Jack Good (producer)
7 August 1931|
24 September 2017 (aged 86)|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
|Occupation||Television producer, musical theatre production, musician|
Associated British Corporation (ABC),
American Broadcasting Company (ABC),
Jack Good Productions
Catch My Soul (film),
Catch My Soul (musical)
(m. 1956; div. 1987)
Jack Good (7 August 1931 – 24 September 2017) was a British television producer, musical theatre producer, record producer, musician and painter of icons. As a television producer, he was responsible for the early popular music shows Six-Five Special, Oh Boy!, Boy Meets Girls and Wham!! TV series, the first UK teenage music programmes. Good managed some of the UK's first rock and roll stars, including Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Jess Conrad and Cliff Richard.
Good was born in Greenford, London. He joined the BBC on the magazine-format show Six-Five Special. He wanted music and a lot of movement. To get his way, Good had sets built, but shortly before the show started, they were wheeled out of the way, and he filled the space with the milling audience and performers. Television then was live, so once the programme started, Good kept it all as impromptu as possible. The running order was sketched out on Friday morning, then the only complete run-through happened immediately before transmission. The show launched the hand jive and Good even wrote an instruction book, Hand Jive at Six-Five. None of the Six-Five Special productions shows were recorded (see Wiping), but a low-budget film based on the show survives.
Although Good had given the BBC a show that was attracting 12 million viewers, he was being paid only £18 a week. He left for independent television and launched Oh Boy! in June 1958 for the ITV franchise holder Associated British Corporation (ABC). After trial broadcasts in the Midlands, it went national, in direct competition with Six-Five Special on Saturday evenings. Six-Five Special stuck to its mix of rock, jazz, skiffle and crooners, but Good was in his rock 'n' roll element with Oh Boy! The programmes were broadcast from the Hackney Empire, London, and made a star of Cliff Richard, as well as showcasing Billy Fury in several editions. Oh Boy! was non-stop rock and roll. Each show was 26 minutes, and no song lasted more than a minute. When ITV replaced the show on 12 September 1959 with Boy Meets Girls, people wondered whether Good had lost his touch. He later claimed his wife persuaded him that rock 'n' roll was on the way out and to adopt a more middle of the road approach.
In the early 1960s, he wrote a column for Disc, a weekly UK pop magazine. He has appeared on numerous TV shows such as The Monkees plus Hogan's Heroes and produced the rarely seen television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee starring the Monkees.
In 1964, he made a one-off programme Around the Beatles, but regular rock 'n' roll television had disappeared from British screens apart from Ready Steady Go, which made heavy use of Good's technique of building excitement and interest by allowing the audience to mill round the singers.
Good championed the rise of rhythm & blues and went to the United States in 1962, where he spent $15,000 of his own money to produce a pilot show for the American market. After trying for a year to persuade television executives to take on the show, he gave up and returned to the UK. A year later, a disc jockey gave the tape of the pilot show to an American television executive, who sent for Good. This led to the broadcasting of the first Shindig! show, first broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on 16 September 1964. Shindig! had a half-hour spot until January 1965, when it was extended to an hour, before switching to twice-weekly half-hour episodes in the autumn. Occasional broadcasts were from London. Jack fell out with ABC executives and walked out. The show could not survive without Good's dynamic influence and it was cancelled in January 1966 to make room for screenings of the new Batman series.
Music and musical theatre
He was a musical theatrical producer creating productions such as Good Rockin' Tonite. Oh Boy!, Elvis the Musical and Catch My Soul, which was also made into a film of the same name, released in 1974. He had a cameo appearance as an uptight naval officer in the comedy film Father Goose (1966).
Good converted to Roman Catholicism and devoted his time to Christianity and icon painting, including a wall painting portraying the television as the Devil. His paintings have been exhibited at the Rancho de Chimayó gallery alongside those of painter Antonio Roybal. He lived in New Mexico for many years, but returned to England to live in Oxfordshire.
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- Sandomir, Richard (6 October 2017). "Jack Good, Who Put Rock 'n' Roll on TV With 'Shindig,' Dies at 86". The New York Times. p. A24.
- "Six-Five Special producer Jack Good dies". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- Frame, Peter (2007). The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain. Rogan House. ISBN 0-9529540-7-9.
- Morley, Sheridan (1974). Review copies: plays and players in London, 1970–74. Drawings by Donald Edward Green. Robson Books. ISBN 978-0903895255.