Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A (sharper) thorn amongst six roses

Following on from yesterday's update of Queen of My Soul, Legs & Co's first ever appearance, here's a clearer, BBC4 version of another clip from the same 10 October 1976 episode I've also posted before: Ed "Stewpot" stewart introduces the six dancers, and announces the competition to find the group a name.



Of course the BBC seem to have mislaid the episode a few weeks later, where the chosen name was announced, so I'm afraid I can't show that historic moment here.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Legs & Co. - Queen of My Soul (improved)

Forum stalwart Ryan has pointed out that the previous UK Gold VHS version of this performance that I posted way back in 2010 is now broken, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to replace it with a clear BBC-4 version.



A routine worth updating, since this is the first Top of the Pops appearance of "Legs & Co.", before they had even settled on that name. So of course we start of with the cameras concentrating on our new dancers: Rosie, Pauline, and Gill.

All together a fairly laid-back routine, to a fairly sedate example of blue-eyed soul from those Dunfermiline caucasians, The Average White Band. Originally broadcast 21 October 1976.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Pan's People - (I've Got) Beginner's Luck.

I've been sent another rare, exclusive Pan's People performance by one of my generous, anonymous donors. It's another appearance on The Jack Jones Show, from 10 February 1974, this time featuring future Irish independent politician Dana, who's singing "(I've Got) Beginner's Luck".



The song was written by George & Ira Gershwin for Fred Astaire to sing (to Ginger Rogers, inevitably) in the 1937 film Shall We Dance. Which means the whole production has a strongly thirties period feel: very art deco set design and costumes, minimal geometric shapes in sharp contrasting colours. Everyone's hair has been set in tight Shirley Temple curls. And the choreography takes literal interpretation to new hights, with a series of blackout vignet gags on the beginner's luck theme. But wait, this literalism is utterly in keeping with the period setting: so all you sneering get-down, your-so-vain haters can just go and boil your heads. It's kitschy. It's intentional. Shut up.

Bags of charm here as every keeps up authentic period toothy chorine smiles. My favourite moment has to be Cherry displaying her mime skills in the fishing section, about 1'40": catching the proverbial old boot, you can see the tug on her line go through her whole body like a Peter Glaze double-take. You don't get to be Head Girl at Bush Davies for nothing.

Thanks are due to the generous anonymous donor for this spiffing clip.

watch on telly.com

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pan's People - Crackerjack 1974 (upgrade)

Discovered by forum regular Andeebee, and posted by him on youtube last year, here's an extended collection of clips from Crackerjack's 1974 Christmas pantomime special: "Aladdin".



Alongside Carckerjack regulars like Jaqueline Clarke, Don MaClean (that one, not that one) and Peter Glaze (yes, that one), we get a fine selection of British Light Entertainment legends: Derek Guyler, Richard Wattis, and Derek Griffiths.

I've previously posted the central "magic cave" sequence back in 2012. Thanks to Andeebee for unearthing this longer version.

Watch on telly | Andeebee's youtube post

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Legs & Co. - Somebody to Love

This early Legs & Co. performance from TOTP on the 2nd December 1976, is a rarity I've been seeking for a long time: dancing to Queen's "Somebody to Love".



Some very effective and dramatic use of those big, flouncy capes, and a particularly strong featured performance from Patti. And the nicely understated video mixed overlay shots obviously show the influences of Queen's own Bohemian Rhapsody promo video.

My thanks are due to Katy for sending this clip.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Legs & Co. - You Can (still) Do It

Here's another Legs & Co. routine from a Jimmy-Savile-led Top of the Pops episode that we'ed have seen a repeated around now if only his existence didn't have to be erased from the BBC's history. Dancing to Al Hudson's laid-back disco hit "You Can Do It".



I have posted this routine before, but I think this version is a slight improvement.

Watch on youtube | dailymotion

Friday, 3 October 2014

Pan's People - The Entertainer

I've had another generous contribution from an anonymous donor: this time it's a Pan's People Top of the Pops performance from 18 April 1974, dancing to Marvin Hamlisch's version of Scott Joplin's ragtime masterpiece, "The Entertainer".



A sort of chaste Can-Can in laura-ashley-style skirts. I don't know what those giant twenties-radio-looking things on the set are supposed to be. The contributor wondered if the soundtrack had been replaced, since the dancers are sometimes a little out of synch: I'd put it down to the flexible tempo of the music. In these days of machine-generated rhythm tracks, it's sometimes easy to forget that music, even music intended to be danced to, often had surprisingly variations in tempo in the past. In fact for ragtime pieces like this, that variance was an expected, approved and applauded feature of the performance. It's no fault of the dancers that they sometimes miss these variations, given their as-ever severely short rehearsal time on TOTP.

Thanks to my anonymous donor for this entertaining rarity.

Update: Embedded video fixed. I hope.

Watch on dailymotion | mobypicture