Thursday, 19 May 2011

TV Times No. 98: Northern Edition Sep 15 - 21 1957

This excellent TV-Times cover commemorates the second anniversary of ITV, at least for London viewers. On page 6, the Managing Directors of the major contractors comment on the first two years. Gerald Scheff writes on page 7 about the special to be aired on Friday (birthday) night, Salute to Show Business. Quite an array of stars turned out for the occasion, headlined by Peter Sellers, Margaret Lockwood and Dickie Valentine.

The Sunday Morning Church Service was to hold the 11AM and later 10 AM slot for over twenty years, providing opportunities for the OB crews around the regions to gain an occasional network showing. More usually, the big ATV and ABC stations took it in turns to hold their OB crews overnight after Saturday Sportstime for a church service in the same vicinity. Read about the concept and the scheduling decision on page 19.

The cover shows the stars of this week’s Chelsea at Nine. Edgar Bergen was the ventriloquist and Charlie McCarthy, his best loved character. On page 11, there is an article and pictures of other members of the star’s puppetry, Effie Klinker and happy “hayseed” Mortimer Snerd.

Another unique comedian of the period was Max Wall who was to host his own weekly show. Read the article on his many faces and characters on pages 20-21, the |prolific writer of scripts and gags”. Another popular entertainer of the years to come was Max Bygraves. Read about his early career on page 18. ABC had a new star variety show for music hall entertainers described in an article on page 9. One of the new stars to be featured was Lonnie Donnegan.

The James Bond Cult - 1965

This Magazine entitled "The James Bond Cult" was a supplement that came with the Saturday Evening Post back in 1965.

The Picture goer - Diana Dors

Below are three covers of Picturegoer from the 1950s that featured the adoreable Diane Dors .

This particular cover dates back to 1955

This cover goes back to 1956

And finally this picture dates back to 1957

Merseybeat - The Beatles top the poll!

Mersey Beat was a music publication printed in Liverpool in the early 1960s. It was founded by Bill Harry, who was one of John Lennon's classmates at Liverpool art College. The paper carried news about all the local Liverpool bands, and stars who came to town to perform.

The Beatles had a close association with Mersey Beat, which carried many exclusive stories and photos of them. They also published several of Lennon's early writings, including a history of the band, and occasional comical classified advertisements by him as space filler.

In 1962, Mersey Beat held a poll to find out who was the most popular Merseyside group. The results were announced on 4 January 1962:

1. The Beatles
2. Gerry & The Pacemakers
3. The Remo Four
4. Rory Storm & The Hurricanes
5. Johnny Sandon and The Searches
6. Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes
7. The Big Three
8. The Strangers
9. Faron & The Flamingos
10. The Four Jays
11. Ian and the Zodiacs
12. The Undertakers
13. Earl Preston & The TTs
14. Mark Peters and the Cyclones
15. Karl Terry and the Cruisers
16. Derry 7 The Seniors
17. Steve and the Syndicate
18. Dee Fenton and the Silhouettes
19. Billy Kramer and the Coasters
20. Dale Roberts and the Jaywalkers

The results were printed in issue 13 of Mersey Beat on 4 January 1962, with the front page announcing, “Beatles Top Poll!” Paul McCartney supplied the issue's cover photograph, which was taken by Albert Marrion.

Such was the popularity of the poll, Rushworth's music store manager, Bob Hobbs, presented Lennon and George Harrison with new guitars. Many groups in Liverpool complained to Harry that his newspaper should be called Mersey Beatles, as he featured them so often.

Elvis Presley - Sails (1958)

Elvis Presley,Elvis Sails - Japan Edition,Europe,CD ALBUM,535429
It was 22nd September 1958 in Brooklyn, Elvis Presley had left the United States on the USS Randall on his way to West Germany where he performed his military service. This was documented by a press conference which has now become legendary. Excerpts from the press conference and two additional interviews were recorded just before he went on board and released as the EP 'Elvis Sails'.

