Tuesday, 30 September 2014

1971 - I'd like to teach the world to sing

NME recently published a list of the 500 best singles ever.  Scientific analysis showed that only 4 of the best singles ever were from the 1950s  or earlier and eight of the best singles ever were by the Arctic Monkeys.  77 of the best singles were from the 70s and almost twice that number dated from the 1990s.

I’m sorry, NME.  You’re just wrong.  Around 450 of the best singles ever came out in the 1970s.  No?  ok, let’s try again.  Maybe a hundred came from the 50s, a hundred from the sixties, two hundred from the seventies and a hundred from the 80s, 90s, 00s and whatever we’re in now, combined.  Now we’re talking. 
Rolling Stone produced a similar list.  It was heavily skewed towards the 60s.  To put it another way, these lists reflect the period when the compiler was a teenager.  And the 1970s were a great time to be a teenager in a record shop. I hit the grand old age of ten in 1971, not yet a record buyer but increasingly aware of what was in the charts. 

Everything from before 1961 was history.  Elvis, Queen Victoria, the Romans.  Didn’t mean I wasn’t interested in them, it just meant they were from before my time.  Things from the 60s weren’t particularly interesting because they’d always been around.  I took the Beatles for granted because they had just been part of the soundtrack of growing up. 
And now the 70s had arrived.  So when I heard something new it was new to everyone.  T.Rex, Bowie, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep. All new, all ripe to be claimed.  Not old folks music, not parent’s music, not uncle’s or big sister’s music.  Mine.  Well that isn’t strictly true.  Older sister had first dibs.  But anything she didn’t like was mine. 
Early days exposure to pop music meant Saturday night variety shows, and later, Saturday morning kids shows.   And of course Top of the Pops.  TOTP was a great equaliser.  If something was in the charts it was on Top of the Pops.  It didn’t matter if it was Clive Dunn’s Grandad, Deep Purple’s Black Night or T.Rex with Get It On.  There was no quality control, other than the record buying public liked it.  The fact that those buying Grandad were not the same people who were buying Get It On was immaterial. 

Interestingly (well, I think so) Grandad was written by Herbie Flowers, who also created the bass line on Walk on the Wild Side and played on Space Oddity.
According to Wikipedia this is what got played on Top of The Pops in 1971.

Lynn Anderson – "Rose Garden",  Atomic Rooster - "Devil's Answer",  Badfinger – "No Matter What",  Cilla Black - "Something Tells Me",  Dana - "Who Put the Lights Out?",  Deep Purple - "Black Night",  Clive Dunn - "Grandad", Family - "In My Own Time",  Greyhound - "Black And White",  The Hollies – "Hey Willy",  Elton John – "Tiny Dancer",  Jackson 5 - "Mama's Pearl",  John Kongos - "He's Gonna Step On You Again",  Lulu - "Everybody's Got the Clap",  Tami Lynn - "I'm Gonna Run Away from You",  Middle of the Road - "Solely, Solely",  The Mixtures - "The Pushbike Song",  The New Seekers - "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", Cliff Richard - "Sunny Honey Girl", "Flying Machine", "Sing A Song Of Freedom",  Clodagh Rodgers - "Jack In the Box", "Lady Love Bug",  The Rolling Stones – "Brown Sugar", "Bitch", "Wild Horses",  Rod Stewart – "Maggie May",  Séverine - "Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue",  Slade "Get Down & Get With It", "'Coz I Luv You",  Tin Tin "Is That the Way?",  T. Rex – "Hot Love", "Get It On",  The Who – "Won't Get Fooled Again".

Not sure how many of those are Top 500.  "Won't get fooled again" certainly, "Coz I Luv You" too, "Maggie May" maybe.  But there's a load of crap there too.  Maybe NME had a point.

Monday, 29 September 2014

1970 - Apple pie for breakfast - we can't be poor after all!

I haven't abandoned my quest to write something about each year from 1961 to 2014, just been a bit preocccupied with other stuff.  We've had 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.  So we're up to the 70s

For the sake of tidiness we like to group historic periods into, erm, historic periods; things are just neater that way.  Terms like the Reformation, the Dark Ages, the Age of Discovery vie with the Olde Days, Bygone Tymes and Yesteryear.  There is a shared idea of what these time periods refer to without any real understanding of what they actually meant or even when they happened. 

The 1800s can be summed up as Georgian Times and the Victorian Age.  The former is flouncy and directionless, post-1837 the Empire Struck Out; Great Britain became Top Dog.  Then the dog up and died. Following a brief Edwardian period (which a mere half century later caused Teddy Boys) the Great War (a spat between three cousins: the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar) was followed by the Roaring Twenties, the Depression of the '30s, the Warring Forties, the Nifty Fifties and of course the Swinging '60s. 

In 1967 a review of Sergeant Pepper in a proper newspaper said that there was nothing about the album that would have been possible a decade earlier.  That may have been overstating things a bit but there is no doubt that Jerry Lee Lewis wasn't writing A Day in the Life in 1957, Chuck Berry wasn't playing Lucy in the Sky. 1969 was more different to 1961 than 1769 was to 1761.  Or 1701 to 1799.  Probably.

Is it fair to say that the 1960s began grey and ended in technicolour, while the 1970s began in glorious sunshine and ended (at least in the UK) under a big cloud?

1970 was something of a watershed year. A year when some of the old certainties disappeared - the half crown, the ten shilling note and the Beatles all ceased to be legal tender;  the last vessel trading solely under sail, the Thames Barge Cambria, carried her last cargo.

On the other hand the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18, the Gay Liberation Front orgaised its first march, the first Glastonbury festival happened, the first page three girl appeared (time to retire now), the Range Rover (the original Chelsea Tractor) was launched, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked a plane which was forced to land at Heathrow.  Just like Leila Khaled said.

