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SILVER STAR -- 29/04/1976

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SILVER STAR -- 29/04/1976

VintageVideos
This post was updated on .
Silver Star
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Performed by The Four Seasons and reaching number 3 in the UK charts
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Original broadcast date 29/04/1976 Duration of dance - 3.04 mins
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Dancers: Cherry, Mary, Ruth, Sue
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A link to the dance:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX4xuhPKzrI
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It was 37 years ago today… The 29th April 1976 will always be remembered as a sad day in the history of Pan's People, as this was the day when their final routine was shown on Top of the Pops.

"Silver Star" was the third and final Top 10 hit of the Four Seasons' comeback period (not counting the re-release of "The Night") while at the same time Frankie Valli was also enjoying his solo career. The last single taken from their longplayer "Who Loves You", it had been edited from the 6.05 mins album version. What is special about "Silver Star" is the fact that it was the first Four Seasons A-side that did not feature the lead vocals of Frankie Valli, instead drummer Gerry Polci took the lead (which can be seen on their TOTP performance).

It's not an easy song to dance to with its rather slow middle section, but Flick took the opportunity and gave Ruth a stunning farewell solo here. And while Pan's People's first offering on this show, "More More More", is a rather joyous and upbeat affair, "Silver Star" turns into an almost mournful performance for about 70 seconds before we can see Ruth smiling again in the last part of the routine.

Why host Tony Blackburn makes no mention at all of this being Pan's People's final routine, is beyond me. And the fact that this dance was cut out of the BBC repeats in April 2011 just goes to show how much thought the BBC (did not) put in their editing policy.

Now for the hardest part, rating the routine. I'm sorry to say but as much as I try, this performance just isn't one of my favourites. It's not that I do not like it, it's just far from being a 10 for me. To begin with I don't think those dresses are very fortunate. The doubling effect is something that I can't seem to warm up to either. On the plus side, we get a few nice close-ups and Ruth's touching solo which no doubt is the best part of this routine.
Although I would have loved to submit a better rating for their final performance I just can't give any more than 8.5 out of 10.

My Dancer of the Day in this routine is of course a no-brainer, it can only be Ruth.
Vin
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Andeebee
As is this the last PP routine, it certainly isn't the best, the reason is twofold, the song is pretty bad, and the second Ruth is looking clumsy and really past  sell by date (she looks tired and no energy left in this routine) sorry but it does look pretty bad dancing wise.

5/10

DOTD: Sue - just stunning
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

BeautifulBabs
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
ahhhhhhhhhhhh not a ten but this is good- thoughts under collection
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

PattiForPM
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
I'm conflicted too when reviewing this performance.  Emotions are high with Mary and Ruth saying goodbye (silently of course thanks to Tony B and the Show's Producers!) and Sue and Cherry staying on.  Have to say I think they should have replaced Mr Valli a lot sooner on vocals IMO but that's another story; the song is quite good anyway.  Ruth's section is both effective and tearful but I can't say I'm that keen on the rest of the Dance really and those top halves are distracting and not in a flattering way from my standpoint/  Even the star-headbands look a little cheap to me and at times they look more like dead starfish than celestial head-coverings.  It's a shame as the ladies give of their very best here so what to mark this?  I will say 7.5/10 but if it wasn't a swansong it wouldn't be this high I admit.  DotD, as Vin says, surely has to be the lovely departing Ruth.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
LNV
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

LNV
This is indeed a sad day; not for the ending of Pans’ which had run out of new approaches to the all girl dance format, but for the last time we get to see Mary in all her magnificence.  A fine looking lady as others have mentioned.  Though I do wish Mary would smile more as Cherry does. Cherry knows how to project herself to an audience, is able to sell the Routine. How radiant looking is Cherry at a certain moment in ‘Silver Star’,{1:15} almost delightfully devilishly pleased with herself,  like a cat that has just caught a mouse. I guess knowing that you still have a dance career on TOTPs would have helped her positive outlook. ‘Poor Mary’ –it’s almost her referred to name. It is not enough to be pretty looking and able to play out the dance moves correctly. Maybe this is the overriding factor for Mary not being taken up by Flick in the dance troupes that came after.

