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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Country hoedown shows seemed to be quite popular in the early sixties with the BBC's Country and Western Show and Border's Make Mine Country Style, both broadcast in 1963, while single-genre shows featuring jazz in its various flavours and folk and blues shows like ABC's Hullabaloo had also been popular, but all of these would be eventually abandoned and all types of music melded together into varity shows.

Country and Western music was targeted by ABC for this single series show and given a much-prized Saturday evening prime-time slot, despite the little impact country and western music had made on the UK record chart. The show was set in a Western style ranch and was due to have a regular singing star, Michael Holliday, however he backed out early on and was replaced by Jim Dale.

In the end, Buckaroo was just an occasional show with no permanent slot in the Saturday evening schedules which wasn't conducive to any kind of viewer loyalty, it was almost like they didn't know what to do with it. Maybe ABC changed their mind and just designated it a filler show, despite a Melody Maker article in April 1961 which stated it was to be broadcast every third Sunday. Lasting only six shows it was directed by Ben Churchill from ABC's considerable pool of talent, as was its musical/choral director Barney Gilbraith.

Despite the country and western setting there were no country singers as such, so North American talent like Vaughan Monroe had to be brought in, while the regular featured singers were Sheila Buxton, The Westerners and The Vernons Girls.

Thankfully during the recording of the second show a horse that had been used as set dressing had bolted outside the studio bringing the show some much needed publicity. The whole production went on location to the Golden Horse Ranch in West Sussex for what turned out to be the final show, while at the same time in late July ABC put out a call for a real farm with a large barn to be used for another outside broadcast, but it was too late. Big Night Out returned and the barn was never needed.



8th April 1961 - 22nd July 1961