Music on Film & TV

Ferry Cross The Mersey (1965)

This British film about a music contest in Liverpool was created strictly as a showcase for Gerry and The Pacemakers who had a hit with a song of the same name. Cilla Black, The Fourmost and several other Merseybeat groups also perform. It’s sort of like a make-shift Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Gerry Marsden and his brother Freddie(…)

Five O’ Clock Club, The

1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 6 (UK) 120 x 25 minute episodes Every Tuesday and Friday tea time from 1963 to 1966, children throughout Britain settled down in front of the telly to watch the glove puppet antics of Ollie Beak and Fred Barker on The Five O’clock Club. Ollie (an opinionated Liverpudlian owl(…)

Flame (1975)

British glam rock superstars Slade made their collective acting debut in this drama about a pop group’s struggles with success. In the late 1960s, Barry (Dave Hill), Paul (Jim Lea) and Charlie (Don Powell) are musicians who are barely making a living playing pub dates, weddings, and socials in The DTs led by ineffectual and(…)

Flashez

Flashez

1 9 7 6 – 1 9 7 7 (Australia) 425 x 30 minute episodes This pop music-centric magazine show from the Australian ABC was hosted by Ray Burgess and Mike Meade. Mike Meade began life as a cameraman at STW 9 in Perth, Western Australia, while Burgess had achieved a modicum of fame in the(…)

Gadzooks! It’s All Happening/Gadzooks! It’s The In Crowd

1 9 6 5 (UK) Gadzooks! It’s All Happening changed name mid-season (May 1965) to Gadzooks! It’s The In Crowd, and ultimately (from 12 July) simply to Gadzooks!. A sequel to The Beat Room, the Monday evening show offered the same kind of fare – top pop acts and dance troupe The Beat Girls. Presenters were Alan David and Christine Holmes. Lulu(…)

Get It Together

1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 1 (UK) Get It Together was a TV pop show featuring groups miming to their hits in front of a studio audience of kids, presented by Roy North (fresh from The Basil Brush Show) and Linda Fletcher. Guests were generally of the Cliff Richard/Showaddywaddy/Shakin’ Stevens/Suzi Quatro ilk despite the prevalence of punk(…)

Get Yourself A College Girl (1964)

Student Mary Ann Mobley gets into trouble when she’s exposed as the songwriter of some disreputable – but supposedly groovy – tunes. Fortunately, an ambitious senator (Willard Waterman) is around to help out – in exchange for some youth “cred” with the voters. This would-be fun teen picture is saved by the appearance of a(…)

Ghost Goes Gear, The (1966)

This 24-carat piece of 60s pop trivia was made as a showcase for the popular British blues-soul band The Spencer Davis Group. The band are spending the summer as entertainers on a pleasure steamer plying the Thames near Windsor. While packing up their instruments after the show one day, Peter York’s drum falls into the(…)

Gimme Shelter (1970)

Gimme Shelter follows The Rolling Stones on their 1969 US tour, catching them at their absolute apex. Interspersed with the live concert footage we see the negotiations between lawyers and promoters who must find a last-minute alternative venue for a free concert scheduled in San Francisco. They decide on the Altamont Speedway. All events in the film lead to(…)

Girl Can’t Help It, The (1957)

This rock ‘n’ roll comedy starring Tom Ewell and the pneumatic Jayne Mansfield is witty, stylish, clever and (by today’s standards) extraordinarily sexist. Tom Miller (Ewell), a small-time theatrical agent, is given the task of turning glamorous Jerri Jordan (Mansfield in her first film) into a top rock ‘n’ roll personality. The problem is that(…)

Go, Johnny, Go (1959)

Jimmy Clanton stars as Johnny Melody, a poor orphan boy who makes it big through a talent search held by Alan Freed. The hardships, ironies and humour en route to the big time are supposed to provide the basis for the story, but the music is the only thing that’s worthwhile. Among the standouts are The(…)

Go!!

1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 6 (Australia) In 1964, the new Australian ATV0 Network (now Channel Ten) decided it would enter the Rock & Roll field and the hugely successful Go!! began life as a weekly show on Mondays at 7:00pm (the timeslot soon changing to 6:00pm Saturdays). The resident band on Go!! was The Strangers, and(…)

Godspell (1973)

A rock gospel according to Saint Matthew, David Greene’s Godspell derived from a successful stage show. Play and screenplay author John Tebelak failed to realise that updating the story of the life of the Jesus, resetting it in New York City, and casting a bunch of hippies as the disciples (half women, half men in one of(…)

Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

When Dennis Quaid, duded out and blonded up as Jerry Lee Lewis, swaggers to the stage to pump a piano and sing Whole Lotta Shakin Going On, Breathless, Wild One, Crazy Arms or the incomparable title song, this movie can shake your nerves, rattle your brain and at the very least make you feel like dancing. Jerry Lee recorded(…)

Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, The (1980)

The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle was Malcolm McLaren‘s self-aggrandizing rewrite of recent history. His beloved Sex Pistols figured only as puppets, with McLaren tugging the strings. Punk was portrayed not as a movement of working-class kids discovering their own power, but as a tour de force of cultural terrorism perpetrated by the arch-strategist McLaren according to(…)

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