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Drumbeat

1 9 5 9 (UK)
22 x 30 minute episodes

Drumbeat was intended as the BBC’s answer to Oh Boy!. The original host was Gus Goodwin – a young DJ who had made a mark with his Rockabilly Show on Radio Luxembourg – but he was soon replaced by Trevor Peacock, brought back from ITV and thrust in front of the cameras.

Regular performers included Vince Eager, Roy Young (widely described as “England’s Little Richard“), 17-year-old South African crooner Danny Williams and young, dark-haired singer Sylvia Sands. Also seen were vocal groups The Barry Sisters, The Kingpins, The Poni-Tails and The Raindrops.

The show was broadcast live at 6.30 pm every Saturday evening from Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and occasionally from Lime Grove. Guests included Russ Conway, Petula Clark, Billy Fury, Terry Dene, Vince Eager, Lonnie Donegan, Dickie Valentine, Cliff Richard and The Drifters, Paul Anka and Adam Faith.

Drumbeat was to prove as dismal and short-lived as its predecessor (Dig This), but it provided just the break Adam Faith had been hoping for.

Although Faith was performing mainly covers of popular American hits for the duration of the 22-week run, he was approached by songwriter Johnny Worth who believed he was the right artist to record one of his compositions – a track called What Do You Want?

The single hit the #1 spot on the UK charts in only its third week in December 1959, providing Parlophone with their first #1.

A clone of the single was immediately released (Poor Me) and Faith quickly became the UK’s second-biggest teen idol (after Cliff Richard).