TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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ABC/ATV  24th September 1955 - 20th October 1956, returning 14th September 1958 - 10th January 1960
24th September 1955 - 10th January 1960

From TV Times "The rendezvous of popular recording stars from both sides of the Atlantic with Gerry Wilmot as the Shop Keeper and Vice-President in charge of contests in which everyone will be invited to participate. Big prizes and fun for all."

A half-hour, mid-afternoon offering from one of the new ITV franchises, offering similar fare to BBC's Off The Record with visiting singers promoting their new releases as well as promotional film clips from American artists. Hosted by Gerry Wilmot, later to be joined by Rita Gillespie, it was initially called ABC Music Shop, then ATV Music Shop, but was shorn of it's station identification at the beginning of 1956. The show concentrated on the popular singing and dance band stars of the time like Lita Roza, Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson, Anne Shelton, Ronnie Hilton and Joe Loss rather then rock and roll or pop, but it did give some pre-Oh Boy! exposure for organist Cherry Wainer, and despite an appearance by Chris Barber's Jazz Band it was unlikely that it gave much, if any, time for skiffle.

Despite a claim in the TV Times that it was "the Rendezvous of popular recording stars from both sides of the Atlantic" there's no evidence of American artists appearing on the show, in fact, reference to American artists was later dropped in the magazine.

Musical backing was provided by a group led by Tommy Maxwell and Ted Brennan. The show ended October 1956 only to be brought back two years' later, hosted by Teddy Johnson, singer and sometime Radio Luxembourg DJ. It still used the basic idea of new songs and releases, this time featuring Jack Parnell and The Counterhands. It also boasted early TV appearances for Shirley Bassey and Dudley Moore. It might have been replaced by Late Night Music, also hosted by Teddy Johnson.