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  1. #1

    Motown and Ready Steady Go!

    There were two interesting programmes on UK BBC4 last night about a tv music series that ran from 1963-66.

    The Story of Ready Steady Go! (1 hour)
    This included (I assume) recent short clips of interviews with Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson, shame that there was no time to show more. The progamme also showed clips of the Motown 1965 bus tour of the UK. Performances included Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing In The Street" and "Heat Wave", the Supremes "Baby Love", Stevie Wonder "Kiss Me Baby", plus Dusty and Martha enjoying themselves during "Wishin' and Hopin'"

    The Best of Ready Steady Go! (1 hour)
    This contained 25 songs, mostly uncut, but which included 6 Motown songs: Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing In The Street", Stevie Wonder "Kiss Me Baby", Temptations "My Girl", Marvin Gaye "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You", the Miracles "You Really Got A Hold On Me" plus Martha and Dusty again with "Wishin' And Hopin'"

    Fabulous early B&W footage.

    Back in 1985, C4 broadcast 13 compilation episodes of RSG plus the two specials - Motown and Otis Redding which I still have on VHS. I was hoping that since the surviving episodes or some of them had been acquired from Dave Clark (of Dave Clark Five fame), there may have been something new included last night. Sadly, the answer is no, as it all seems to have come from the Motown Special edition.

  2. #2
    I had the RSG Sound of Motown on video and I'm sure, some time ago, I obtained a copy-to DVD although finding it would be a challenge.
    That show aired AFTER the 65 label launch and tour. Seems a crazy planning decision. It would have helped, even slightly, with attendances.
    Last edited by snakepit; 03-21-2020 at 10:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    I had the RSG Sound of Motown on video and I'm sure, some time ago, I obtained a copy-to DVD although finding it would be a challenge.
    That show aired AFTER the 65 label launch and tour. Seems a crazy planning decision. It would have helped, even slightly, with attendances.
    According to what I heard last night, the tour was called the Ghost Tour and Georgie Fame was invited to join the tour in an attempt to try and boost ticket sales - still we have to give Dusty Springfield a large thank you for championing the music and the artists.

    I'm really hoping that my VHS recorder still works as I must transfer those old tapes on to DVD!

  4. #4
    Yes it was a disaster outside London.
    It is rumoured that a one venue..probably a first show....there were more people on stage thsn.in the theatre. A great shame.
    There was an interest around London's Mod scene, but not generally around the UK.
    Actually, I noticed on some Motown clips last night that most of the youngsters in the audience did notseem to know any songs ..nobody singing along etc. I think the 65 show had a hardcore membership of the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society in attendance, but I'd guess the majority of thr youngsters making up the numbers for the recording were clueless about the show/artists/relevance of it.

  5. #5
    As posted by Adam White on his 'West Grand' blog last Friday week: -

    https://www.adampwhite.com/westgrandblog/wembley-wins

    Cheers

    Paul

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    There were two interesting programmes on UK BBC4 last night about a tv music series that ran from 1963-66.

    The Story of Ready Steady Go! (1 hour)
    This included (I assume) recent short clips of interviews with Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson, shame that there was no time to show more. The progamme also showed clips of the Motown 1965 bus tour of the UK. Performances included Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing In The Street" and "Heat Wave", the Supremes "Baby Love", Stevie Wonder "Kiss Me Baby", plus Dusty and Martha enjoying themselves during "Wishin' and Hopin'"

    The Best of Ready Steady Go! (1 hour)
    This contained 25 songs, mostly uncut, but which included 6 Motown songs: Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing In The Street", Stevie Wonder "Kiss Me Baby", Temptations "My Girl", Marvin Gaye "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You", the Miracles "You Really Got A Hold On Me" plus Martha and Dusty again with "Wishin' And Hopin'"

    Fabulous early B&W footage.

    Back in 1985, C4 broadcast 13 compilation episodes of RSG plus the two specials - Motown and Otis Redding which I still have on VHS. I was hoping that since the surviving episodes or some of them had been acquired from Dave Clark (of Dave Clark Five fame), there may have been something new included last night. Sadly, the answer is no, as it all seems to have come from the Motown Special edition.
    I thoroughly enjoyed watching both programmes. Sadly many of the episodes were wiped including Stevie's first appearance, but it was great to seen the Dusty/Martha duet again, and the magnificent Otis Redding. Both programmes will be available on I Player for at least a couple of months.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bradburger View Post
    As posted by Adam White on his 'West Grand' blog last Friday week: -

    https://www.adampwhite.com/westgrandblog/wembley-wins

    Cheers

    Paul
    Thanks for the link bradburger. I was unaware of it, and it is a great story to go with the music. It was almost a shock to see a colour photo when all your memories are in B&W!