The Original EP
1. Press Interview With Elvis Presley
2. Elvis Presley's Newsreel Interview
3. Paul Hernon Interviews Elvis In The Library Of The U.S.S. Randall At Sailing

The Press Meets Elvis
4. Highlights From The Press Conference

Press Conference Excerpts
5. About The Army Days
6. 25 Gold Records
7. German Language
8. From Forth Hood To Brooklyn
9. About His Fanclubs And Fanmail

Steve's First: The 1981 World Snooker Championship

The 1981 Embassy World Championship Snooker Final took place at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield between 6 and 20 April 1981. Steve Davis won in the final 18-12 against Doug Mountjoy.

Steve Davis, who had only won the UK Championship 5 months previously, won the championship at the third attempt when he beat debutant Jimmy White (who at the time was the youngest ever player in the championship at the age of 18 years and 11 months), Alex Higgins, Terry Griffiths, defending champion Cliff Thorburn before beating Doug Mountjoy 18–12 to win his first ever title at the age of 23 years and 8 months. This made him the second youngest champion since Higgins in 1972.

Former Grease star in coma

Jeff Conaway is in a critical condition after being found unconscious from a drug overdose (AP)

Jeff Conaway, the star of Taxi and Grease, is in a coma following a drug overdose.

His manager Phil Brock said the 60-year-old was found unconscious on May 11. He is in hospital in a critical condition. Mr Brock said Jeff is in a coma in a California hospital and his recovery is uncertain.

As part of the reality show Celebrity Rehab in 2008, Jeff discussed his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

His manager described Jeff as a "gentle soul" but one who has been unable to "exorcise his demons".

Conaway appeared in the 1978 movie musical Grease and starred in the TV series Babylon 5.

The Heath Government, 1970 - 74 (Part One)

Margaret Thatcher served as Education Secretary throughout the term of the Heath Government, 1970-74. In many ways 'Thatcherism' was the product of that experience, both for her and for the Conservative Party.

Edward Heath had a poor opinion of his Education Secretary, Margaret Thatcher, and of her department, from the very beginning of her tenure in 1970, official records show. Margaret Thatcher struggled to interest the Prime Minister in education policy, with little success.

Bad chemistry between the two seems to have explained much of the difficulty. A proposed meeting to discuss "The Principles of Education" took 18 months to arrange and Thatcher's suggestion that it take place over a weekend at her home in Kent was instantly dismissed by Heath. An official thoughtfully suggested to the Prime Minister in October 1970, only four months into Thatcher's tenure as Education Secretary: "I doubt if it would be practicable to exclude her from the discussion, but you might perhaps like to bring in a number of non-officials to liven things up".

Nevertheless the long awaited meeting, which took place at Chequers in January 1972, proved helpful to Thatcher, then at the low point of her time at the Department of Education and Science (DES). Ironically, the press interpreted it as a sign of Heath's confidence in his Education Minister and her officials.

The "Principles of Education" were not much discussed at the meeting, in fact. The minute shows Heath springing into life only on the subject of music teaching. Thatcher was well-briefed, as ever, and responded in detail, instantly conceding the Prime Minister's request that the London music colleges receive direct funding on the same scale as the Royal College of Art.

Private minutes also show that Heath was highly critical of DES officials - as Thatcher was herself on occasion - finding their paperwork slow and inadequate. In November 1971 there were discussions between the Prime Minister and officials at Number Ten on "the internal problems of the Department of Education and Science", an unusual proceeding in Whitehall terms.

The DES could never get it right. Heath complained angrily (with some justice) that "an amicable process for consultation" on reform of student union finance had turned into "a very sour wrangle with Dons and students alike". Less fairly, a technical change to the law governing work experience for children was rejected by him as "reactionary & wrong", though it had the endorsement of the Cabinet's Home Affairs Committee and in modified form was eventually accepted by the Prime Minister himself.

Thatcher on her part criticised to Heath's face his cherished "Programme Analysis and Review" initiative, designed to identify cuts in bureaucracy and make expenditure savings. She pointed out the heavy demands it made on officials and doubted whether it would improve decision-making. In this she was prescient: historians generally rate PAR a costly waste of time.

By the end of 1972 Thatcher's position politically was stronger and her relations with Heath a little less strained. She had no difficulty persuading the Prime Minister to accept a new White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion, securing for the DES its share of the rapidly increasing level of public expenditure.