GREAT BALLS OF FIRE - THE PRICE OF FAME ____________________________________________________________________________________
Original Broadcast Date: 20/11/1969 ____________________________________________________________________________________
Troupe: Pans People ____________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise & Ruth ____________________________________________________________________________________
Link: http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=818 ____________________________________________________________________________________
It’s Thursday November 20th 1969 and Top Of The Pops has been cancelled! This is because BBC One has dedicated most of its day to the Apollo 12 moon landings, where, depending on your point of view, we could either watch astronauts setting foot on the moon for the 2nd time or watch them striding around a film set in the Arizona Desert.
In between the specialist programmes with Patrick Moore (Michael Jackson did not host the highlights of the moonwalk), there was still time for Blue Peter, where no doubt an orbiter was made out of a washing up bottle, some toilet rolls and some sticky backed plastic.
Meanwhile tucked away on BBC 2 at 10.05pm was The Price Of Fame, a half hour entertainment show featuring Alan Price and Georgie Fame, while Pans People provided some decorative and artistic backing. Cosmic!!
We are quite lucky to have this footage. Not only did it survive the mass wiping but it is in colour and, as it has obviously been repeated by BBC4, it is in reasonably good quality.
I have to say that I really like this song and have spent many happy moments playing air piano to it. This may have influenced my overall rating. Price and Fame are a little more restrained than Jerry Lee Lewis was but it is a good rendition all the same.
As with all these backing dances we are left wanting to see a little more, and some close ups would have gone down well, but we do get to see a fair bit. I’m intrigued as to why half of the troupe are wearing short skirts and boots and the other half have longer flowing garments with shoes. I thought they might pair off accordingly but they don’t so it seems a bit random. The colour of their outfits is in my opinion a little too bland. They do blend in with the stage and background but there is no requirement for camouflaged dancers.
Plenty of nifty footwork on display and I do enjoy watching it
Goodness Gracious, I’m giving it 8 out of 10!
Obviously Al & Georgie command most of the camera, but what we do see of the late 60s Pans is pretty good indeed. Quite a novel idea having 3 girls dressed in one set of matching costumes and the other 3 dressed in another set. Love the lemon coloured boots outfits. I must admit to not playing enough early Pans and this made for a pleasant change. A shade less than our hosts rating, im at `7.5 out of 10`.
A great combination of talents with Alan and Georgie belting out a decent rendition of Great Balls of Fire, accompanied by the resplendent in yellow Pan's People jazzing up the visuals. It's a lively opening to a music show and a rare light entertainment survivor from an era where this kind of show was decimated in the BBC archives. The masters of the two existing Price of Fame episodes were no exception though to the swathes of videotapes wiped or junked, with copies being returned some years later from Belgium.
The live vocals and instrumentation is great, especially session drummer Barry Morgan seen around this time as part of Blue Mink. There's a great energy and our troupe are obviously enjoying themselves, so it's no wonder that this period is probably Ruth's favourite. The two existing shows certainly seem to have a colour theme to them with the costumes and set design in harmony. Although this is just a backing performance it is definitely worth an 8.
I have to admit that this is another one that I've hardly ever watched. I agree that it is enjoyable (even if much too short), and the girls seem to like this fast-paced number as well. Clearly it's early Pan's but that is nothing bad in my book. An entertaining 100 seconds or so, this is definitely one of the better backing dances.
7.5 / 10
Oh and this number will surely move up my playlist now.
Nice intro OGW; I think you were built for this Hosting stuff. I must admit I rarely watch these early Pans outings so thanks for the reminder. I do like the outfits with their boots and near-seethroughness and think the dance works better than a most "girl on girl" efforts I have to say that this is in my opinion one of those songs that only one singer can do justice but it's not bad. I would have liked more close ups but agree with others on the reason this doesn't happen so all in all I'd give this a 7/10 for being a watchable but rather fluffy piece.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Very much of-its-time this, apart from the song of course, with obligatory horns upgrading it for a light entertainment 'occasion'. Neither the music of the one era nor the style of dancing of the other usually do a lot for me to be honest, but here at least we have a jive with restless variation rather than go-go and as a clip it's fine in its own little way. It certainly has an energy that grabs the attention for whatever lies ahead. Pan's are lively in weak lemon backing quite possibly the most engaging piano face-off until, er, Lyndsey de Paul and Mike Moran. As others say not a good idea to blend the costumes with the set and while the diaphanous skirted ones appeal (and would even more so with close-ups!) their trousered counterparts look like they're in a disposable layer of protective clothing. Like a bracing punk number I think on this occasion the brevity is a strength rather than a deficiency. I'll be magnanimous and match my default score for a good Legs backing dance.
I like the lemon outfits, both styles, although as has been said the occasional close-up would have been nice. Its a bit frantic but then so is the, definitely not on my play list, song, which probably accounts for the brevity. Consequently I reckon a 6.5.
Well its been some time since we went back to the sixties, and although merely a few weeks away from another decade it still counts. With a huge amount of material from this era now gone, its nice to see something that somehow slipped though the wiping net, and in colour too. Georgie and Alan face off in a dualling pianos scenario giving a rousing rendition of Great Balls of Fire, while Pans dance about merrily on a rather neat yellow lego bricks style stage. Flicks packed rather a lot into under 2 minutes (i like the mirroring effect at about 0.20 and the linking arms turning circle a bit later), so its definitely a cut above a simple backing dance. Good stuff 8/10.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.
It's so good to see something from Pan's People that is from the 1960s and is in colour! I like this one which surprises me as before I wasn't to keen from these non TOTP appearances, but since the miscellaneous dances thread started, I have found myself enjoying more routines like this. It might be considered a backing routine by some, but I think that this just works well with the performance and I would say that they are the stars of the clip and anything else is backing them. Lemon yellow must have been popular, but I can see past that and think that their dancing is excellent which makes this a treat to watch.
Many thanks to Mikey and Legsfan for their ratings. It is good to know that this dance has been quite well received. One more rating will allow this to be included on the scoreboard, so hopefully that will come in this weekend.
Goodness gracious...and that's just for OGW's witty intro. Vibrant and dashing, the two stars of the show certainly rip through the Rock 'n' Roll standard, grand pianos slotted together as they fire off the notes left, right and centre. Takes a while to properly receive a good view of the dancers, clearly anything but mellow in yellow. A good way to accentuate the balance of blonde and brunette occurs in the rotating line portion with a decidedly less than full blast 'hup hup hup!' of the knees. A closer look at the partnerships would have been appreciated but overall. the performance and vibe is on the same tracks as the following months 'Pop Go The Sixties' would be in saluting hits of the past with a modern day accompaniment. With costume colours matching those of the set, one requires a lemon sorbet to quench that thirst onset.