News Column

What we were WATCHING [Sentinel, The (Stoke-on-Trent, England)]

September 28, 2013


Bob Heeks, aged 66, is a retired builder from Brockbank Place, Chell Heath. He remembers watching music shows as a schoolboy LET'S take a walk back to the roots of British rock 'n' roll, when the music hit our small screen.

In the 50s, when the U.S. had the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee and Little Richard, we were being entertained by Jerry Allen and his quartet on Lunch Box, with Noele Gordon tapping her pencil in the background.

I was a schoolboy at the time and we would watch Lunch Box when we came home from school to have something to eat.

My family were poor and didn't have a television set at that time so I would see it at a neighbour's house.

The wheels were now in motion and TV then brought us The Joe Loss Band Show at Saturday dinner times, alongside the singers Rose Brennan, Larry Gretton and Ross McManus.

Ross McManus found more fame in life when he was found to be father of Elvis.

That's Elvis Costello, not Presley, by the way.

Ross's son, Declan, changed his name to Elvis and found stardom.

It was all a far cry from what was happening across the pond.

Now I'm thinking long before Dennis Tanner discovered the sensational Chris Sandford on Coronation Street, a certain John Leyton had been given air play in a TV serial called Probation Officer.

John Leyton's biggest musical hits were Johnny Remember Me and Wild Wind, during the early 60s.

I think he is still touring to this day. So now we can sit back and reminisce and say thank you for that early music television.

I say that tongue in cheek, as what we were presented with was rather different to the offering in the U.S. British television gave us Jerry Allen and, without him, who knows what British music would have ended up like.

I've recently taken up using Facebook and have been able to reconnect with friends from my school days.

It's good to be able to spend my days reliving those times.

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