Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

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Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

This post was updated on .
This is a new and revised posting of my original thread started in April 2012 which set out to identify the music which accompanied Pan's People In Concert. At that time, a few gaps and uncertainties remained, but thanks to the encyclopaedic knowledge and enthusiasm of everyone here - they have now been filled!

Special thanks therefore to Andeebee and Old Bill who were mainly responsible; to Mike Shenton of The Black Dyke Band; our lovely Sue whose Question Time prompted this second wave of research; to Young Mister Grace and Ryan for their encouragement; and to everyone else on the board; this is a great forum!

The original thread - complete with the mistakes, gaps and new research - can be viewed here.    


Pans People in Concert was first broadcast on the BBC on 17 April 1974 as a 35 minute show produced by Stanley Dorfman and featuring routines to a selection of music; not the hits of the day but a more eclectic selection including jazz and swing, as well as non-musical accompaniments.

The end credits include the musical performers but not the titles of the pieces, nor which performer is which. The purpose of this new post is to fill in the remaining gaps.

The Dancers:

At the time Pans People consisted of Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise and Ruth. Cherry had joined sixteen months previously but was still the youngest of the group, while OFTD’s goddess-in-residence Sue was about to take over from Louise and made her debut seven weeks and one day later. As well as ensemble routines, everyone contributes a solo while Louise and Dee Dee perform a memorable duet!
The Creator:

The end credits include Programme created and Choreographed by Flick Colby; I have always suspected that this originally read Choreographed by Flick Colby and that Programme created and was added to give Flick her well-deserved credit for the concept, and for selecting the music.

The Music:

The end credits state that Pans People … danced to the music of followed by this list (which is not in order of performance):-

Ella Fitzgerald
Judy Collins
Buddy Miles
Wes Montgomery
The Black Dyke Mills Band
Tibetan Bells
The Audience
Jan Akkerman

The Credits:

It now appears that #3 and #6 were in fact pieces performed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Duke Ellington respectively. After further research and enquiries, there is no indication that Jan Akkerman or The Black Dyke Band performed any of the music used in the show, or that they ever collaborated with Ellington and Jobim. The question then is, how did they come to be credited. I can only think that pieces by these performers were included, and then replaced with others without the credits being changed. My impression is that the programme was recorded on more than one day at more then one venue and then edited together; which seems to favour this theory. Others will be more familiar than I am with how TV programmes are put together, and may have better explanations.

So now ... on to the music!

# 1 – Face the Music - Ella Fitzgerald (Pans People)

This is the best known piece – indeed perhaps the only really well known one; and accompanies a 1920s style palm court ballroom dance by the whole group. The song was written in 1936 by Irving Berlin for the musical 'Follow The Fleet' and originally accompanied a dance by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Many artists have performed the music since, with this being possibly the most familiar version.

# 2 – White Light - Tibetan Bells (Ruth)

A slow-moving piece featuring Ruth in front of a giant flower. The music is taken from the album Tibetan Bells released in 1971 by Henry Woolf and  Nancy Hennings who, as performers, also went under the name of Tibetan Bells. The track has been slightly slowed down for the programme. Woolf and Hennings are credited with making the first recording to use traditional Tibetan bells and singing bowls.  

# 3 –  Wave – Antonio Carlos Jobim (Pans People)

A carefree instrumental piece featuring Pan's People by the seaside, with the sound of breaking waves, and dry ice effects which threaten at one point to overwhelm them. Jobim was a Brazilian musician and composer, and a leading exponent of bossa nova. He composed The Girl From Ipanema and also wrote this piece, which is the title track from his 1967 album of the same name.

# 4 – My Father - Judy Collins (Cherry)

A balletic solo by Cherry which was to become something of a trademark for her (though Misty Blue is the only other example I can think of straight off), and an opening and closing backdrop of French Impressionist style paintings. Judy Collins' early career in the 1960s was strongly influenced by her father, a radio announcer and musician, who was blind. She composed this song from the album Who Knows Where The Time Goes released in 1968, and has since written a children's book based on it.  

