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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Produced by Stanley Dorfman this was the BBC's response to Rediffusion's short series of mid-evening Tom Jones shows. Jones had been given the chance to host his own series of fifteen minute shows, not only proving popular with an audience but also proving that the new breed of singers had the personality and likeability factor to carry their own show. Cliff Richard and Lonnie Donegan had been given their own series and shows before, but the Jones and Springfield shows would be the first significant shows of the post-Beatles era.

The Dusty show would follow the same format throughout the two series, the host performs about half a dozen songs live with a ropey-sounding 32-piece BBC band, led by Johnny Pearson, and there would be a duet with that week's guest singer. Musical guests included Philips Records labelmate Scott Walker, Tom Jones, Jose Feliciano, Mel Torme and The Dudley Moore Trio, while comedy would also be present with the likes of Peter Cook and Woody Allen guesting. On back-up vocals were Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and ex-Vernons Girl Maggie Stredder.

The first series was broadcast on Thursday, Top Of The Pops day. In fact, if you only had access to BBC1 that night you could watch Top Of The Pops from 7.30 pm, followed by Adam Adamant Lives at eight, and then following a ten-minute news break, Dusty at nine. That's a night in.

The Dusty Springfield Show was due to begin its first series on May 24th 1966 with George Shearing, The Ramsey Lewis Trio and The Four Freshmen lined up as guests, then set back to 4th August, however it got pushed back again to mid-August, partly due to a couple of scheduled Herb Alpert specials. Similarly the second season was pushed back from its original air date of 6th July 1967 to 15th August 1967 due to summer scheduling issues with recording beginning on 18th June 1967.

Ahead of the first show Dusty commissions twenty new dresses for the show, costing her some £2500. Talking about the show to Disc Dusty said "It's going to take nearly all my salary but it's about my only real extravagance."

Like her BBC radio sessions the show would give her licence to perform songs that she would never record for her Philips releases, mostly soul, but a few folk and foreign language songs would be given an airing.

Spotting the success that the show had she took the opportunity to go to ITV for her next venture It Must Be Dusty, before returning to the BBC.

A Universal DVD Dusty Springfield at the BBC set was released in 2007 featuring all of Dusty's surviving performances, but a few new clips have subsequently turned up on You Tube.



18th August 1966 - 19th September 1967