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In a May 1968 Cliff Richard article Disc magazine mentioned that there was a rumour of an 'Oh Boy'68' reunion show.


TV producer Jack Good left the UK in the early sixties in order to take his Oh Boy template and find an new use for it on American TV. He pitched up at ABC and Shindig was broadcast for eighteen months from late 1964 onwards, and the ferocious tempo and atmosphere made it an essential, if not exhausting watch, just like Oh Boy five years before. However, despite his new career in the USA he kept useful contacts in the UK, producing the Around The Beatles special for Rediffusion in 1964, directed by Rita Gillespie, who had directed Oh Boy, and it was to Gillespie that he turned to with his next TV venture.


Good devised an hour-long retrospective, ten years of pop music in one hour. Hoping to easily explain his concept he had divided the show into three sections, or chapters, bringing together stars both past and present. Good, talking to Record Mirror in late September 1968 explained "The show's in three parts. The Innocence part is a bit of a satire on how it used to be, the ridiculous things we used to get up to in the pop of ten years ago. The Anarchy part is the wild, psychedelic stuff of a year ago. And the finish is Soul, which is the way pop seems to be moving - and that's fine by me." In fact 'Innocence, Anarchy and Soul' would be Good's title for the show, only to have it changed by Yorkshire, making it look more like a personal tribute. A music press advert fo Lance LeGault's United Artists 45 'Billy' referred to the show with Good's original title. Talking to Johnnie Walker in Disc Good further explained "Chapter One concerns the early 1958 rock period, Anarchy is a send-up of the rocker versus hippie era, and Chapter Three, Soul. I had hoped to use Ike and Tina Turner, but there were permit problems. Actually I prefer to use home grown soul, rather than import it. Julie (Driscoll) and Chris (Farlowe) are far better than anything they have in the States."


Talking to the Daily Mirror in September 1968 Sid Colin, head of light entertainment for Yorkshire TV talking about the current state of pop music on TV claimed "... unless you are prepared to get away from a dreary Top Ten pattern and into a new, almost revolutionary form you might as well forget it." It was Sid that suggested that Jack Good be brought over from Hollywood to produce the show, and if it was a success then Yorkshire might produce a series in 1969, again with Good in charge.


According to a report at the time Good was paid £10,000 for his involvement, while the programme itself cost £70,000 to produce and was recorded at ATV's Elstree studios for the newly launched Yorkshire TV.


However, we nearly never got to see it. The special was due to be recorded 17th August 1968 (also seen as 10th August) but the session was cancelled due to an ITV technicians' strike. A spokesman for Yorkshire TV told Disc "It's been cancelled and there are no plans to stage it at some future date." Good flew back to the USA convinced that the show would never be seen. A new recording date for 28th September was then set, with the results broadcast on 12th October 1968, but the broadcast was delayed again by two weeks, this time due to a wages dispute at ITV.


Eventually broadcast from 7.10 - 8.10 pm as a part of ITV's Saturday Stars strand it was a star filled romp through pop featuring Lord Rockingham’s XI (with Lonnie Donegan, Red Price, Don Lang), Lulu (tackling Rock Around The Clock), Julie Discoll with Brian Auger and The Trinity, Lance LeGault, P J Proby, Chris Farlowe, The Alan Bown!, The Chants, Dominic Grant, Emil Dean, The Breakaways, Ian Whitcomb, The Flirtations, plus dance troupe Pan's People. The musical director was Harry Robinson who recreated his Lord Rockingham's XI band for the show, which in turn would lead to a new Rockingham album for EMI in 1968. Star of Good's stage production of Catch My Soul Jerry Lee Lewis was due for inclusion but the technicians' strike meant he couldn't make the new recording date. Ike and Tina Turner were also sought, but didn't appear.


Good claimed "It's the kind of show I couldn't do in the States. There it's all 'specials' built around one big star", probably referring to the kind of shows he had been making there like Andy Williams' 'Love Andy' special the previous year. Good was later to experience the irony of his own words as he would go back to the states to make such a show with The Monkees.


In the Around The Beatles special he introduced an American discovery, P J Proby who would go onto have many hits, and controversial incidents, in the UK, but this time around Lance LeGault wouldn't have the same effect. Good had met him at a movie set party held by Elvis Presley who Good had got to know after making a cameo appearance in one of his movies. Impressed, Good brought him over to the UK and told the TV Times at the time of the show "He sings a brand of music never heard in Britain before." However unimpressed the British audience was Good stuck with him and had him play Iago in his rock opera version of Othello, Catch My Soul and produced his 1971 Polydor album.


Unusually the show was recorded onto colour videotape and was, decades later, re-discovered in a collection of a record company, intact and in excellent condition. It was shown at one of Kaleidoscope's excellent University of Birmingham shows in 2019.


His contacts at ITV held him in good stead, when ten years' later he produced a new run of Oh Boy and Let's Rock for ATV.


At the time of the show Record Mirror ran an article, rightly acknowledging Good as "a brilliant pioneer of teenage entertainment."


THE MASTER OF POP


Yorkshire

26th October 1968