    It still seems a little unclear about what has survived and who owns what.

  8. #8
    We know the tops performed but in 1966. Why hasn't that clip emerged?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I thoroughly enjoyed watching both programmes. Sadly many of the episodes were wiped including Stevie's first appearance, but it was great to seen the Dusty/Martha duet again, and the magnificent Otis Redding. Both programmes will be available on I Player for at least a couple of months.
    There were 13 compilation episodes shown in 1985, each lasting around 25 minutes (after I edited out the adverts), plus the two Specials - Motown and Otis Redding.

    Sometime I ago, I did try to date each of the 114 tracks contained in the compilation episodes. It proved difficult because some artists appeared more than once. but I did end up with around 29 individual dates. Dangerous to assume anything, but maybe that could be a guide as to how many programmes may have survived as a minimum, plus the two Specials.

    Bluebrock, you mention that Stevie's appearance was wiped, according to Friday night's programme, that performance would have been between August and December 1963. However, he does appear in one of the compilation programmes doing a track which did not feature in the Special. At the time I indexed all the tracks, I didn't recognise this one and my notes simply state "drum solo"! If I can transfer the tapes to DVD, then I may learn more.

    Other Motown-related appearances separate from the Special, are: Isley Brothers "Stagger Lee" and "She'll Be The Last Girl" (not sure if that is the correct title, or one I made up - perhaps someone more knowledgeable might know), and Kim Weston "A Little More Love". All three songs appear from my calculations to be either recorded or screened on 27 November 1964. (As the 27th was a Friday, that would have been the screening date if not the recording date as well.)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmusic4life View Post
    We know the tops performed but in 1966. Why hasn't that clip emerged?
    Hi Soulmusic4life - there were approximately 168 episodes, but maybe fewer than 40 may still survive (but that is pure conjecture on my part).

    At the risk of turning into a sad case and boring everyone, it would appear that the Four Tops appeared on 18 November 1966 performing "Baby, I Need Your Loving", "I Can't Help Myself" and "Reach Out I'll Be There". They are also listed as appearing on a live episode on 21 May 1965, but there is no listing of what they performed on that occasion.

    In turning up this information, I noticed that there appear to be other Motown artists performing songs in episodes which pre-date the Motown Special of 18 March 1965. For example Marvin Gaye performed "Can I Get A Witness" and "How Sweet It Is" on 20 November 1964. Similarly Martha and the Vandellas performed "Dancing In The Street" and "Heat Wave" on 6 November 1964 so these four songs could be different from those included in the Special.

    It seems that I have some work to do and self-isolation will give me the time!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    In turning up this information, I noticed that there appear to be other Motown artists performing songs in episodes which pre-date the Motown Special of 18 March 1965. For example Marvin Gaye performed "Can I Get A Witness" and "How Sweet It Is" on 20 November 1964. Similarly Martha and the Vandellas performed "Dancing In The Street" and "Heat Wave" on 6 November 1964 so these four songs could be different from those included in the Special.

    It seems that I have some work to do and self-isolation will give me the time!
    The clips of Martha and the Vandellas performing "Heat Wave" and "Dancing in the Street" are not the same as those on the Motown special. They sang live on the special as opposed to the lipsyncing on the clips.

    Also, Marvin Gaye's performances of "Can I Get a Witness" and "How Sweet It Is" aren't from the Motown special. They were edited into the special when it was released on home video.

    In America, they released the Motown and Otis Redding specials on vhs. There were also a few compilation vhs tapes released. I bought the one that had clips from acts like the Vandellas, Kim Weston, Lulu, and the Beatles.

    Later both Otis and Motown aired on the Disney Cable Channel with intros from Dave Clark. They also aired a compilation of clips with everyone from Stevie Wonder (doing the drum solo mentioned earlier) to Rufus Thomas doing "Walking the Dog."

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