12-02-81: Presenter: Richard Skinner (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(28) THE PRETENDERS – Message Of Love
(2) ULTRAVOX - Vienna (video)
(31) BARBARA JONES - Just When I Needed You Most
(39) COAST TO COAST – (Do) The Hucklebuck
(32) GILLAN - Mutually Assured Destruction
(50) GEORGE BENSON - What's On Your Mind (danced to by Legs & Co)
(34) FREEEZ – Southern Freeez
(17) SLADE - We'll Bring The House Down ®
(53) BEGGAR & CO. – (Somebody) Help Me Out
(54) KELLY MARIE – Hot Love
(1) JOHN LENNON - Woman (video) (and credits)
A double dose of Co. on this particular edition. Back from a week away, the Legs Company returns to the fray, getting their act over and done with prior to a Beggar getting in on the act. The freelancing jazz-funk and soul act members of Beggar & Co. had already appeared on the show a few weeks earlier, covering Bob Marley's gun-totin' 'I Shot The Sheriff" as part of the Light Of The world band. Having seen the light, those who went begging were Breeze McKrieth, Kenny Wellington and David Baptiste whilst going Incognito into another offshoot were Jean Paul Manuik and Kenny Williams. Mentioned by guitarist Breeze McKrieth in the Story Of 1981 was his suggestion to Richard Skinner's query of how best to describe their sound as part of the intro. that they be describes as producing "Tramp-funk" - edited out of the final broadcast. Come the Summer and Beggar & Co. would be lending their distinctive brassy jazz accompaniment to Spandau Ballet's 'Chant No.1'. Their very own Chant No.2 , bracketed after Mule, the follow up to '(Somebody) Help Me Out' reached No.37 in the charts with tonights offering going to No.15 during a 10-week run. Good to see the TOTP actually helping the Beggars out, all wearing hats ready to be doffed at any time in order to receive any spare change. For the young among us, that green slip of paper is a pound note,which ceased being legal tender in 1988 (damn)
By the time Hackney outfit Freeez were wanted on the studio floor, guest singer Ingrid Mansfield Allman was ever so slightly "squiffy" as a result of hanging around the BBC bar to kill time, receiving plenty of attention and drinks courtesy of the fascinated establishment veterans. Once called away for a camera rehearsal, the sight of a piece of straightforward metal acting as a dummy mic in the stand (were the sound and equipment engineers still in the bar too?) gave Ingrid a fit of the giggles. Not exactly laughing along was 'cheerful' old Michael Hurll, vacating his lofty raised-seat position in the gallery to try and instill some order to proceedings. Fully aware that it would be 'lights out' by 10pm, Hurll bowed to her request to get both stand and fake mic off the stage in order to get the performance of a song which reached No.8 'in the can'. Southern Freeez is cold in name only, the bright and breezy vocals givng the record an air of a less jazzy version of Swing Out Sister's 'Breakout'. Presently working as a college teacher in North London and journalist too, Ingrid liaised with Beggar & Co. for an onstage appearance at the 2009 Summer Soulstace event.
He's gone MAD...Mutually Assured Destruction giving (Ian) Gillan the opportunity to blend the sound from his time singing into a proper microphone as Deep Purple singer with a Blockbusters style keyboard playing through the smoke and sweat. No. 31 was it's highest placement during a 5 week chart run, a position currently held, and not bettered, by Barbara Jones, a backing singer to Jimmy Cliff around recent years back then and a Jamaican lady who moved from the reggae style heard on tonight's cover of the Randy Vanwarmer number danced to by Legs & Co. to Gospel through Christianity conversion in 1991. Barbara left us just over a year ago, contracting pneumonia, her body having been weakened through chemotherapy treatment.
Completing the quartet of tonight's TOTP debutants, along with Barbara Jones, Freeez and Beggar & Co. comes Coast To Coast covering (and adding 'Do' to the title in brackets) a record which first appeared as an instrumental in 1949BBC - Before British charts - recorded by Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers backing group. Just a few months later, Tin Pan Alley lyricist Roy Alfred provided the words since sung by Chubby Checker, Canned Heat and has been cited as the standard to have been covered the greatest number of times in so many varied formats. This Coast To Coast cover, reaching No.5 in the UK Charts is performed Bucks Fizz style...an inspiration for 'Making Your Mind Up' perhaps.
