It's another week off for TOTP on BBC4, which means a week of special content. The Alternative Canon has been put away for the immediate moment, though, in favour of something that might give a rounder picture of TOTP and of BBC music of the time. Comments box regular and Creamguide editor Steve Williams has gone through his back issues of Radio Times to dig out some worthwhile material relating to what we discuss here. First off, as it's something the presenters rarely fail to plug at the end, here's the Radio 1 schedule for the weekdays beginning 27th September:
6.0 As Radio 2
7.0 NOEL EDMONDS
9.0 TONY BLACKBURN
12.0 PAUL BURNETT
including at 12.30 NEWSBEAT with LAURIE MAYER
2.2 DAVID HAMILTON (Also on Radio 2 VHF)
4.30 IT'S DLT OK!
6.2 As Radio 2
11.0 JOHN PEEL (Also on Radio 2 VHF)
12.0-12.5 As Radio 2
The simulcasting was due to BBC cutbacks the previous year, dropping a lot of live coverage, specialist shows and several DJs, including Stuart Henry and Bob Harris. In Peel terms it was the year of the inaugural Festive 50 and also the year he started finding out about punk - he'd already seen the Pistols live but by this time really only had the first Ramones album, which he'd got hold of in May, to play. Which he did. A lot.
6.0 As Radio 2
8.6 WALLY WHYTON with JUNIOR CHOICE
10.0 New series - KID JENSEN
Radio 1's new music man with two hours of the best sounds around
12.0 PAUL GAMBACCINI
1.31 SUTHERLAND BROTHERS' TOP 12
The Sutherland Brothers talk to Brian Matthew and choose their 12 favourite records to make up an imaginary album
2.30 ALAN FREEMAN
5.31 New series - IT'S ROCK 'N' ROLL
Pure unadulterated rock 'n' roll introduced by STUART COLMAN. This week's studio guests - SHAKIN' STEVENS AND THE SUNSETS and the latest releases are reviewed by GEOFF BARKER.
6.30 IN CONCERT
FRANKIE MILLER'S FULL HOUSE and STEVE GOODMAN introduced by PETE DRUMMOND
7.30-12.33 As Radio 2
Emperor Rosko had been presenting that Saturday morning slot but left to return to America due to family illness, necessitating a slight switch round - his show was on til 1pm, then Top 12, then Fluff from 2, then Gambo 5-6.30. Kid Jensen - nickname given by Paul Burnett, apparently, and professionally stuck until he was 31 - had been at Radio Luxembourg since 1968, when he was 18, and was clearly thought highly of at the BBC as he was joined the TOTP roster in November (wiped, unfortunately) Gambaccini had begun his long running US charts rundown a year later. Freeman's brief included classical music. Yeah, the BBC weren't entirely sure what the station was yet.
Colman's story is an interesting one - having been bassist in a band called The Flying Machine who had a Billboard top ten single, in 1976 he jointly organized a march to the BBC protesting about the lack of rock and roll music on the station. The corporation called his bluff and called him in. It's Rock 'N' Roll lasted for three months, playing classic rock'n'roll and live recordings, before being replaced by Alexis Korner's blues and soul show, but a little while later Epic got him to produce his mate Shaky and Colman was at the controls for his initial run of success, including This Ole House, Green Door and Oh Julie. Meanwhile he was extending his brief with slots on BBC Radio London and a weekly Melody Maker column, as well as producing anyone who wanted a 1950s vibe to their songs and eventually the Cliff Richard and the Young Ones Comic Relief version of Living Doll as well as the Mel Smith and Kim Wilde Rocking Around The Christmas Tree.
And on Sunday...
6.55 As Radio 2
Magazine programme of special interest to young listeners introduced by DAVID RIDER and including YOUNG IDEAS IN ACTION
8.32 WALLY WHYTON with JUNIOR CHOICE (Ed Stewart evidently being on holiday)
10.0 SIMON BATES with ALL THERE IS TO HEAR
1.0 JIMMY SAVILE
1.0 The Double Top Ten Show; 2.0 Speakeasy
3.0 ANNE NIGHTINGALE'S REQUEST SHOW
A magazine programme that takes a close look at the people, events and developments that influence today's pop music, introduced and edited by STUART GRUNDY
6.0 TOM BROWNE with the TOP 20
7.0-12.33 As Radio 2
Playground, as the scheduling suggests, was a show for younger listeners which features Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin as sidekicks. Bates had been at the station only since July, moving from, oddly, Radio 2 and taking over from Paul Burnett. Insight is described here as "a series about those with a special interest, e.g. humour, surfing, stars from the midlands."