Did these things have anything in common? Only that they probably made Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells reach for his green biro and blast off an angry missive to the Daily Mail.  Whose readers are still disgusted.

Musically speaking the top ten for this week (Feb 7) in 1970 included Jethro Tull and Badfinger, but also Edison Lighthouse (number 1 with Love grows where my Rosemary goes), Peter Paul and Mary were leavin' on a jet plane, and Rolf Harris was enjoying success with Two Little Boys.  A new entry in the top 40 was I was born under a Wanderin Star by Lee Marvin which reached No 1 a few weeks later.

March 21st: no1 Wanderin' Star, no 2 Bridge Over Troubled Water, no 3 Let It Be, no 4 I want you back by the Jackson 5 - Every one a winner: can you even tell me any song that has troubled the top 4 in the last six months?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

1969 - the sixties were like science fiction

"The sixties were like science fiction" said Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. 

 Nice start, fellas. Giles cartoon, Sunday Express July 1969
This thread started in 1961 with Yuri Gagarin, returning safely from space. And here we are in 1969, walking on the moon. To a nine year old boy this seemed entirely natural, the logical next step following from steam engines and trains, the internal combustion engine and cars, magic and airplanes, rockets and sputniks and Mercury Men and cosmonauts and astronauts and Apollo, today walking on the moon, next year building a space staion in the Bay of Tranquility, holidays on the moon by 2001. Logical. 

Obviously the science was backed up by television: The Jetsons, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Thunderbirds, The Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone. The movies too: 2001, A Space Oddysey came out in 1968 as did Planet of the Apes. First Men in the Moon (1964) and First Spaceship on Venus (1960) and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968) all sound like classics (although I'm sure I didn't see any of them). It was in the air, it was in comics, newspapers, on the news, children's television, we took it for granted. This is the future. Just round the corner. We really were promised jet packs.
 Purple hearts taste ever so nice, Giles cartoon, Sunday Express, 31 August 1969
What else happened in 1969? Woodstock.  Hippie heaven.  Altamont.  Hippie hell.  And in between: the Isle of Wight festival.  These cartoons from the Sunday Express illustrate the gulf between straight Britain and the counter culture.  For Sunday Express readers hippies were just another alien group, ripe for taking the piss, along with Union Leaders, Football Hooligans, mini skirted MPs, striking ambulance crews, striking nurses, striking postal workers, traffic wardens, civil servants and dodgy market traders selling genuwine moon rocks.
Having a happening, Giles cartoon, Sunday Express, September 2nd 1969
Wrapping up the space age (part one) was David Bowie with Space Oddity.  Released in November 1969 and often dismissed as a cash-in novelty song it was in fact a brilliant bit of writing.  If you listen to the version performed by the Langley Schools Music Project you can hear the menace, the fear, the loneliness of the long distance space traveller, the emptiness at the heart of the whole space programme.  Nowhere is this more evident than in this video from Commander Hadfield

This is incredible.  This is what it really is all about.  Space Cadet Hadfield fulfils the life dream of every kid born in the early 60s: to be an astronaut AND a freakin pop star.  In space. Singing Sapce Oddity.  And at the same time making space travel entertaining for the first time in four decades - something that NASA failed to do.  True that his youtube channel brings to mind Astronaut Wolowitz but Hadfield actually did it.  Respect.  Good luck, Mr Gorsky!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

1968 - you say you want a revolution

In January 1968 Alexander Dubček became leader of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia which led to the  Prague Spring, where Dubcek and other moderate communists tried to give socialism a human face.

Like many politicians (of all hues) before and since Dubček was walking the tightrope: trying to make the changes that he knows are necessary and right, keeping the faithful on side, but not upsetting the hardliners by doing too much too soon. Blair tried and failed, for a moment in 1997 the future was golden, that soon soured. Obama has been much the same. We know he wants a change to come, but politics happens.  Trying to keep the doves and hawks happy he ends up pleasing no-one. It must be a pain.

So it was in Prague 1968.  Dubček was still a loyal communist, he believed that the USSR would allow him to make internal changes.  But Brezhnev wasn't happy.  Over to wikipedia:

On the night of 20–21 August 1968, Warsaw Pact forces entered Czechoslovakia. The occupying armies quickly seized control of Prague and the Central Committee's building, taking Dubček and other reformers into Soviet custody. But, before they were arrested, Dubček urged the people not to resist. Later in the day, Dubček and the others were taken to Moscow on a Soviet military transport aircraft.
Despite the inspired non-violent resistance of the Czech and Slovak population, the reformers had little hope of holding out against Soviet pressure and ultimately were forced to accede to Soviet demands, signing the Moscow protocols.
Dubček and most of the reformers were returned to Prague on 27 August and Dubček retained his post as the party's first secretary for a while. Indeed, the achievements of the Prague Spring were not reversed overnight, but over a period of several months.
In January 1969, Dubček was hospitalized in Bratislava complaining of a cold and had to cancel a speech. Rumours sprang up that his illness was radiation sickness and that it was caused by radioactive strontium being placed in his soup during his stay in Moscow in an attempt to kill him. However, a U.S. intelligence report discounted this for lack of evidence.  
In the late '70s, our family headed South.  Apart from the increased greenery one of the first things I noticed in the south was some graffiti proclaiming LONG LIVE DUBCEK.  This was, at most, a decade old but seemed to be from a different time.  And now another three decades have passed.  I think this says something about the relativity of time, or at least the way we perceive the pasage of time at different ages.  The graffiti is still there, but faded and partially hidden by ivy and a small tree.  I'm tempted to borrow a white van and a high viz jacket and pretend I'm from the Council and clear away all the green.  It's history, right there.