# 5 – The North Wind and the Sun – Aesop (Dee Dee)

A solo performance to the spoken words of Aesop, in which costume watchers will recognise the striped cloak worn by Georgie Fame in Seventh Son. Some commentators attribute this performance to Louise. Aesop was a semi-mythical storyteller who is supposed to have lived in Greece in the sixth century BC, and is best known for the collection of fables which bear his name.  

# 6 – Willow Weeps For Me - Duke Ellington (Pans People)

A group performance with a Chinese or Japanese theme, possibly suggested by the willow of the title and carried over into the set, costumes and hairstyles; while the idea of the bridge set may have been derived from the Willow Pattern legend. Haunting jazz instrumental originally written - with lyrics - by Ann Ronell in 1936 and said to have been inspired by the willows at her alma mater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has been recorded by many artists since, with this version by Duke Ellington taken from his 1957 album Indigo.

Incidentally out of dozens of versions, Andeebee not only knew the music, but the performer as well. Incredible

# 7 – 69 Freedom Special – Buddy Miles Express (Louise and Dee Dee)

To call this a memorable duet is a bit of an understatement; a ground-breaking dance performed without any steps and in the smallest and most expensive costumes ever provided for Pan's People. The instrumental music co-written by James McCarty originally appeared on the album Electric Church released in 1969. It is said Jimi Hendrix, a long standing associate of Miles, played on some tracks, including this one, as well as partly producing the album. Currently the music is available on the album Best of Buddy Miles.

# 8 – Little Child (Daddy Dear) - Wes Montgomery (Pans People)

Slow wistful jazz / blues music with childhood photographs of the girls; some easier to identify than others! From the album Tequila released in 1966 (also appears on the compilation album Jazz Lullaby).

# 9 – To Yelasto Pedi (The Smiling Boy) - Mikis Theodorakis (Babs)

Avant-garde tone poem from the distinguished Greek composer responsible for the music for the film Zorba The Greek. The piece is part of a song cycle taken from the soundtrack album to the film Z, a 1969 political thriller; confusingly, there is more than one piece by Theodorakis with the same name. Some commentators on In Concert give this music the title Heartbeat.

# 10 – There are Smiles - The Audience (Pans People)

Attributed to The Audience, as they sing it. Pans People venture into singing and tap dancing … a routine sometimes cited by group members in later interviews as a mistake. The song was written in 1917 by Lee Roberts and Will Callahan and recorded - or at least broadcast - by Judy Garland, as well as other artists. Only the chorus is used in the programme.

# 11 – Noises - Brian Showell (Pans People)

Not music at all, but miming to a selection of everyday sounds, with a few visual clues on the backdrop. The piece seems to have been composed specially for the programme, as it is individually credited with its author; and is loosely based on a typical “day in the life” with getting up, doing housework, travelling by train, in an office, shopping, evening out, late night cocoa, and going to bed. The music towards the end was the theme for the BBC Nine O’Clock News at the time, with the rapid rhythm perhaps based on a newsroom teleprinter.
# 12 – L.A. Resurrection - Buddy Miles Band (Pans People)

Energetic finale featuring a high-kicking ‘curtain call’ and referees' whistles from the audience and the girls. Music taken from the 1973 album Chapter VII, bonus track version with Buddy Miles Express having now become the Buddy Miles Band.

Once again, a big thank you to all my worthy collaborators out there in the ether, without whom there'd have been nothing new to write! Further information and corrections on this thread very welcome. And most of the music is available on the internet, so post here if you'd like some links.
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Re: Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

Really a labour of love and a great effort of all involved, thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge!
Sue joined PP in June 1974 though, so you may want to rethink the 14 months.
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Re: Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

Glad to help out DD, nice labour of love finished for future gens to see.........If the BBC don't show it I'll pop it up on DM, will need to tinkler first
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Oops, well spotted, Vin, have changed it (but do leave your post in). This gives added point to the comment I've sometimes heard that In Concert was a bit of a swansong for the 1973 / 74 Pans line up.  
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Re: Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

Someone admitted to writing there are smiles ?
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: Pans People In Concert - The Music - Take 2

Apparently ... though nearly a hundred years ago, when things were probably different.