Ready Steady Gone (This Day in Rock History)

12/23/2010
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(Gibson) 5-4-3-2-1…if you were a teenager in the U.K. during the early-to-mid '60s, this is where your weekend started — the BBC's Studio 9 in Kingsway, London, home of the energetic, irrepressible Ready Steady Go! The Friday evening show was one of the U.K.'s first pop/rock music programs, and it featured nearly every major act of the era, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Hollies and others.

RSG! first declared "The weekend starts here!" on August 9, 1963 with Billy Fury and Brian Poole and The Tremeloes taking rock and roll into England's living rooms, despite the rather un-rock-and-roll presence of Pat Boone (introducing his latest film clip) and Burl Ives (singing "Ugly Bug Ball"). The show's presenters were Thank Your Lucky Stars vets Keith Fordyce and David Gell.

As the first season went along, the show increased its "cool" index, with The Rolling Stones arriving in episode three and The Beatles (interviewed by Dusty Springfield, no less) six weeks later. Bands squeezed into the rather small studio with a mass of dancing kids, giving the proceedings the feel of a very cool, very happening party. The shows were also filled with frivolities like miming contests. In The Beatles' first appearance, the band judged four girls doing their own renditions of Brenda Lee's "Let's Jump the Broomstick." (As a side note: years later, when it was reported that that winning girl had disappeared, Paul McCartney was inspired to write "She's Leaving Home".)

... Amazingly, at the height of the British music scene, the show was cancelled in 1966 (with its final episode airing on this date). more on this story

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