TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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12th September 1959 - 5th March 1960

ABC’s Saturday evening replacement for Oh Boy! was again produced by Jack Good with Rita Gillespie directing. The title referred to Marty Wilde and The Vernons Girls who would be the weekly regulars.

The show was similar in concept to Oh Boy! with organist Cherry Wainer and saxophonist Red Price retained, along with a new backing group Jack Good’s Firing Squad. It also kept the same production team.

After a run-in with guest Johnny Cash house band guitarist Joe Brown was fired. British rockers Adam Faith, Jess Conrad, Billy Fury were frequent guests while Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent appeared as a part of their UK tour.

Halfway through the run the director left the show to be replaced by Ben Churchill who had previously worked on ABC's Sunday Break. The house band was reduced in size leaving guitarists Eric Ford and Joe Baker, drummer Andy White, saxophonist Red Price, plus Cherry Wainer and Don Storer and a new bassist. The most drastic change was that the audience was to be removed while a new set design was also employed.

The rock and roll quota was toned down after the change and more ballads introduced, but Jack Good avowed to reverse the decision before the show was cancelled. Marty Wilde couldn't commit to any more shows from April onwards so Good decided to propose a new show and format, so this wouldn't be ABC's or Jack Good's last shot at rock and roll.