As part of The BBC’s policy of airing only material recorded in their studios, as opposed to playing records, Top Of The Pops, along with Top Gear, Old Grey Whistle Test, Saturday Club, and several others, all relied on the talents of their engineers to faithfully recreate a bands sound. 95% of the time they were spot on, and it was an amazing achievement. But the really exciting part was something no one at the time thought about; these sessions would, in some cases, offer the only glimpse of a band playing in a live context. Some groups did one or two singles and called it a day – others were just not well documented. In any case, these recordings offer a treasure trove of live performances by bands who were so much a part of the 60s milieux.
This program, as most of the others, featured a wide sampling of groups active at the time, and either entering or about to enter the Pop Record charts. So rather than offer these sessions on a piecemeal basis, I decided to run them as they were broadcast as it makes for an interesting musical experience, giving you some idea of the eclectic nature of Pop Radio at the time time. The show is hosted by Brian Matthew, who sadly left us earlier this year.
I certainly owe a debt of appreciation to my colleague Gray Newell, who offered several of these programs which I didn’t already have, as something to offer readers and listeners to the site.
So I would urge you to sit back, crank up the volume and dive right into April 19, 1968, just as it was originally broadcast. It will do you a world of good.