Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mr TV in wrestling heaven

Another day, another death. This time not a singer but a wrestler - Jackie Mr TV Pallo, the pony tailed bad boy of the ring whose book about the way the so-called sport was fixed was appropriately entitled 'You grunt, I'll groan'. As far as I know Mr TV never made a record, but his death brings to mind Kent Walton who commentated on wrestling in those innocent days when many of the TV audience actually believed it to be a genuine sport. Kent was also famous as a DJ and introduced 'Honey Hit Parade' on Radio Luxembourg, the station that everyone of my generation relied on to get a fix of the latest vinyl releases. The reception was iffy but where else could we get to listen to the rock and roll and pop hits of the day in the era before pirate radio? He was also the compere of 'Cool for Cats', one of the first pop shows on TV. 'Hi cats and kittens' he would say in his mid-Atlantic drawl, a ciggie draped from his fingers. The Radio Luxembourg DJs were the first to make a real impact in the UK. There was Jack Jackson, who would interrupt each record by saying 'title' - a real pain when I was recording the record it on my reel to reel tape recorder. Then there was 'That's it and that's all from yours truly Tony Hall', 'your DJ BA' Barry Alldis, Keith Fordyce who later went on to introduce RSG, Pete Murray, Sam Jaffa, Jimmy Savile (I was one of the first guys (or gals) to join his Teen and Twenty Disc Club) and dear old Fluff Freeman. In these days of wall to wall music radio, downloads and music videos it's hard to imagine just how primitive music broadcasting was in those days, or how hard it was to actually get to hear new releases (unless they were middle of the road hits). I vividly remember to this day hearing Little Richard's Baby face on Housewives Choice - it was just so unexpected. Listening to pop music was almost subversive at that time - frowned upon by bewildered adults and carried out covertly under the bedclothes with a crackly transistor radio. Great music though!


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