Music on Film & TV

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

The Beatles first feature film was a surprisingly sensational comedy, which revolved around a fictional 36 hours in their hectic schedule during a trip to London. The mop tops demonstrated that they could excel at clowning (like reincarnated Marx Brothers) as well as singing, and the madcap affair came off with enormous energy and good humour.(...)

A Whole Scene Going

1 9 6 6 (UK) A Whole Scene Going was the first real teenage lifestyle programme with features on Carnaby Street fashions, the London club scene and package holidays in Italy. Twiggy made her first TV appearance on this show and presenter Barry Fantoni (pictured below right) and his "hot seat" interview was the first time(...)

ABBA: The Movie (1977)

ABBA: The Movie (1977)

Unashamed and supremely slick commercial for the group, maintaining a gentle air of self-parody while at the same time being a celebration of all the various apparatuses which make a merchandising phenomenon like ABBA possible. The narrative, without which the film would mostly consist of footage of the band on stage, follows ABBA through an(...)

ABC Rocks

1 9 8 4 - 1 9 8 5 (USA) One year after the debut of NBC's Friday Night Videos (network television's first attempt to respond to the popularity of cable television's MTV), this was ABC's entry into the fray with a half hour of music videos every Friday from midnight to 12.30am. Each weekly show consisted of(...)

All You Need Is Cash (The Rutles) (1978)

Starting out as a two-minute sketch on Idle's post-Monty Python comedy show, Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles took on a life of their own when Saturday Night Live supremo Lorne Michaels produced a feature-length "mockumentary" on the rise and fall of the Prefab Four. A brilliantly realised parody of The Beatles, All You Need Is Cash told the story of(...)

Alright Now

1 9 7 9 - 1 9 8 0 (UK) Running for two seasons between 1979 and 1980, Alright Now was an ITV music series featuring the very latest top rock, pop and punk bands performing live in the Tyne Tees television studios in Newcastle, intercut with interviews, music-related location reports and archive film clips. The show was(...)

American Bandstand

1 9 5 2 - 1 9 8 9 (USA) American Bandstand became a powerful symbol of American teenage culture with its nearly four-decade look at the ever-changing tastes of the country's youth. Featuring guest artists who lip-synced to their latest tunes, and a teenage audience whose members danced for the cameras, the show launched a conga(...)

American Hot Wax (1978)

"This is Alan Freed  . . . and this is rock'n'roll." With these words the young hearts of New York beat fast as the celebrated radio disc jockey unleashes the popular sounds of the late 1950s. This biographical drama tells the story of Freed- the man credited with introducing white American teenagers to the sounds that their(...)

Backbeat (1994)

The early days of The Beatles in Hamburg provide a colourful backdrop for the story of Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), the original Beatles bassist who dies of a brain haemmorhage in 1962. Backbeat centres on artist Stu's intense affair with style-setting photographer Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee). The film's main asset though, is the charismatic performance of(...)

Bandstand (Australia)

1 9 5 7 - 1 9 7 2 (Australia) Bandstand was the longest running Australian pop television show of its time, and throughout its fifteen years it featured the same host (bespectacled Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson) and the same format. Based on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, the Australian show was pre-recorded before a studio audience, with singers(...)

Beach Movies

The rise of Surf Music in the early 60s, coupled with the general surfing craze that was sweeping the USA, inevitably began to spawn movies, with Beach Party (1963) starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello doing particularly well. Four more films followed in quick succession, utilising the same stars, crew and concept:  Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Beach(...)

Beat Club

1 9 6 5 - 1 9 7 2 (West Germany)  

Beat Room, The

1 9 6 4 (UK) BBC2's The Beat Room - billed as "thirty minutes of non-stop beat and shake" - delved more deeply into the R&B music that Ready Steady Go! helped to popularise. It featured a range of blues artists from both sides of the Atlantic, including Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Chris Farlowe and(...)


1 9 8 5 - 1 9 8 7 (Australia) Though ostensibly a music TV programme, this Saturday afternoon show from the Australian ABC network was the first Aussie show which really did go out and talk to kids about important things. Launched in May 1985, Beatbox was put together by a cooperative of young unemployed people from(...)

Beatles Cartoon, The

1 9 6 5 - 1 9 6 9 (USA) 39 x 30 minute episodes The Beatles cartoons were screened in the US from 25 September 1965 to 20 April 1969 on ABC Television. They were then seen in syndication and overseas. The series was also repeated in the US in 1986 and 1987 on MTV. Almost(...)

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