Two top songs from 1968

I remember seeing Deaf School do a half hour version of Grapevine at Liverpool University in 1978, a version which transcended human understanding. 

technically this dates from 1967 but was a hit in 1968 following Otis' death in December '67

Friday, 26 September 2014

1967 - a gathering of the tribes

On this day in history, 1967 a gathering of the tribes occurred in San Francisco.  In a sense this was the opening salvo in the Summer of Love.  All of San Francisco's rock bands were there, not just Santana and Steve Miller Band as mentioned on the poster but also the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother & the Holding Company.   Timothy Leary was there making his turn on (to the scene), tune in (to what is happening) and drop out (of high school, grad school, junior executive, senior executive) and follow me, the hard way speech. 

The Berkeley Barb announced:
When the Berkeley political activists and the love generation of the Haight Ashbury and thousands of young men and women from every state in the nation embrace at the gathering of the tribes for a Human Be-in at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park the spiritual revolution will be manifest and proven. In unity we shall shower the country with waves of ecstacy and purification.  Fear will be washed away; ignorance will be exposed to sunlight; profits and empire will lie drying on deserted beaches; violence will be submerged and transmuted in rhythm and dancing; racism will be purified by the salt of forgiveness.
And so it came to pass.  After that everything was ok, I expect. 

So what was thenewcornpoppy listening to in 1967?  There was only one record in the house that summer, brought back from Italy, Isabella Iannetti and Corriamo.  Listen here. You'll love it.  This is the sound of the summer of love.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

1966 - here, there and everywhere

At some point in the mid 60s pop music started to grow up.  The Beatle boys heard Dylan and realised that songs could be "deeper".  Dylan heard the Beatles (and the Animals and the Byrds) and realised that there was still some mileage in rock 'n' roll.  Brian Wilson heard Rubber Soul (released December 1965) and tried to top it with Pet Sounds.  Macca heard Pet Sounds and felt topped.  Next stop Sgt Pepper.  Brian Wilson heard Sgt Pepper and retreated to the sand box for forty years. 

Oasis stood on the shoulders of giants, unfortunately it was the shoulders of the Bootles at their most lumpen.  Wilson was a giant, standing on the shoulders of Lennon & MacCartney who were standing on the shoulders of  Dylan and they were all standing on Elvis' shoulder.  Paul & Liam are pygmies.

So we're moving from She Loves You towards A Day in the Life.  Where are we up to?  Oh that's right, Beatles biggest hit in 1966? Yellow Submarine.  Top ten singles for 1966? Number 1: Jim Reeves, 2 Frank Sinatra, 3 Yellow Submarine, then Four Tops, Nancy Sinatra, Walker Brothers, Tom Jones, Kinks, Troggs, Manfred Mann and bubbling under as the 11th best selling single of 1966 Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass with Spanish Flea.

I don't just make this stuff up. No, I do research.  Well, that is to say I've been listening to a lot of music from the 60s, reading books about the 60s and watching things on youtube that I haven't seen for 40 years.  Pete Doggett's excellent book about revolution and the 60s counter culture, There's a Riot Going On, describes a world that is completely different to the world of Yellow Submarine and Spanish Flea. A world of Civil Rights marches, riots, beatings and lynchings, a world of draft cards and Vietnam and marches and riots, a world of Nixon and the eve of destruction.

Which brings me to the subject of the multiverse.  This wonderful way out wacky world is it.   It is all there is and all there needs to be.  The trick is that everyone has their own version.  Existing side by side by side.

There's goth kids whose world revolves around anime, manga, D&D, Neurotic fish, The Cruxshadows, Bella Morte, Das Ich, You Shriek, Einstürzende Neubauten and Collide, black mascara and trenchcoats.

There's old folks who live for the bingo, the lottery, a mystery tour coach trip every summer, that nice Michael Buble, the price of things these days and EastEnders twice a week to keep up with what is going on in the world.  And never the twain shall meet.

I've got a dozen neighbours, each with a dozen different ways of living, a dozen different outlooks, political views,favourite books, record collections, tv choices.  Minimum.  And there is the multiverse, everyone has a world that revolves around them. Sure you interact with other universes and if you're really lucky you get to share a new 'verse.  The great thing about this is that if you don't like your world all you need to is change it.  If you think you've been dealt a bad hand ask for a new deal or better still change the game.

None of which concerned me, age 5, in 1966.  If I was only writing about things I remember there would be nothing for the years 1961-66.  I don't remember the World Cup or Kennedy or the Berlin Wall going up.  I don't remember Frank Sinatra troubling the charts.

I think my earliest memories date from 1966, possibly earlier but not later.  I have three distinct memories about my Grandad, who died in 66.

One is of Park Gate by the River Dee, a Sunday drive in his Ford Popular.  Another is him in his chair, next to a standard lamp.  When this memory came back to me it was not in words, not even as a picture but as a warm feeling gradually revealing itself.  Does that make sense? The Ford Popular memory is like a photo which may be because it is a photo I remember. Maybe.

We used to go there before Grandad died, we carried on going there after he died. One more memory is of shortly before he died. He was in Cleaver Hospital (or maybe not), I remember sitting on my uncle's knee steering his car around the car park.  A few years later (around 1972 or 73) this same uncle had a Lotus Elan and took me for a spin on the brand new M53 motorway.  I have a half memory that we did a ton (although it may be that doing 70 was enough of a big deal)  Coooooool.

OK.  Here's some Christmas tv listings from 1966.  All three channels.


