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TEMPO '60

BBC
13th May 1960 - 24th June 1960

BBC Producer Stuart Morris spent two months in jazz clubs in London hiring talent for this prime time examination of British modern jazz. Multi instrumentalist Tubby Hayes was chosen as the resident band leader, writing arrangements for the band each week.

Broadcast from the BBC Television Theatre at Shepherd's Bush, London in front of an audience of seven hundred it seemed to be a rejection of the rock and roll shows that had been so prominent but had failed ratings-wise.

It was the intention of the producer to reunite Hayes with jazz saxophonist Ronnie Scott, but other forms of modern popular music like Latin-American would also be included. A comic Frank Berry would be aboard as well as interviews with any American stars passing through London, however, the British Musicians Union would not allow them to play. A way around the ban would be to use Eurovision in order to get British acts to play simultaneously with acts playing in Europe.

Tubby Hayes himself was looking forward to the opportunity, "I was feeling a bit depressed about the future recently. But now everything's changed. I'm longing to get cracking. I've started writing things already."

ATV were also proposing a new jazz show to begin broadcasting in April, but it never materialised. Instead, All That Jazz would debut in 1962.

The BBC claim in late June 1960 ‘Tempo 60 was an experiment which has not worked to our satisfaction. We are discontinuing it’. It was to be replaced by Sugar Beat. The Daily Mirror points out that Tempo 60 launched on Friday the 13th and was due to run for 13 weeks. It lasted seven weeks.