Ruth doesn’t look overly tired or worn out in her camera close-up, a lovely face; however she may have felt that way possibly after such a lengthy tenure with Pans People. Ruth thankful to go behind the cameras to become co- manager of Ruby Flipper and also Legs & Co? That latter point needs clarification.

Unfortunate that Ruth’s last Pans’ solo is so poor, embarrassingly so. Is it Ruth giving a lacklustre performance or due to the dire choreography? I blame the latter. Not a dance at all, another of Flick’s arms and hands wind-milling. Reminds me of part aerobatic exercise and a bowler warming up for his first over. A sad day indeed. Nor is Ruth’s plainer styled, Elvis-in-Las Vegas looking tasselled-flared outfit really flattering to her; was Ruth intentionally via Flick parodying the Big E’s clownish stage moves perhaps? If it was, it was a poor decision as those antics did neither of them any favours.

Mary is a plus factor for the dance but regrettably placed at the back. As it was to prove to be Mary’s last time in a TOTPs Troupe, I would have liked to have chosen her for DotD. However as good as Mary is or of course Sue; Cherry is the greater. With Cherry all seems well with the world which puts the viewer at ease and consequently that Pans People are still a viable, continuing dance act with a bright future. The other dancers do not entirely dismiss from my mind, this being hindsight of course, that there is something amiss somewhere with Pans People; and in particular with a Routine that was to be Pans’ farewell performance.

6/10

DotD: Cherry.
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Andeebee
In reply to this post by PattiForPM
A little correction my Canadian friend, it isn't Frankie Valli on vocals, but I believe the drummer is
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Andeebee
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
I will also add, this is Vin & I third attempt at bringing the masses this routine, as the previous two attempts were dubbed to shoddy video.....but here we have it
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

PattiForPM
In reply to this post by Andeebee
Sorry ADB, I wasn't clear.  I knew from Vin's Intro that it wasn't Mr Valli but I was saying that I wished they had replaced him on earlier material too as I can't abide his nasal delivery.  Worst of all was "Big Girls Don't Cry" after which this big boy was in tears of his own, but I digress again....   Vid quality is great BTW
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: SILVER STAR -- 1976

RYAN
Administrator
   Im really comfortable with this brand of Pans People and like this final routine quite a lot. Infact im keen on both the final day performances, but this one edges it. Good song, skimpy outfits, the emotion of it all, the only dower is like folk say no mention by BBC this was the final dance. I wonder why that was ? Maybe it was Flicks decision not to mention it ?  
  I always have a wry smile when Sue manages to get her silver star crown caught up in her netting material. But what a terrific send off for Ruth, who puts in a startling solo section, adorned in a costume that she may have worn a few years earlier during the Classic pans era.

  Yep without any hesitation `Ruth` is my DOTD and i rate this routine quite highly, so its 9.25 out of 10 from me.
   
RYAN
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Colm
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
When I saw this for the first time around a decade ago, knowing it was the final Pan's People routine, I felt anticipation that they were given a decent send-off (albeit under-wraps at the time) - and "Silver Star" didn't disappoint.

Those costumes should be indecent but really aren't; there's energy in the verse sections and I too love Sue's tangled moment - I love even more that she carries on so impeccably.

Then, comes that marvellous middle section - and what a moment for Ruth to shine. After eight years, she's absolutely earned her solo moment - and she does a wonderful job in the circumstances. Her sense of emotion is palpable and while it shows on her face, it has little effect on how she executes her moves.

The down side for me of "Silver Star" is that Mary is relegated to the back without a decent close-up; lest we forget it was her last routine too and could, and should, have been acknowledged too in some way.  For that, I've had to dock a point...

...which leaves my score at 9 out of 10, and Dancer of the Day goes to Ruth
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Paperboyplod
A fine swan-song of a routine for Pan's People, the Ruth solo for the slow bit in middle of the song was very poignant, & moves you every time you watch it, I liked the bridal dresses, each of them complete with a Silver Star, PP certainly went out on a high.

