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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A series of  live concerts featuring mostly recent easy listening greats like Demis Roussos, Caterina Valente, Tony Christie, Johnny Mathis, Brook Benton, plus a few poppier acts like Georgie Fame, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Alan Price, Alvin Stardust and Marty Wilde.


For some reason the first show was called Goodbye Gary Glitter, Hello Pop Proms.


The first batch of shows were recorded at the King’s Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester with about four thousand in attendance. The musical menu included easy, light classical, jazz and pop with instrumental support from the fifty piece Pop Proms Orchestra, conducted by Les Reed with vocal backing from the Germany-based Les Humphries Singers. The orchestra featured string players from Manchester's Halle Orchestra and for one set composer Elmer Bernstein had been flown in from the USA to conduct.


Similar easy listening pop concerts have proved popular across Europe and Granada thought they'd give it a go here. According to the TV Times "These lavish shows could do for pop music what the Albert Hall Proms have done for the Classics." In fact they decided to finish with a Proms styled 'Land Of Hope And Glory' finale, furnishing the audience with 2000 union flags.


Manchester's infamous rain nearly ruined the first recording as it poured through the roof and soaked the hand written music charts, while in the dressing room Les Reed was bleeding profusely from a shaving wound and couldn't appear on stage when his name was announced.


After a Christmas special, partly conducted by disco producer Biddu, there would be two further specials, a fifties themed show the following July and sixties show in September, both recorded at the Guild Hall in Preston.


INTERNATIONAL POP PROMS


Granada

6th March 1976 - 23rd April 1976, 28th December 1976, 13th July 1977, 3rd September 1977