  Christmas Eve Saturday 24th December 1966

11.50am  The Weather Man and Announcements

11.55am  Adventure
                From Yarmouth to Paradise

12.45pm  Grandstand
                (Moto-Cross from Tweseldown:
                fourth round of the Grandstand Trophy,
                Snooker from Manchester: 

                Williams v Pullman, Rugby League: 
                Leeds v Hull KR, Boxing: Spike McCormack  
                v Antonio Paiva)

  3.50pm  Film : Davy Crockett, Indian Scout (1950)
                starring George Montgomery

  5.00pm  Today's Sport
                introduced by David Coleman bringing you                   the day's Football and Rugby League results,                 and news of other sporting events

  5.10pm  Juke Box Jury
                presented by David Jacobs

  5.40pm  The News and The Weather Man

  5.50pm  Doctor Who 
                The Highlanders, part 2
                starring Patrick Troughton
  6.15pm  Dixon of Dock Green
                The Golden Year
                starring Jack Warner
  7.00pm  High Adventure
                Fire Down Below
                starring Rita Hayworth, Robert Mitchum

  8.50pm  The Val Doonican Show
                with special guests,
                Frank Ifield, Millicent Martin 
                Ray Alan 

  9.35pm  The News and The Weather

  9.45pm  Peter Ustinov and Peter Jones
                In All Directions

10.30pm  Match of the Day
                Kenneth Wolstenholme reports with                             outside broadcast cameras from a well-                         known Football League ground 

11.17pm  The Weather Man

11.20pm  See the Children Sing
                A programme of Christmas Carols sung by a                 special schools' choir and the audience at a                   recent Ernest Read Children's Concert in the                 Royal Festival Hall, London

11.50pm  Midnight Mass
                from Tewkesbury Abbey

  1.05am  Closedown

  Christmas Day Sunday 25th December 1966 


  9.30am Welcome Christmas
               Judith Chalmers and Michael Aspel bring you                morning greetings in songs and words 

10.10am  Mak the Sheep-Stealer
                opera for children
                by Holland Park School

11.00am  Christmas Morning Service
                from Christ Church, Cotham, Bristol

12.00       Leslie Crowther
                invites you to Meet the Kids in hospital at                     Christmas with George Chisholm. Tony Hart                 and The Bert Hayes Trio 

12.44pm  The Weather Man

12.45pm  The Lucy Show 
                starring Lucille Ball

  1.10pm  The Andy Williams Show
                Christmas greetings from the series                             featuring song. music, and comedy and the                   best from the world of entertainment 

  2.00pm  The Royal Palaces of Britain
                their history, and their art treasures, are                       presented for the first time on television 

  3.00pm  The Queen

  3.05pm  Billy Smart's Circus

  4.00pm  Disney Time
                Rolf Harris with the help of Coojeebear

  4.40pm  Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
                starring Arthur Askey, Angela Richards 
                and Roy Castle

  6.05pm  The News and The Weatherman

  6.10pm  Robert Dougall
                appeals for the Royal                 National Institute for the Deaf
  6.15pm  Journey to Bethlehem
                John Betjeman has just returned from his                     first visit to the Holy Land. This film is a                       record of what he saw

  6.45pm  Christmas Carols
                from the Chapel of 
                King's College, Cambridge

  7.25pm  The Black and White Minstrel Show

  8.00pm  The Ken Dodd Show
                with the Bachelors

  8.45pm  Film : The Comancheros (1961)
                starring John Wayne

10.25pm  The News and Weather

10.30pm  Dr Finlay's Casebook 
                The Gifts of the Magi

11.20pm  The Weather Man
11.22pm  The Christmas Story
                the birth of Christ illustrated by                 Italian pictures and music

  Boxing Day Monday 26th December 1966


  9.30am  The Munsters
                Far-out Munsters 
.               .. join a way-out party, and feel with it at                     last!

  9.55am  The News and the Weather

10.00am  Watch with Mother

10.15am  The Wild Stallion
                Crin Blanc 
                The prize-winning French film

10.50am  Film : Life is a Circus (1960)
                starring The Crazy Gang

12.10pm  Daktari
                An animal adventure series starring aided                     and abetted by Clarence and Judy                Adventures of Lion Cubs

  1.00pm  Grandstand
                introduced by David Coleman featuring                         Racing from Wolverhampton

  3.45pm  When Comedy Was King
                A pageant of the screen's most famous                         laughter-makers 

  5.05pm  Today's Sport
                introduced by David Coleman bringing you                   today's Football, Racing, Rugby League, and                 Rugby Union results, and reports on other                     sporting events

  5.15pm  Sooty
                assisted by Sweep Corbett and Harry Corbett                 in Sooty's Christmas Show

  5.30pm  The Three Musketeers
                7/10 At Night all Cats are Grey 
                starring Jeremy Brett

  5.55pm  The News and The Weather

  6.05pm  Cartoon Time
                Trojan Horse

  6.15pm  Top of the Pops '66
                Part 1- January to June
                with Jimmy Savile, Pete Murray 

  7.00pm  Till Death Us Do Part
                Peace and Goodwill

  7.30pm  Brian Rix
                presents One for the Pot

  9.00pm  The News and The Weather

  9.10pm  The Monroes

10.00pm  Sports Results
                including today's Football results and League                 tables introduced by David Coleman

10.05pm  Gala Performance
                introduced James Robertson Justice

10.55pm  The Weather Man

10.57pm  Film : Alfred Hitchcock's
                The Lady Vanishes (1938)

  Bank Holiday Tuesday 27th December 1966


  9.30am  The Munsters
                Movie Star Munster

  9.55am  The News and The Weather

10.00am  Watch with Mother
                Andy Pandy

10.15am  Film : Beau Chumps (1931)
                starring Laurel and Hardy

10.50am  Look
                Bringing up Benbow 
                Benbow is an orphan seal. Cast ashore on                     the beaches of the Wash, he is rescued by                   the R.S.P.C.A. and finds a home with Tony                   Soper

11.15am  Film : Make Mine a Million (1959)
                starring Arthur Askey, Sidney James

12.35pm  Grandstand
                (Racing from Wolverhampton and 
                Motor Racing from Brands Hatch)

