"Crazy music... crazy people"
By the mid-
The revival shows quickly became good business, nick-
From Music Week 6th September 1980
Golden Oldies TV Programme
ROCK ARTISTS from the Fifties and Sixties — including Frank Ifield, Martha and the Vandellas, Dion, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Wayne Fontana — are to feature in a new TV pop series. Entitled Unforgettable, it will be directed by Nick Abson of the promotional video company Rock Flix and produced by David Heath Hadfield. Musical director is Mike Moore. Abson claims it will be the first music light entertainment TV programme undertaken independently in Britain. The series comprises 3 programmes, all to be shot at Cinatra's of Croydon in a similar style to the old Ready Steady Go programme. Negotiations are taking place with British television companies for its release as well as for world syndication. Video rights have also been written into contracts. The producers are to back up the programme with an album from the series, and possibly books and other promotional items. "There will be an invited audience of 600 couples and it will be directed in such a way that one number will go into the next very quickly," said Abson.
Cinatra's club was owned by record producer David Heath Hadfield and Mike Morton, they were also the show's producers (HadMor). They had also owned the M&H label to release records by The Morton Music Machine. After a couple of Christmas and New Year specials with The Barron Knights the first series proper ran from 6th January 1981 to 24th February 1981 and broadcast by Thames. However, the show ran into trouble almost immediately as it was revealed by The Observer newspaper in January 1981 that Hadmor allegedly breached the ACTT (Association of Cinematography, Television and Allied Technicians) union closed shop agreement. In the subsequent court case brought by three members of the ACTT Hadmor was referred to as a 'facility' company, or independent television production company as it would be called now, and the ACTT objected to facility companies being able to hire and fire workers at will. The fact that the show boasted that it would be "the first music light entertainment TV programme undertaken independently in Britain" served as a red rag.
Alan Freeman was the host, in voice-
From Music Week 15th August 1981
HADMOR PRODUCTIONS feels that its pop nostalgia TV series Unforgettable is being
unfairly ignored by programmers following a recent court decision and Hadmor director
There were thirteen shows that were recorded for the first series, with five possibly not broadcast.
It would be over 18 months until the next series of shows, but this time not on Thames,
but on Channel 4, a channel whose output was almost entirely provided by independent
production companies. The show played on Tuesday evenings at 6.00 pm, replacing The
People's Court. There seemed to be no concern about who the bands actually were.
Billy J Kramer and the who? Freddie and the what? Inevitable personnel changes over
the decades would mean some unfamiliar faces from the hit-
Many of the singers from The Morton Music Machine were also more than adept as soundalikes, so if you want Shirley Bassey, Demis Roussos, Frank Sinatra, Lulu, Elvis and others they could do it. The musicians also plainly knew their stuff, providing expert soundalike backings where necessary, while their guitarist (Mike Morton?) was an superb Les Paul copyist.
Sadly, in late January 1983 Unforgettable recorded what was likely to have been Billy Fury's last public appearance, broadcast in early February 1983, a week after his sudden death.
For reasons unknown the show went into hibernation for three years, re-
Despite the independent nature of the show it had very high production values, as good as Top Of The Pops or any similar studio bound offering from ITV. Like Top Of The Pops most of the acts either performed live, or to newly recorded tracks, but a few just chose to lip synch' to the hit recording instead. Some of the artists appeared along with The Morton Music Machine on the show's soundtrack double album, released in 1982.
Sixties revival shows continue to this day, many of them have moved onto cruise ships, but as time passes singers die and fewer original acts are now available, but versions of The Tremeloes, The Searchers, The Fortunes, The Swinging Blue Jeans and others who appeared on the show are still working hard around the world. Unforgettable might have provided a last good look at some of the greats.