Wednesday, March 28, 2012

At last the 1952 Show

Daytime TV is usually fairly bland and in some respects the current series on BBC about life in Britain in the 1950s – the 1952 Show – is no different. Presenter Len Goodman of Strictly fame is rather annoying, with his constant arm movements and patronising script, but there are some interesting guests and some fascinating film of the era.
Yesterday the programme featured 50s pop star Marty Wilde and rocker Chris Fender Black, who showed off his Teddy boy suit and crepe soled brothel creepers. There was a fairly superficial discussion about these 50s fashions and rock and roll – but it didn’t go beyond the usual topics of Bill Haley and Elvis. Presumably the Beeb didn’t feel that anyone out there in TV land would recognise the names of anyone less well known. Nevertheless there was some good footage of jivers and early TV shows such as Oh Boy.
Today’s show featured the calypso and steel band music brought to the UK by West Indian immigrants and included interviews with a couple of musicians – Russ Henderson and Frank Holder. Frank played with the Johnny Dankworth septet and reminded viewers of the colour prejudice which was widespread in the fifties. Teddy boys were among the worst offenders, it should be remembered.
Like most Woodies, I was a child of the fifties – I was six in 1952. Rock and roll was still three or four years in the future and the first NME chart in that year was dominated by crooners and ballad singers. Rationing was still in place for some foods – it didn’t end until 1954 – and it was still the era of smog, gas meters, the wireless, trolleybuses, pig bins and warm school milk. It was a happy carefree time to be at primary school. I had a one mile walk to and from school which I did on my own from age seven, and there were no restrictions when it came to playing football or cricket in the woods on the way home. No one worried about paedophiles in those days.
You can catch up with the 1952 Show on BBC IPlayer and I would recommend it, if only for the original black and white footage.


At 7:10 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Alan Lloyd wrote: Did you know that the female jiver shown in Tuesday’s show (the one with Marty Wilde and Chris Fender Black) was Woodie Dan Coffey’s ex-wife?

So the show featured a Woodie (Chris Black) and a Woodie’s ex-wife!

We Woodies get everywhere!


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