As with the recent Stray Cats appearance, Coast To Coast provided their own backing dancers. What's On Your Mind? Wondering if such a back-to-back presence was mere coincidence or a very gradual attempt by Michael Hurll to reshape the show. Number 45 for this 45 danced to by the returning Legs & Co. For the third time this year, lovely Lulu gets picked out the opening camera close-up - a possible quiz contender for the End Of Year quiz, tentatively scheduled for June.
For the third time this year, lovely Lulu gets picked out the opening camera close-up - a possible quiz contender for the End Of Year quiz, tentatively scheduled for June.
An excellent synopsis of tonight's TOTPs PD.
So I'm not the only person to spot this growing phenomenon of dances starting with Lulu in the opening shot. For me, they're Cool - Camera One On Lulu For this, I applaud the great directing from the team in the Gallery
On first glance at the running order i have a feeling this show wont last long in my memory bank. But i cant argue with the opening act as i like The Pretenders very much. I hope im pleasantly surprised with the rest of the show, as ever PD, thanks for your preview.
Looks a good episode tonight - looking forward to The Pretenders, Beggar and Co and of course Legs and their own Co!, also the first show with the spinning logo and it's background collage titles which lasts until Yellow Pearl and the flying records make way.
Might end up being as lively as Richard Skinner's jumper overall.
A clue as to where Kelly Maire's currently touring might be seen in the attire sported by her backing dancers whilst performing Hot Love which isn't a cover of the T-Rex classic.
I'm guessing that John Lennon, being viewed as a far more credible act, than Joe Dolce, gets away with also keeping Ultravox off the #1 spot, & is spared so much grief.
Anyways, onto this week's overall line-up, there's plenty to get down, & dance to, Kelly Marie, with a decent follow-up single, & Begger & co., getting seriously funky.
Freeez, were nice, with the far more underrated of their biggest hits. Barbara Jones, cover version of Randy Vanwarmer's one-hit-wonder was a decent one.
I've just had to YouTube Gillan, I didn't know the track, edited out in the early BBC Four broadcast, it's okay, no much more to say really.
Coast To Coast, also didn't make this cut, but deserved to be aired nonetheless, a great party track there.
Slade, a repeat act, justifiably also cut, for time, but at least we get to see Chrissy Hyde with her Pretenders, & Legs & Co., were really on fire at this point, that just makes me feel that the forthcoming revamp of TOTPs, should never have happened.
On first glance at the running order i have a feeling this show wont last long in my memory bank.
Well it was better than i expected, but i think i can say the first half outshone the second half. I must admit though i surprisingly quite enjoyed the Reggaefied JWINYM, but not enough for it to come anywhere near my weekly vote tomorrow. I have that between two at the moment and i doubt anything on the later show will come into the equation .
The Pretenders: Not a band I'm generally impressed with, but this one that I didn't know sounded like one of their better ones.
Barbara Jones: Not keen. She took a lot of the beauty away from Randy's original. I'm not a fan of reggaefication.
Coast To Coast: More enjoyable than I remembered. Like the pedal pushers!
Gillan: Not what and more interesting than I expected.
George Benson: Like the dresses, nice routine. Undecided on the song.
Freeez: Like the song but Ms Mansfield Allman (that's very manly, no wonder she was wearing trousers) pooped her own party.
Beggar & Co: See weekly poll.
Kelly Marie: A curate's egg. Cheesy but with some cool Giorgio Moroder influence in there.
No ADB, there's a bunch of these examples (referring to Ryan's excellent UK Chart position list in the Legs List section) but the only lower example I can see is the atrocious Gene Farrow whose tune deservingly only reached #70 so from my brief look it seems this was perhaps the lowest placed Troupe-only Dance
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Further examples, up until the current date of late February 1981 are Let's Go Disco, although Legs & Co. were more involved in audience participation for that one and Que Tal America where Gill & Rosie flanked the man with the wobbly bongoes.