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DRUMBEAT

BBC
4th April 1959 to 29th August 1959.

The BBC chose a quick replacement for the failed Dig This!, but to give its replacement a better chance of survival it was decided not to directly compete with Oh Boy!, so it began the show just as the other show finishes at 6.30 pm.

Dig This! regulars Bob Miller and The Millermen were still resident this time around, and joined by The John Barry Seven, Adam Faith, Sylvia Sands and ex-Oh Boy!'s Vince Eager.

The first shows were hosted by Radio Luxembourg DJ Gus Goodwin, who together with the producer and Bob Miller will choose the songs for the show. Goodwin would in turn be replaced with Oh Boy's Trevor Peacock. The show was recorded at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London in front of 200 people.

This was the nearest the BBC would get to the fever pitch of Oh Boy!, crowding the stage with as many singers and musicians as the camera frame could catch. Musically the choice was upbeat, with only one or two ballads per week. The John Barry Seven provided the small group numbers.

Problems arose when Producer Stewart Morris had taken issue with Billy Fury learning the wrong song one week and decided to let him go, causing a problem between the producer and Fury’s manager Larry Parnes who provided so many singers for shows.

To make sure that producer Morris didn't make the same mistake that Francis Essex had made with Dig This by claiming that he had never seen Oh Boy Jack Good invited Morris to The Hackney Empire to see the show live.

After Oh Boy! finished it's run on 30th May 1959 Marty Wilde crossed over to Drumbeat to become a regular. Other Oh Boy! regulars Cliff Richard and The Drifters also appeared, while American one hit wonders The Poni-Tails appeared on several shows.

Just as Oh Boy! made Cliff Richard's career due to his weekly appearances Drumbeat was as influential to Adam Faith's career.

The Daily Mirror quotes regular guest John Barry as saying "I think the teenagers will find Drumbeat is more than 'with it.'" This was not the case as the show was not commissioned for a second series.

in April 1959 regular vocal groups The Kingpins and The Three Barry Sisters were replaced with The Raindrops, featuring Jackie Lee and The Lana Sisters, featuring Dusty Springfield.

No shows are thought to exist, however a Fontana EP released in May 1960 is taken directly from the TV soundtrack. A Parlophone album was also recorded 10th May 1959, probably at Abbey Road.

For the definitive word on this series visit this great John Barry page.