  2.45pm  Film : The Corsican Brothers (1941)
                starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr

  4.30pm  Jackanory
                Harlequinade and Black Beard the Pirate
                read by Bernard Cribbins
  4.45pm  Jonny Quest
                Dr Zin's Robot Spy

  5.10pm  Today's Sport
                introduced by David Coleman bringing you                   the day's Football, Racing, and Rugby                           League results 

  5.20pm  Babar the Elephant
                by Jean De Brunhoff performed by                               children Music by Antony Hopkins who                         also tells the story

  5.49pm  The Weather Man

  5.50pm  News

  5.58pm  Town and Around
                News and views from 
                London and the South-East 
                introduced by Corbet Woodall 

  6.17pm  Top of the Pops '66
                with top D.J's Alan Freeman and Simon Dee

  7.00pm  The Newcomers
                Angleton is suffering from a surfeit of                           Christmas. Maria learns that appearances                     can be deceptive, and Sydney offers Arnold                   advice. 

  7.30pm  Hugh and I
                Hold the Tiger

  8.00pm  Film : The Love Affair - This Above All
                starring Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine

  8.50pm  The News and The Weather

  9.05pm  Film : The Love Affair - This Above All

10.00pm  Sports Results
                including today's Football results and League                 tables, introduced by David Coleman

10.05pm  The Abbey of the English
                celebrating the 900th anniversary of  
                Westminster Abbey

11.15pm  The Weather Man

11.17pm  That's Me
                An amusing encounter with Alan Arkin in New York`s Central Park

  Christmas Eve Saturday 24th December 1966


   6.15pm  Rugby Special:
                 South-Eastern Counties XV v 
                 An Australian XV

                 Peter West reports from                  The Athletic Centre. King Park,                                      Bournemouth 

  6.50pm  The News and Sport

  7.00pm  The Danny Kaye Christmas Show
                in which Danny Kaye and his special                             guests, Jean Simmons,
                Laurence Harvey, 
John Gary entertain                         to the music of Paul Weston and his                             Orchestra 

  7.50pm  I Gotta Shoe
                or Cindy-Ella a musical starring 
                Cleo Laine, Elisabeth Welch
                Cy Grant

  8.50pm  This Man Craig
                The Pirate Cut

  9.45pm  Francis Durbridge Presents...
                Bat Out of Hell, part 5 

10.00pm  Late Night Line-Up
                A late look around the world of television 
                Criticism, Discussion, Diversion

10.40pm  Midnight Movie : The Inn of the Sixth                           Happiness (1958)
                starring Ingrid Bergman



  Christmas Day Sunday 25th December 1966 


  3.00pm  The Queen

  3.05pm  The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau
                The incredible world of that famous French                   underwater explorer and inventor-55                           fathoms beneath the Mediterranean 

  4.00pm  Film : Oh, Mr Porter! (1937)
                starring Will Hay

  5.20pm  The Leningrad State Kirov Ballet
                Three pieces from the programme danced by                 the oldest ballet company in the world                         during their recent visit to                 The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

  6.10pm  Newsyear '66
                News Review presents the story of the year                 as filmed by cameramen all over the world 
  7.25pm  Horizon Christmas Special
               Hand me my Sword, Humphrey by Richard                    Wade with Dudley Foster and Prunella                          Scales 

  8.00pm  Die Fledermaus
                the new Sadler's Wells production

10.10pm  Meet the Swingles
                a programme of eighteenth century music

10.30pm  Late Night Line-up
                and Plunder present a special 
                Christmas night programme
                Reminiscences of Childhood with poetry,                       prose, and film drawn from the BBC Archives

11.30pm  Film : Monsieur Beaucaire (1946)
                starring Bob Hope


  Boxing Day Monday 26th December 1966


11.00am  Play School
                Useful Box Day 

11.20am  Closedown

  5.30pm  The Charlie Chaplin Comedy Theatre:
                presenting the film classic
                The Rink  (1916)

  5.55pm  Peter and the Wolf
                with the English Chamber Orchestra                             conducted by Dudley Simpson

  6.20pm  Music Quiz
                A not-too-serious opportunity to match your                 musical wits, if you have any on Boxing Day,                 against Joyce Grenfell, Richard Baker
                Paul Jennings 

  7.00pm  Film : Jules Verne's Journey to the
                Centre of the Earth (1959)
                starring James Mason

  9.00pm  Not Only...But Also
                starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, 
                with John Lennon

  9.50pm  Carmen Jones
                A modern version of Georges Bizet's                             immortal opera, Carmen  starring Harry                       Belafonte

11.30pm  The News

11.40pm  Late Night Line-Up
                A last look around the world of television
                Criticism, Discussion, Diversion with Denis                     Tuohy , Michael Dean, 
Joan Bakewell , Tony                 Bilbow and tonight's guests

 Bank Holiday Tuesday 27th December 1966

11.00am  Play School
                Dressing-up Day 

11.25am  Closedown

  1.15pm  Medicine Today
                a monthly series of programmes for doctors

  1.45pm  Closedown

  5.00pm  The Engineer in Wonderland :
                The White Rabbit,
                The Royal Institution, London,
                 Annual Christmas Lectures
                 to Young People

  6.00pm  The Glory of Sail
                A film story of the last hundred years of the                 square-rigged sailing ships, the                                     windjammers, the Atlantic packets, the East                 India-men, the incomparable clippers, the                     whalers, the Australian grain ships, the                         indomitable Cape-Horners 

  6.45pm  The Golden Age of Comedy 
Highlights of laughter from the studios of                     Mack Sennett and Hal Roach featuring many                 famous comedians of the 1920's

  8.00pm  News Summary

  8.05pm  The Eleanor Roosevelt Story
                A film biography of America's former First                     Lady 

