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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A chance for bands and singers to play songs from their new LP live, but unlike BBC2's Colour me Pop which had trolled the album charts before them this would see each band perform in front of an audience, and a typically British unresponsive one at that. Produced by Granada legend Johnny Hamp the show was recorded at Granada's Quay Street studios in Manchester and broadcast for twenty-five minutes on Friday evenings over the summer of 1970.

Hamp had invited Jethro Tull to be the first band to play, but they couldn't make it. Tull had, in a previous incarnation, appeared on Granada's talent show Firstimers back in 1968, a show also produced by Hamp. The Who and Ten Years After had also been approached, but had to say "no". Explaining the idea behind the show at the time Hamp said "We plan to feature intelligent and entertaining music by groups and artists who need more than a two minute spot to get themselves across."

First up were The Marmalade, eager to show their rock credentials in spite of their natural pop sensibilities. Despite their insistence that they should now be taken seriously as a band the first half of their set consisted of cover versions. The surprise hit of the summer Mungo Jerry would follow, with Free performing a short but blistering set on 24th July. Status Quo, a band in the middle of a career reviving re-invention from pop-psych to boogie blues band were up next, followed by Georgie Fame, again caught between the playing the pop hits of the past and the desire to expand his repertoire into contemporary jazz and blues. The Tremeloes followed and staying true to their pop roots played their hits and a few rock and roll oldies, while Deep Purple appeared on the 20th of August playing two tracks from their new 'Deep Purple In Rock' album. Stone The Crows and Juicy Lucy were up next followed by singer-songwriter Labi Siffre playing songs from his debut album. The remarkable Family closed the one and only series in late September.

Producer Johnny Hamp would later complain to the Daily Mirror that despite the shows’ signings the series still wouldn’t be taken nationally on the ITV network "I’m signing up all the best music outfits and I can’t give the public a taste of it. There's a hell of a lot of good, trendy music going to waste, the talent is there but we can't expose it sufficiently." Granada followed up the show a couple of years' later with Set Of Six.

Some shows seem to have been repeated on a French satellite channel and possibly on Granada Plus.



10th July 1970 - 25th September 1970