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Popular Music on British Television

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THE TRAD FAD

BBC
1st July 1961 - 23rd September 1961

Produced by Johnnie Stewart, later tasked by the BBC to help create Top of the Pops, this was an attempt to catch the Traditional Jazz fad in Britain before it faded. The BBC had shows like Jazz Session and coverage of the Beaulieu Jazz Festival the year before and many of the genres top acts were incredibly popular across all medias, live, records and broadcasting.

Jazz clubs had sprung up all across the country after the war led by bandleaders like Ken Colyer, Chris Barber, Mick Mulligan and Humphrey Littleton who over the next decade would be responsible for the first great British post-war music boom. Many of these bands started recording in the late forties and continued to sell well throughout the fifties and well into the sixties, especially albums. But just like the skiffle boom, itself a genre created by British jazz, too many acts appeared, many of whom had dubious reason for being in the business, leading to plethora of gimmicky acts like the Temperance Seven, George Chisholm, Dick Charlesworth and the City Gents. The Trad Fad represented all levels of propular British jazz.

The series was initially introduced by Brian Matthew, but later replaced by Alan Dell.

Eight shows were originally commissioned but a further four were broadcast proving it must have been successful. ATV would follow in 1962 with All That Jazz, a slightly watered down version with pop singers crooning jazz standards.

One edition of The Trad Fad appears to be located at the Library of Congress in the USA.

The show has also been seen with an alternate title The Trad Fad and All That Jazz.