The very first Top Of The Pops from the BBC Transcription Service. Actually, it was the pilot show before the official run started so it was never broadcast but used as a sort of demo for subscribers of the Transcription service.
From what I’ve been able to gather, the Beatles sessions were recorded for another BBC radio show, From Us To You and their versions of Long Tall Sally, Hard Days Night and Things We Said Today from July of 1964, were presumably used for this pilot.
Top Of The Pops was a landmark radio program from an international standpoint. It capitalized on the worldwide popularity of, not only The Beatles, but the other groups comprising the British Invasion. It also gave you an idea of what the pop music scene was like in the UK, which was not that far from our own – although, aside from The Beatles and Dusty Springfield, the other acts in this debut show failed to make a big dent. The Tremeloes would achieve success in the States, only after Brian Poole left in 1966 to pursue a solo career.
One of the big attractions for Top Of The Pops, in fact for most of the BBC radio shows at the time, the acts were prevented from using commercially released recordings for these programs, but rather had to record BBC studio versions of their material. It was a practice which continued, I believe, into the 1970s – so this program, and others like it, are of enormous historic value because it gives a glimpse of what these artists sounded like live.
Fascinating stuff. Obviously, The Beatles material has been issued in various compilations, so there’s nothing that hasn’t been heard before with them. The Dusty Springfield material is one of the other high points, giving further evidence what a major talent she was.
. . .and while you’re listening to Top of The Pops, consider chipping in a few bucks to help keep this site up and running and offering you these rare goodies from the Archive. There are thousands of hours and we’ve been slowly putting everything up – eventually making the entire archive available. But it takes time and it costs money – and we have bills to pay. So, anything you can spare – a few bucks or a few hundred, we really need it. We’ll be pitching for the next 5 days, as we do every year at the time. So, do what you can and tell your friends – click on the link here: (Past Daily’s Fall Fundraiser) and make your tax-deductible contribution. Please?