  9.30pm  Miss Julie
                a play by Strindberg

10.35pm  Julian Bream and John Williams
                The first of two programmes in which these                 two guitarists appear together in concert for                 the first time on television

11.15pm  News Summary

11.20pm  Late Night Line-Up
                A last look around the world of television 
                Criticism, Discussion, Diversion with Denis                     Tuohy , Michael Dean Joan Bakewell , Tony                   Bilbow and tonight's guests also Philip                           Jenkinson with more film requests 

Christmas Eve 1966 - Saturday 24th December 1966 

BBC-1 Television

11:50am          Weather and Announcements
11:55am          Adventure: From Yarmouth to Paradise
12:45-3:50pm Grandstand
3:30pm            Davy Crockett, Indian Scout (western film)
5pm                 Today's Sport: Football and Rugby Results
5:10pm            Juke Box Jury
5:40pm            News and Weather
5:50pm            Dr Who: The Highlander, Part 2
6:15pm            Dixon of Dock Green: The Golden Year
7pm                 High Adventure, the Saturday Film: Fire Down Below
8:50pm            The Val Doonican Show
9:35pm            News and Weather
9:45pm            Peter Ustinov and Peter Jones - In All Directions
10:30pm          Match of the Day: a top League Soccer match
11:17pm          Weather
11:20pm          See the Children Sing: Carols
11:50pm-1:5am Midnight Mass from Tewksbury Abbey

Christmas Eve 1966 - Saturday 24th December 1966 

BBC-2 Television

6:15pm             Rugby Special: South-Eastern Counties XV v. An Australian XV
6:50pm             News and Sport
7pm                  The Danny Kaye Christmas Show
7:50pm             I Gotta Shoe or Cindy-Ella: musical
9:45pm             Francis Durbridge Presents ... Bat Out of Hell, Part 5
10:10pm           Late Night Line-Up: Criticism, Discussion, Diversion
10:40pm           Midnight Movie: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Christmas Eve 1966 - Saturday 24th December 1966 

ITA - Associated Television (ATV London)

1pm News
1:5pm               Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, featuring Burl Ives
1:55pm             Pool of London, starring Bonar Colleano, Susan Shaw, Renee Asherson, Moira Lister, Earl Cameron
3:25pm             Christmas Mad Movies, presented by Bob Monkhouse
4:10pm             The Rifleman: The Raid, starring Chuck Connors
4:40pm              Topo Gigio Comes To Town: The School Room
5:5pm                News
5:15pm              Professional Wrestling
6:15pm              Emergency - Ward 10: A Matter of Confidence
7:10pm              George and the Dragon, starring Sid James, Peggy Mount, John Le Mesurier and Keith Marsh
7:40pm              The Facts of Life, starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball
9:30pm              News
9:40pm              Frankie and Bruce's Christmas Show
11:15pm            On The Braden Beat with Bernard Braden
11:55pm-1am    Celebrated Midnight Mass, from the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London.
                          Weather Forecast

Christmas Day 1966 - Sunday 25th December 1966 

BBC-1 Television

9:30am              Welcome Christmas: morning greetings - in songs and words
10:10am            Mak the Sheep-Stealer: first production of his new opera for children by Holland Park School. 
11am                 Christmas Morning Service from Christ Church, Cotham, Bristol
12noon              Leslie Crowther invites you to Meet the Kids in hospital at Christmas
12:44pm            Weather
12:45pm            The Lucy Show: Lucy and George Burns
1:10pm              The Andy Williams Show
2pm                   The Royal Palaces of Britain
3pm                   The Queen's Christmas Message to the Commonwealth
3:5pm                Billy Smart's Circus
4pm                   Disney Time
4:40pm              Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp: pantomime
6:5pm                News and Weather
6:10pm              Appeal for The Royal National Institute for the Deaf
6:15pm              Journey to Bethlehem: film of a visit to the Holy Land
6:45pm              Christmas Carols from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge
7:25pm              The Black and White Minstrel Show
8pm                   The Ken Dodd Show
8:45pm              The Commancheros (western film)
10:25pm            News and Weather
10:30pm            Dr. Fnlay's Casebook: The Gifts of the Magi
11:20pm            Weather
11:22pm            The Christmas Story: the birth of Christ illustrated by Italian pictures and music

Christmas Day 1966 - Sunday 25th December 1966 

BBC-2 Television

3pm                   The Queen's Christmas Message to the Commonwealth
3:5pm                The World of Jacque-Yves Cousteau: film of the French underwater explorer and inventor 
4pm                   Oh Mr. Porter (comedy film classic)
5:20pm              The Leningrad State Kirov Ballet
6:10pm              NewsYear '66; the story of the year
7:25pm              Horizon: Hand me my Sword, Humphrey
8pm                   Die Fledermaus, the new Sadler's Wells production
10:10pm            Meet the Swingles in a programme of eighteenth-century music
10:30pm            Late Night Lin-Up and Plunder: Reminiscences of Childhood
11:30pm            Monsieur Beaucaire (film comedy)

Christmas Day 1966 - Sunday 25th December 1966

ITA - Associated Television (ATV London)

9:50am               A Merry Christmas from Tingha and Tucker
10:20am             The Light Shineth. Carols and music from Lincoln Cathedral
11am                  Manchester Cathedral. Christmas Eucharist
12:10pm             The Royal Palaces of Britain
1:10pm               Gala Opportunity Knocks
2pm                    Cliff Richard and the Shadows with guest stars Ivor Emmanuel and Patricia Bredin
3pm                    The Queen's Christmas Message to the Commonwealth
3.7pm                 Sabrina Fair (film) starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden
5:5pm                 Thunderbirds: Give or Take a Million
6pm                    News
6:15pm               Weatherwise
6:35pm               The Happy Birthday: Christmas song and music with orchestra from St. Albans Cathedral
7:25pm               Secombe, Friends and Relations, starring Harry Secombe with many top guest stars
8:55pm               Young at Heart (film) starring Doris Day and Frank Sinatra
10:15                  News
10:25pm             Young at Heart (continued)
11pm                  The Eamonn Andrews Show
11:55pm             Rome, Sweet Rome starring Peggy Mount, Hughie Green, Del Moore, Lois Maxwell, Kip King
12:25am              A Preview of Sport. Weather
12:55am              A Last Thougth for Christmas Day

