6.35pm Crossroads
    7pm Survival
    7.30pm Thunderloud (sitcom with Derek Waring, James Cosmo)
    8pm You're Only Young Twice (sitcom with Peggy Mount, Pat Coombs)
    8.30pm TV Eye
    9pm Hazel
    10pm News
    10.30pm Snooker
    11pm Film: The Left Hand Of God
    12.35am World Children's Day

    1. Maybe when the TOTP repeats finally finish we could persuade BBC4 to repeat Quick on the Draw?

      Real value with the sport there ITV, what's that? About a set and a half of tennis and a frame of snooker? You don't need to see the whole match, viewers, you'll have the gist from that.

    2. i thought ITV only jumped on the snooker bandwagon once the likes of steve davis and jimmy white became household names i.e. early-to-mid 80's... whenever they started, they certainly killed the goose that laid the golden egg with their numerous mickey mouse tournaments where the matches were so short that even stevie wonder might have had a chance of beating steve davis!

  13. A real standout show, kind of like going back a couple or three years to when TOTP was much more 'live' than it had become by 1979. It's the little touches like the camera panning round to the orchestra and backing singers at the beginning of Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now and "That's right 'n' all" in response to Mike Read's link into Gertcha that make 1970s TOTP so enjoyable for me.

    A forgettable start though, sorry, High Wycombe's finest did nothing for me, but I really wasn't ready for what came next. Proper old-fashioned live performance TV! Great Stuff! Was it ever like this on Soul Train?

    Say When - a fun routine to a fun song, one of those 'memory modules' (to borrow a contemporary Kenny Everett term) which will always transport me back to early summer 1979. The same can be said for Night Owl although the visuals were much less impressive - Gerry and his band (presumably) miming to playback in a studio which was a bit too dimly lit for filming.

    If, as Janet Kay said in the beginning-of-year documentary, this was her first rendition of the song in front of an audience, then this was a truly magnificent effort, complete with looks to the camera and everything. The fact that she opted to sing live because she was worried about cocking up the lip syncing I thought was rather endearing.

    This 'cow son' thing was obviously more complicated than remembered. From this second performance it looks like one mention at the beginning of the song was permitted, but no more.

    And last but not least we get to see the Syndrum Queen in person. Maybe. I'm not 100% convinced that this is the same voice that's on the record. But a great piece of live music all the same - the first live No.1 of the year!

    1. High Wycombe's finest? Wasn't that Howard Jones? And did he get his early career boiler suit look from watching Match in this edition?

  14. Did anyone else see Pans People on 321 this week. It was a repeat from Feb 1981 on Challenge on Sunday but I think they repeat it on Thursday or Friday. It wasn't the original incarnation of the group but a new line up billed as Dee Dee Wilde's Pans People.

    1. No 321 or Pans People fans out there then.

    2. Hold your horses there, I record 321 to watch during the week to skip the ads, and I just caught up with Sunday's episode.

      Putting them on as the dancers from Cabaret wasn't really seeing this brand reboot at its best, I thought they looked stony faced and far from modern. No match for Legs & Co, nor even Foxy Feeling from Little and Large. Their existence was news to me, I wonder where else they showed up?

      This ep is repeated on Friday night/Saturday morning if you missed it and you're curious (so to speak).

    3. Incidentally, if you do watch that 321 tonight, take note of the way the couple are blatantly directed towards choosing the bin. Really dodgy!

  15. Any chance of posting the 21st June show with DLT, as it's already up online, as it appears that the comments on this Mike Read show have now dried up?

  16. Not quite Dory, I'm being a bit slow this time.

    Briefly then, I didn't actually mind Match too much - you know that they're not quite getting it right but still rather endearing in a way. A bit like that Zaire defender in the 1974 World Cup that kicked the ball away deliberately when Brazil were about to take a free kick.
    Awful hairstyles though (the band, not the footballers)

    McFadden & Whitehead - I've never been that bothered about the song. Nice performance by the guys though, although their backing wasn't entirely convincing to my ears. A bit like Brazil at the 1982 World Cup, let down by a few key elements.

    Lene Lovich - Genius song that doesn't outstay its welcome (love the whistle!) and a lovely performance by the girls. Brilliant all round, a real highlight. A Gordon Banks save from Pele in 1970.

    The link into Edwin Starr was incredibly short, wasn't it? I wonder what was edited out there. Perhaps a Jimmy Savile reference there of some sort. Mike Read cut off in his prime just like Zico when Clive Thomas blew his whistle as the ball went into the net in 1978.

    Janet Kay. I admire the artistry, but I don't like it. See every French World Cup team ever.

    Anita Ward - Oh dear. This is a bit of a car crash, no wonder you never see this clip on any other show, I had no idea that she even bothered coming over to appear in the UK!
    Should have been great, but ultimately embarrassing. Diana Ross shooting wide at the USA 94 opening ceremony.

    John Williams - Blimey, this caught me by surprise. I've always thought of it as being a bit dull, but listening to it again with very little in the way of visuals, I really appreciated its beauty. A grower. Italy at the 1982 World Cup Finals (a special place in my heart for that team btw)

    Full time!

    (I'm doing all the football references so no-one else has to)

    1. apart from the usual suspect goalkeeper, the otherwise-magnificent brazil team of '82 also had to carry the somewhat clumsy and very-unbrazilian-like centre forward serginho, which was their achilles heel. of course these days, in the event of having no decent target men available they would have picked another skillful midfield player to operate as a false number nine...

    2. Oh, and I forgot 'Night Owl' by Gerry Rafferty, which I also adore. Shame it got chopped off in its prime, a bit like when the Kuwaiti sheikhs walked on the pitch to stop the game because their team were losing in 1982.

  17. Noax, I agree about Anita Ward. Her video for this song shown regularly on VH1 Classic and Vintage TV is a lot better, but the fact that she bothered to come to the UK to appear on TOTP was not a good decision, as you can see by the studio performance.

    Showing her promo video would have been a better choice by TOTP, but hey, they were always going to try to get performers over from the States wherever possible.

  18. Bloody Hell! I can't watch this show on BBC iPlayer. I thought they were going to extend the viewing period from 7 days to 30. If so, when? I hope I can find the, Lene Lovich track on YouTube!

    Match's single was on Flamingo, a short-lived disco label from Magnet, who had three top 50 hits with their first four releases, the other two chart ticklers by a band called Bombers.

  19. Found the Legs & Co routine, Wionderful to watch but sadly sullied by that arse Steve Wright spouting his usual drivel at the start and end. This was surely the giggliest L&Co performance. They all seemed to enjoy it, especially Lulu. Even Gill had an upward curl on her usual pout. Preferred the gold outfits to the blue ones!