MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

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MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Old Grey Whistler
MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU
____________________________________________________________________________________
Original Broadcast Date:  Early 1969
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Troupe: Pans People
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Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise & Ruth + Adrian Le Peltier & Gary Downie
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Link: http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=507
____________________________________________________________________________________

From 1965 to 1975, Scottish songstress Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie  aka Lulu  was a regular on British TV screens. She initially featured on BBC2  including her 1967 series Three Of a Kind ,which she co-hosted with Mike Yarwood & Ray Fell, and featured The Gojo’s as her resident dance troupe.
The success of that series led to a promotion to BBC1 for her next series Lulu’s Back In Town. This was soon followed by Happening For Lulu, which ran for 13 episodes between December 1968 and March 1969, and featured none other than Pans People…
Many of the dance routines for this series were performed outside. This was due to the stage being very small as a result of having an in-house orchestra taking up a lot of studio space. This is what Lulu is referring to in her introduction, though she meant to say indoors rather than outdoors.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to identify the exact transmission date of this broadcast, so if anyone knows please update us. Judging by the introduction though, it is quite a way into the series.


























As far as this routine goes, well it’s nice that it exists but it is not one that I enjoy much. Unfortunately Lulu bags a lot of the close ups. I think this would have made for better viewing had she not been involved. I’m not a fan of the low camera angles either. The archive nature of the footage doesn’t help, nor does the studio lighting, so my score is just 5 out of 10. I do like this tune though.

Each week during the series, Lulu would sing a contender for A Song For Europe. Following an audience vote, Boom Bang-a-Bang was selected to be the UK's Eurovision entry and jointly won.
Without doubt the most infamous moment of the series was on the show transmitted on 4th January 1969 when Jimi Hendrix appeared. It gets a mention on Page 75 of the PP book and you can also watch the moment here.
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/jimi_hendrix_wreaks_havoc_on_the_lulu_show_gets_banned_from_bbc.html

Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

RYAN
Administrator
It may be happening for Lulu, but in all honesty its not really happening for me. The costumes and dance moves are pleasant enough, even the piece of music isn't to bad. But its difficult to get into this peering through the fuzzy monochrome. Sure its great this exists, but this isn't something id play to often, if ever.

Id score this `4.5 out of 10`, but if in colour id consider doubling that, oh and maybe lose the two geezers too.

Bit of a `SHOUT` out to Lulu at the start, who i thought looked delightful.
RYAN
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

AC/PD
Thanks for clearing up the initial confusion as to why the outdoors has no sky, OG. The cool art '60's monochrome doesn't really detract from a dance which, as a performance, benefits from the occasional close-ups. A cool tune for the dancers to groove to. A favourite moment occurs when two sets of legs enter the frame, roughly one and a quarter minutes in on the link - much more preferable direction to the low and upward camera stationed at the side of the stage...but that's the way it was back then.
6/10
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Suefan
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
An interesting survivor and a shame it isn't colour and better quality.  So only a 4 but I'd also have increased that had it not been so fuzzy.
Suefan
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

PansLegs
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
This is not something I've ever viewed outside of the context of the Happening for Lulu episode and therefore I'm not sure how well it stands up to being isolated. It is dance meets art to an extent and designed as something different, a diversion within the more standard entertainment surrounding it. Interestingly it was shot on film in the otherwise empty TV studio (you can see the rows of seats in some shots) and therefore it has a different feel than would otherwise have been obtained from pre-recorded video with the usual multi-camera set-up.



Of course, the BBC themselves retained neither the film insert nor the master recording of the show, so it's thanks to Lulu herself for keeping a home recording that we have it at all to assess. Therefore, I feel slightly harsh saying that Lulu's involvement here is fairly superfluous adding nothing to the proceedings. From a period that's sadly under archived, it's good to have and is obviously pre-regular TOTP from a different era with the 6 + 2 element. Being a BBC1 show of this period, unlike Bobbie Gentry on BBC2, this was never in colour and so although the existing recording is fuzzy and low-resolution at least it was always black & white. I quite like it for being different and as a representation of early Pans in arty mode, therefore 7/10.
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

PansLegs
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
I've just noticed that the date this performance was shown might not be known... it's 1st February 1969.
Doc
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Doc
The dates of the other Lulu performances are missing as well.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Willoway
This post was updated on .
Mikey rightly corrected me on the subject of Lulu show names a few weeks back; 'Happening for Lulu', with the Hendrix appearance ended on 4th Jan. Lulu's show continued from the 11th Jan with Song for Europe as simply 'Lulu'. Not sure if these are viewed as one series or two. Interestingly (?) her first big show, Gadzooks in 1965, had two in flight name changes, I think these are viewed as three separate series.