Boxing Day 1966 - Monday 26th December 1966 

BBC-1 Television

9:30am                 The Munsters (comedy film series) Far-Out Munsters
9:55am                 News. Weather
10am                    Watch with Mother: Joe and the Football
10:15am               The Wild Stallion (Crin Blanc) Prize-winning French film
10:50am               Life is a Circus
12:10pm               Daktari 
1-3:45pm             Boxing Day Grandstand: Horse Racing from Wolverhampton
3:45pm                When Comedy was King: a pageant of the screen's most famous laughter-makers
5:5pm                  Today's Sport
5:15pm                Sooty's Christmas Show
5:30pm                The Three Musketeers, Part 7
5:55pm                News and Weather
6:5pm                  Cartoon Time: Trojan Horse
6:15pm                Top of the Pops '66 (part 1)
7pm                     Till Death Us Do Part: (comedy series): Peace and Goodwill
7:30pm                Brian Rix presents One for the Pot
9pm                     News and Weather
9:10pm                The Monroes (western film series) Ordeal by Hope
10pm                   Sports Results
10:5pm                Gala Performance: music, opera and ballet
10:55pm              Weather
10:57pm              Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (film)

Boxing Day 1966 - Monday 26th December 1966 

BBC-2 Television 

11-11:25pm         Play School
5:30pm                The Charlie Chaplin Comedy Theatre presenting the silent film classic The Rink
5:55pm                Peter and the Wolf - a musical tale for children
6:20pm                Music Quiz
7pm                     Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth (film)
9pm                     Not Only ... But Also: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
9:50pm                Carmen Jones: a modern version of Bizet's immortal opera Carmen
11:30pm              News
11:40pm              Late Night Line-Up: Criticism, Diversion, Discussion

Boxing Day 1966 - Monday 26th December 1966

ITA - Rediffusion (London) 

7am                    Announcements and Weather
7:5am                 A Tour of Carols
7:45am               Survival
8:10am               Mad Movies, presented by Bob Monkhouse
8:35am               Popeye
9:27am              Announcements and Weather
9:30am              The Addams Family 
9:55am              Richard the Lionheart - The Robbers of Ashdown Forest
10:20am            Laredo - The Deadliest Kid in the West
11:20am            Wayne and Shuster take an affectionate look at George Burns and Gracie Allen
12:5pm              News
12:10pm            Here Comes That Boy Again - Joe Brown (songs) 
12:25pm            Horse Racing from Wincanton
1:45pm              Professional Wrestling
2:15pm              Horse Racing from Wincanton
2:40pm              Hippodrome with Jane Morgan and Gerry & The Pacemakers 
3:30pm              The Royal Palaces of Britain. Sir Kenneth Clark
4:30pm              For Children - Play time
4:55pm              Disney Wonderland
5:50pm              News and Sports Results
6:8pm                Crossroads
6:35pm              Batman. Part 1 - Green Ice
7pm                   Tarzan and the Lost Safari (film) starring Gordon Scott
8:30pm              Peyton Place
8:55pm              News
9:10pm              A Taste of Honey (film) starring Rita Tushingham
10:50pm            The Temptation of Jezebel: An all-coloured cast in a blues version of The Prodigal Son
11:30pm            Singing and Searching: Strangers at the Cradle


Tuesday 27th December 1966 - BBC-1 Television

9:30am The Munsters (comedy film series): Movie Star Munster
9:55pm News and Weather
10am Watch with Mother: Andy Pandy
10:15am Laurel and Hardy in Beau Chumps
10:50am Look: Bring up Benbow
11:15am Make Mine a Million (comedy film)
12:35pm-2:45pm Grandstand:
- Horse Racing from Wolverhampton, Motor Racing from Brands Hatch
2:45pm The Corsican Brothers (adventure film)
4:30pm Jackanory: Harlequinade and Black Beard the Pirate
4:45pm Jonny Quest: Dr. Zin's Robot Spy
5:10pm Babar the Little Elephant
5:49pm Weather
5:50pm News
5:58pm Town and Around
6:17pm Top of the Pops '66 (part 2)
7pm The Newcomers: serial
7:30pm Hugh and I (comedy series): Hold that Tiger
8pm The Love Affair: This Above All (film)
8:50pm News and Weather
9:5pm The Love Affair, part 2
10pm Sports Results
10:5pm The Abbey of the English: film celebrating the 900th year of Westminster Abbey
11:15pm Weather
11:17pm That's Me: an amusing encounter with Allan Arkin in New York's Central

Tuesday 27th December 1966 - BBC-2 Television 

11-11:25am Play School
1:15-1:45pm Medicine Today: a series of programmes for doctors 
5pm The Engineer in Wonderland: The Royal Institution, London, Annual Christmas Lectures to Young People
Lecture 1 - The White Rabbit
6pm The Glory of Sail: film story of the last hundred years of the square-rigged sailing ships 
6:45pm The Golden Age of Comedy, featuring many famous comedians of the 1920s
8pm News
8:5pm The Eleanor Roosevelt Story: film biography of America's former First Lady
9:30pm Miss Julie: play by Strindberg
10:35pm Julian Bream and John Williams (guitarists)
11:15pm New Summary
11:20pm Late Night Line-Up: Criticism, Discussion, Diversion and film requests

