The Go!! Show

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The Go!! Show
Genre Music
Directed by Godfrey Phillips
Creative director(s) Bruce Rowland
Presented by
Composer(s) The Strangers
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 222
Production
Producer(s) Willard-King
Location(s) Nunawading, Victoria
Running time
  • 55 min (1964–66)
  • 25 min (1967)
Production company(s) DYT Productions
Release
Original network ATV
Original release August 1964 – August 1967

The Go!! Show (also known simply as Go!!) was an Australian popular music television series which aired on ATV-10 Melbourne from August 1964 to August 1967. It was produced by DYT Productions at the Channel 10 (then known as network 0) studios in Nunawading, Victoria.[1] Over its run it was hosted, in turn, by Alan Field (1964), Ian Turpie (1964–66) and Johnny Young (1966–67).

History[edit]

When Go!! premiered in August 1964, the other major competing television popular music show was the Channel 9 series, Bandstand, which was made in Sydney. While that series had been an important outlet for the first wave of Australian rock'n'roll, it did not engage strongly with the so-called "Beat Boom" acts which emerged in the mid-1960s and onwards; Bandstand settled into a mainstream musical variety format aimed at a broad general audience.

Unusually the main competition for Go!! was broadcast on the same station: in December 1965 Channel 0 commissioned a second pop show, Kommotion, produced by the Willard-King organisation and hosted by popular Melbourne radio and TV personality, Ken Sparkes.[2] It was broadcast with five episodes each week day.[2]

Go!! focussed on the more sophisticated youth market and tended to concentrate on local solo performers, while Kommotion (which was in part modelled on the American series, Shindig!) pursued a more group- and chart-oriented format, as well as featuring a troupe of go-go dancers and a regular team of young performers who mimed to the latest overseas hits.[3]

Production[edit]

The Go!! Show was made by DYT Productions, a production company founded and run by veteran Australian musician Horrie Dargie with partners Arthur Young and Johnny Tillbrook. It premiered in August 1964, just after the Beatles' Australian tour and Channel 0's inaugural broadcast. It was videotaped before a live audience, with early episodes being one-hour long and it screened three nights per week. In its third season of 1966-67, it was shortened to thirty minutes. Because national television networking was only just being established in Australia, The Go!! Show was only seen in Victoria for its first two years.

Presenters[edit]

There were three hosts of Go!! during its run: the first was North-English comedian Alan Field, who had compered the July 1964 Beatles tour.[4] Singer-actor Ian Turpie took over from Field from episode 26 until the end of 1966; pop star Johnny Young was the final host, beginning from the start of the third season in 1967.

Performers[edit]

The Go!! Show almost exclusively featured local performers and concentrated on solo singers, who were typically backed by the show's house band The Strangers. It featured many of the major Australian pop stars of the time, including DYT-managed singer April Byron, resident female singer of the first season, Bobby & Laurie, The Spinning Wheels, Lynne Randell, Johnny Devlin, Colin Cook, The Twilights, Mike Furber and Normie Rowe.[5][6] Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll were regulars with Newton-John making at least sixteen appearances between February 1965 and December 1966. Singer and composer Buddy England auditioned for the premiere episode and became a regular performer for the entire run of the series.

The Strangers also performed their own material on weekly basis throughout the show's life. They notably secured one of the first sponsorship deals in Australian pop and were provided with a set of distinctive "El Toro" model electric guitars and basses provided by the noted Melbourne-based luthier Maton. Strangers singer-guitarist John Farrar became a prominent session arranger in the late '60s before moving overseas and achieving great international success in the 1970s and beyond as a producer for Olivia Newton-John; he also wrote two additional songs for the Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture of the film version of the musical Grease which became the biggest hits of the movie.

Record label[edit]

Coinciding with the premiere of the TV series, DYT launched their own record label Go!! Records at and The Go!! Show frequently cross-promoted acts signed to the label. Unconnected pop magazine Go-Set (1966–1974) which coincidentally shared the "Go" brand and market formed a marketing triumvirate.

Although it was extremely popular, attracting as many as 400,000 viewers each week, The Go!! Show was cancelled suddenly in August 1967 after more than 200 episodes, at virtually the same time as the axing of Kommotion. According to Kommotion host Ken Sparkes, the main cause was the imposition of an Actors Equity ban on miming in TV programs, which effectively put both shows out of business.

Like most pop shows of the time, it was customary for performers to mime to a recording of their latest hit; Kommotion typically used commercial recordings of current hits, whereas Go!! (like the BBC's Top of the Pops) often used pre-taped tracks specially recorded for the show. With the cancellation of the series the Go!! label soon folded since its main means of promotion had been removed.

Channel 0 replaced the cancelled shows with a new Saturday morning pop show Uptight, which was nationally networked; it ran until the end of 1969 when it was 'rebranded' as Happening '70 (followed by Happening '71 and '72).

Surviving episodes[edit]

Like most other Australian TV shows from this period, there is very little surviving archival material from The Go!! Show. Most of the more than 200 episodes were subsequently destroyed when the Channel 0 archive ran out of storage space, although numerous fragments and several entire programs have survived. The exact amount of remaining footage is uncertain, but at least seven episodes from late 1966 are known to have survived in their entirety. This material was copied from tapes in the Channel 0 archive sometime in the late 1990s and circulated widely among collectors over the next few years; some clips have since made their way onto YouTube.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Leslie, Brett; Music Club 17 (Firm) (2002), Go!! Show, Music Club 17, retrieved 4 April 2012 
  2. ^ a b Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Television - Kommotion (1964-67)". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 24 June 2003. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ MacCallum, Mungo Ballardie (1968), Ten years of television, Sun Books, retrieved 10 April 2012  Note: In the chapter "Teenagers" by Jean Battersby pp. 86-110, The Go! Show was number one favourite programme for girls surveyed in forms 1 to 5 (page 105), and varied between forms for boys (page 106)
  4. ^ http://www.johnnychester.com/beatles_photo.html
  5. ^ "Rowe, Normie", Trove, 2009, retrieved 3 April 2012 
  6. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "The Go!! Show". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 

External links[edit]