Edit: p4pm's comment below has reminded me of what little manners I have, thanks OGW for bringing an old performance to the fore and interesting commentary.
...is she really going out with him?
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

PattiForPM
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
I quite like this with it's driving beat and those striking mini-dresses and boots and all that go-go action.  Sure Lulu and the Boys intrude a bit but overall it's quite fun and worth a 6/10 in my book.  I must say in some of this early stuff when Louise comes into shot I can't help thinking that she's the ultimate 60s babe but admittedly all the Pans ladies look great here.  Thanks OGW for bringing this back to our attention
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

mojo2007
I confess to a soft spot for these early dances, which show Flick work in progress. There are brief but beautiful close-up shots  and a lively tune. A 6 would be a reasonable vote, for this Lulu item which I had not seen and is in better shape than those that I have seen.  
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Mikey
In reply to this post by Willoway
Indeed, the name change did occur from the 11th Jan show (the 3rd one) but since it was just a continuation (same people involved) i wonder what the reason was for the change. Perhaps the Hendrix situation was a little too 'happening'?.

♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.

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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Old Grey Whistler
Thanks for all your comments. It is nice to see Willoway visit this section. I just want to pick up on a point that he and Mikey have raised. My unproven theory on these changes of titles is that Happening For Lulu was the title devised before it was known that Lulu had been selected for Eurovision. From the 3rd show the BBC would have wanted to promote the Song for Europe bit as it involved audience participation, so they changed the title to Lulu. It is subtitled The song for Europe in the Radio Times although that bit wasn't included on screen. Then towards the end of the series after The Song For Europe had concluded they just dropped the subtitle and continued with Lulu.
Despite the change in titles it is regarded as one 13 part series and most websites, including Lulu's official one, refer to the series as Happening For Lulu.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Legsfan
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
I wasn't really sure if I should watch this one because of the dodgy Sendvid, but I clicked and it was nice to see Pan's People from the 1960s when not much survives from this time. I didn't really like this one, but it was nice to see Pan's back with some old friends.
Rating: 4/10
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Gorgeous Daze
This post was updated on .
Yes, one of those 'good that it survives' but scrambling for enthusiasm ones.

Well they're styled very nicely as we quickly see as they're being panned across with some promise and I'm not complaining about it lacking gender equality, but beyond that this just ain't my scene, man. The music sounds like a thousand other forgettable showtime-with-bluesy guitar 'tunes', the camerawork is shoddy, the moves at times a hop too close to sixties self-parody, and of course it's all spoilt in the blurriness.

And outside their control Lulu's 'quite a coincidence' corny intro template must've been borrowed a thousand times too.

Mercifully short in dress and duration.  3.75/10
Steve
Doc
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Doc
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
It's from 'Lulu' 01/02/69, the 'happening' bit got dropped after a couple of episodes. As far as I'm aware only some footage of Jimmy Hendrix survives from the happening shows.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
Doc
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

Doc
These old B&W clips certainly have a historical interest and I believe we have Lulu and Maurice Gibb to thank for 3 of the Lulu shows still surviving, however as always the quality detracts from the performance. It has a rather 60's feel to it but it's no stand out 6/10.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

VintageVideos
I'm happy for every little piece of PP footage that survives from the 60's, and this is no exception. But at the same time those early performances demonstrate the giant leap of quality that Pan's People took after they became regulars on TOTP. This is still typical 60's dancing and as such it is nice but far from breathtaking.

6 /10
Vin
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Willoway
In reply to this post by Doc
Doc wrote
It's from 'Lulu' 01/02/69, the 'happening' bit got dropped after a couple of episodes. As far as I'm aware only some footage of Jimmy Hendrix survives from the happening shows.
Not an expert on these things, but I think the Hendrix performance was a Bob Pratt tape to tape copy, whereas the 'Lulu' or later 'Happening for Lulu' if you prefer were Gibb family off-airs, so at least judging by youtube, the Hendrix performance is a better quality copy.
...is she really going out with him?
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

VintageVideos
Willoway wrote
Not an expert on these things, but I think the Hendrix performance was a Bob Pratt tape to tape copy
That is correct. BP only copied this segment from the Lulu show.
Vin
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Re: MERCY - HAPPENING FOR LULU

PansLegs
I don't believe BP is actually on record as saying he saved the Hendrix item is he? At least one other person has publicly said they saved it but there's a third name that isn't known publicly that I believe actually saved this recording even if it was subsequently copied by others.
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