Ending out the weekend with something a little different – a Top Of The Pops show from The BBC dated September 22, 1967. Top Of The Pops, for those of you who may not know was one of several live shows (live, in that the acts taped their songs and didn’t use commercial singles) the BBC put on from during the 1960s. TOTP (for short) had a long life, and was the primary place of exposure for a considerable amount of new talent. Pre-dating and over-lapping John Peel by a few years, Top Of The Pops was all about mainstream Pop. Whereas Peel was playing to a decidedly underground audience (or a less commercial one).
This show features a wide range of talent, as was the usual for this type of program. With Cat Stevens, Paul Jones (formerly of Manfred Mann), The Tremeloes, The Fortunes, and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich all crammed into this 45 minute musical extravaganza, and did it weekly.
Because this program was available overseas via the BBC Transcription Service, a number of top-40 stations ran this show in the U.S. – and it was a vital link to what was happening for fans during the initial British Invasion days.
Some of the acts may not be familiar today – fifty years ago (when this show ran), everyone knew who these artists were. A lot of this original material has been destroyed over the years, but a considerable number of these transcriptions have survived, and in many cases represent the only known recordings of some artists doing other artists songs.
There will most likely be a lot of surprises here – notably, the Cat Stevens session bears no resemblance to what he came to be so well known for only a few years later. In the early days, he was strictly pop with strings and lush arrangements.
Check it out.