9/10

DotD:-

Ruth
Justin
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Who's That Hurll
I must disagree with the esteemed North American gentleman above, about replacing Mr Valli early in the Four Season's tenure.
We then would have been deprived of the epic sounding'The Night', a no. 7 hit in 1975, having been originally recorded in 1971
This record was danced to by Pans People on 1/5/75 and I'm sad to see it's wiped, as I can imagine it being one of the best to dance to, with it's urgent changes in tone.

'Silver Star' I do believe to be a fitting finale to the Pans people era. I'm not sure we can lay blame here about the lack of announcements in this edition; we don't know what might have been agreed beforehand nor who was party to this information. The BBC 4 omission from the repeats was unforgivable and shows a lack of knowledge of the gold dust they are handling.
Certainly Ruth was aware of her fate during her emotional solo piece; suitably dressed to represent the Wild West aspect of the song. In the main feature she is bright and cheery, so I wonder if the piece on her own was filmed afterwards and not before?.
Normally, I would not be a fan of overlaying pictures of dancers on top of one another, but it works very well here.
The outfits are angelic and the routine is varied and perfectly timed , with both Ruth and Sue popping up close to the camera just when you want them to.
Mary fans will begrudge the lack of a send off for their favourite dancer and I think in hindsight 'More More More' could have been a good vehicle to send Miss Corpe away with our best wishes.
9/10
DOTD Ruth
WTH
Doc
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Doc
In reply to this post by Colm
It's a shame that Mary got hidden for most of this routine seeing that she wasn't coming back. However Sue stands out for me in this dance, so I'm giving her the dotd.
And if you're asking me when, I'll say it starts at the end.
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Suefan
Not I should imagine an easy song to choreograph, nor an easy one to dance to.  Consequently I find this number a little bitty, not quite out of kilter but hovering on the brink.  The costumes have a certain appeal although I'm not sure what they are meant to represent.  All that said whenever I watch this one I find myself enjoying it more than I was expecting I would and I'll give it a 7.5, the extra half for both Sue's entanglement with her veil and that moment of brief repose afterwards which has been cut in after Ruth's solo section.
Suefan
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Gorgeous Daze
First May I divulge this routine was two days before my 11th birthday.

A good song though not the equal of December 1963. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be stylistically, but that's not a bad thing in itself: some of my favourite artists 'defy genre'. It does make it difficult to choreograph though. I thought until this thread that Silver Star was from a wiped episode. I can only shake my head at the BBC staff who made the decision to cut such a moment in TOTPs history from the re-runs. The end of the road certainly didn't seem to show when Pans were validating the porn industry earlier on with More More More. But there are certainly signs here. I like to think of those big silver stars on their heads as a two-fingered salute to posterity to all those who continue to deride them for being too literal. Ruth seems close to the brink of tears during her solo, bless her. And contrast Cherry and Mary before that. As Cherry radiates triumph in her messianic pose, departing Mary looks truly dejected. There are a few things here that aren't good. Sue wrapping herself into a mess is one. And the main routine itself often looks like the girls are flailing at the song rather than harmonizing with it. Ruth's solo is too melodramatic, as though the emotion of her last dance is overriding sensitivity to the song. It would've been better suited to some big-haired Jim Steinman power ballad of the eighties. On the plus side I really like the costumes, and there are fleeting seconds when the girls do seem in the groove. I will give Ruth DOTD narrowly over Cherry. As LNV writes, the style of the solo might well have been Flick's idea. And Ruth does well to smile convincingly through the latter part having conveyed the sadness of the occasion earlier.

6.5/10
Steve
Doc
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Doc
It was one day before my 11th GD!

PS: Happy birthday for tomorrow.
And if you're asking me when, I'll say it starts at the end.
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Gorgeous Daze
How weird! Thanks and happy birthday for today Doc.  

I was born at 3:30am, so we were very nearly born on the same day.
Steve
Doc
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

Doc
About 6 hours apart, I just asked someone who was there and I was born after 2100.
And if you're asking me when, I'll say it starts at the end.
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Re: SILVER STAR -- 1976

PattiForPM
Maybe you're long lost twins!
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: SILVER STAR -- 1976

VintageVideos
Even their pictures show some remarkable similarities!
Vin
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