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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Both modern and trad jazz were given welcome exposure in 1959 and 1960 with Granada's Bandstand. Weekly regulars The Dill Jones Trio, Valerie Masters and Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazzband were already well known to British audiences, while other British jazz stars like Cleo Laine, Ronnie Scott, Dill Jones, Tony Crombie and Georgia Brown would guest every week.

Talking to TV Times ahead of the first show director Dave Warwick said "Each week we will have at least one great. The first will be Don Lusher, the greatest modern trombonist in the country. The week after it will be Max Geldray, an old friend of Ray Ellington. Then we've booked a veteran star, trumpeter Nat Gonella, followed by Johnnie Gray, a good tenor saxophonist with a flair for comedy." Warwick himself had been a drummer in a dance band and had previously worked on Here's Humph with Humphrey Lyttelton and a series for Ray Ellington. Ray Ellington's group was to appear on each of the first four shows, but Granada withdrew them. A Granada spokesman told Melody Maker "We did not consider it right to put the Eliington Quartet into the show when we are to feature it in a special series of its own."

The show's director Dave Warwick, who had been a jazz drummer, told Melody Maker "I hope to introduce all the big guns of the modern and traditional jazz world. Names like Humphrey Lyttelton, Chris Barber, Tony Kinsey and Dill Jones." Manchester trad band Zenith Six and the Eric Pepperell Quintet participated in the close circuiit TV pilot.

Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazzband had been booked to appear in the first four shows, but had by mutual consent been replaced after the first two with The Tony Kinsey Quartet. His manager (and brother) Dave Bilk told Melody Maker "Granada felt that we failed to come off in 'Bandstand' and we agreed. So we left the show, by mutual consent. We were expected to sit stiffly in front of a plain backcloth, which is alien to our kind of performance. Ours is a band full of movement and crying out for imaginative settings."

Despite the credibility of the names in British jazz the series became more watered down towards the end and the regulars left to be replaced by Ted Heath and his Band and pop vocal group The Avons.



17th September 1959 - 23rd March 1960