1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (UK)
30 x 25/30 minute episodes
BBC2’s The Beat Room – billed as “non-stop beat and shake” – delved more deeply into the R&B music that Ready Steady Go! helped to popularise.
Introduced and compered each week by unseen Irish DJ Pat Campbell, the show also invented dancing troupe, The Beat Girls – Ruth Pearson, Ann Chapman, Jenny Ferle, Lyn Wolseley, Barbara (Babs) Lord and Zooks Barrow – who three years later morphed into Pans People on Top Of The Pops.
Guests on the first edition of The Beat Room (broadcast on Monday 6 July 1964) were The Animals, Lulu & The Luvvers, and Millie, backed by the resident group, Wayne Gibson with The Dynamic Sounds (who were later replaced on the show by Peter and the Headlines).
Later shows featured stars including Herman’s Hermits, The Beach Boys, Elkie Brooks, Manfred Mann, Long John Baldry, The Barron Knights, Tom Jones, The Nashville Teens, The Pretty Things, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Chris Farlowe, The Hollies, Marianne Faithfull, Kenny Lynch, Dave Berry, Jackie de Shannon, The Dixie Cups, Little Eva, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Paul Anka, The Kinks, The Artwoods, Georgie Fame, The Rockin’ Berries, The Cherokees, Sonny Boy Williamson, Adam Faith, Brenda Lee, Tommy Quickly, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, and The Isley Brothers.
The high spot – backstage at least – was an over-excited John Lee Hooker asking producer Michael Hurll to take him to Shepherds Bush market so he could buy a gun to shoot a member of his touring band who was getting on his nerves.
The show was broadcast on Monday nights but proved short-lived and was replaced by Gadzooks! It’s All Happening! at the end of January 1965.
The Beat Girls
Wayne Gibson with The Dynamic Sounds
Peter and the Headlines