Tuesday 27th December 1966 - ITA - Rediffusion (London) 

7am Announcements and Weather
7:5am The Charlie Chaplin Carnival - The Fireman
7:20am Survival 
7:45am Mad Movies, presented by Bob Monkhouse
8:10am Music Mine
8:25pm John Grierson presents
8:50am Thirsty Boots
9:3am Playbill
9:30am Long John Silver - The Pink Pearl
9:55pm Sara and Hoppity
10:7am The Addams Family - Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family
10:35am Adventures of the Sea Hawk - The Will of the Lord
11am Alexander Brothers Show
11:25am Ivoer the Engine
11:35am Stunt Man
12noon News
12:5pm The Grafters - A story about street traders
12:45pm Take Your Shoes off
1:5pm The Adventures of Twizzle
1:20pm Slag's Place
1:50pm The Flintstones - Sherriff for a Day
2:20pm A Christmas Carol on Ice from Streatham Ice Rink
3:15pm Albert R.N. (film)
4:45pm For Children - Playtime
5pm Adventures of the Seaspray
5:25pm For Children - Orlando, Sam Kydd in Stealers Keepers - Episode 3
5:55pm News and Weather
6:8pm Crossroads
6:30pm Batman Part 2 - Deep Freeze
7pm Double Your Money, starring Hughie Green
7:30pm Peyton Place
8pm Mrs. Thursday
8:55pm News
9:10pm Julie's Gone, starring Raymond Francis, with John Carson, Michele Dotrice and David Garth.
A young girl disappears from a remote country house.
10:10pm The Felony Squad. Howard Duff in Fear Below. Detective Jim Briggs is left to die, trapped in a sewer.
10:42pm This Year of Sport
11:27pm Dateline. Weather
11:37pm Singing and Searching - Leaves of Life

And here is some kind of bonus: 1936 Christmas BBC tv listing


  Christmas Eve Thursday 24th December 1936


  3.00pm  Programme Summary
                followed by Bransby Williams as Scrooge

  3.15pm  News Reel

  3.25pm  Interval, Time, Weather, 
                followed by Christmas Party
                Charlie Lee
                Ada Cerito
                Harry Bedford
                Lottie Lennox
                Tom Leamore
                Chairman, Bert Terrell
                The BBC Television Orchestra
                Conductor, Hyam Greenbaum
                Presented by Harry Pringle

  4.00pm  Closedown

  9.00pm  Programme Summary
                followed by Bransby Williams as Scrooge

  9.15pm  News Reel

  9.25pm  Interval, Time, Weather, 
                followed by Christmas Party
                Charlie Lee
                Ada Cerito
                Harry Bedford
                Lottie Lennox
                Tom Leamore
                Chairman, Bert Terrell
                The BBC Television Orchestra
                Conductor, Hyam Greenbaum
                Presented by Harry Pringle
  Christmas Day Friday 25th December 1936 


  3.00pm  Programme Summary,
               followed by Christmas Turkey, a demonstration of carving by BJ Hulbert 

  3.15pm  News Reel

  3.25pm  A Lonely Christmas Arctic by Ernest Shackleton 

  3.30pm  Picture Page (fourteenth edition) Christmas Number :- a magazine programme
                of topicaland general interest ; produced by 

                G More O'Farrell, with Joan Miller 

  4.00pm  Closedown

  9.00pm  Christmas Carols: The Singing Boys from St Mary-of-the-Angels Song School 

  9.10pm  A Seasonal Tour through the Empire, with a commentary written and spoken by
               Cecil Lewis

  9.20pm  Some Unusual Christmases by Commander AB Campbell 

  9.30pm  News Reel

  9.35pm  Television Party
               Distinguished artists from the stage and screen will be the guests of the BBC.                Cecil Lewis will act as host

10.00pm  Closedown

  Boxing Day Saturday 26th December 1936 


  3.00pm  Programme Summary followed by Bruce McLeod's Punch and Judy and 
                Sutherland Felce (conjuror and comedian) 
  3.15pm  News Reel

  3.25pm  Variety  presented by Cecil Madden ; cartoons by Harry Rutherford,
                variety by The Del Rios (rope-spinning), Marion and Irma (symphony in motion),
                Edward Cooper (songs at the pianoforte), Nina Devitt (personality girl),
                Larry Kemble, Walker and Smart (comedy jugglers) 

  9.00pm  Programme Summary followed by Bruce McLeod's Punch and Judy

  9.15pm  News Reel

  9.25pm  Cabaret
               Silent Comic
               O'SHEA AND
               JOAN Dancers
               EDWARD COOPER
               ERNEST SHANNON
               SUZANNE McCLAY
               MARION AND IRMA
               Symphony in Motion
               THE LUCERNE SKATERS 
               Presentation by CECIL MADDEN

10.00pm  Closedown

  Sunday 27th December 1936

  No programmes

  Bank Holiday Monday  28th December 1936  


  3.00pm  Programme Summary, followed by Irish Players  The Workhouse Ward, a comedy by
                Lady Gregory, with the Irish Players: Kathleen Drago, Fred O'Donovan & Tony Quinn

  3.25pm  British Movietone News

  3.35pm  Variety  Joan Collier (singer), Rob Wilton (comedian), James Stewart,Wendy Toye &
                company, with the BBCTV Orchestra, conductor Hyam Greenbaum

  4.00pm  Closedown

  9.00pm  Programme Summary, followed by Irish Players The Workhouse Ward, a comedy by
                Lady Gregory, with the Irish Players: Kathleen Drago, Fred O'Donovan & Tony Quinn

  9.25pm  Gaumont British News

  9.35pm  Variety  Irene Prador (singer), Rob Wilton (comedian), Harry Scott (songs),
                Wendy Toye & co, with the BBCTV Orchestra, conductor Hyam Greenbaum