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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."

  12. #12
    I will have to look out for these - thanks for mentioning.

    I have the Motown special already (and had the original VHS when it came out in the 80s) but always enjoy these BBC documentaries.

  13. #13
    Was Mary Wells ever on Ready Steady Go? I know she did Thank Your Lucky Stars. Are those avaiable?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    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.)
    I think it was Stevie's first appearance that was wiped. I was told he made a total of 3 appearances including the Motown special.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    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!
    Thanks for the information. Didn't know what songs they performed. It's sad if so many clips are gone.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    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.)
    Reach out, the Isleys’ song title is simply The Last Girl, an amazing ballad I still love to this day. And it’s on YouTube if you have a look!!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    Was Mary Wells ever on Ready Steady Go? I know she did Thank Your Lucky Stars. Are those avaiable?
    A while ago, I accessed a couple of websites which provided partial lists of those artists appearing on these two shows.

    Mary Wells is listed as appearing on RSG in the episode screened on 25 March 1966. Whilst I lived in what was then known as the London area and would have been able to watch it, unfortunately having just gone through my collection of digital images of the TV Times, that week is represented by the Anglia edition. RSG wasn't networked across the whole country, and Anglia is one of the areas where it wasn't shown as far as I'm aware, so I am unable to confirm any information about her appearance. She doesn't appear in any of the compilation programmes that I recorded.

    According to the other website, Mary Wells is listed as appearing once on Thank Your Lucky Stars, on 24 October 1964. My digital copy of the TV Times confirms this. There is also a nice picture of her together with a brief article:

    "She's the Beatles' favourite"
    "The Beatles' favourite singer, Mary Wells, comes to Thank Your Lucky Stars on Saturday. Mary is in the middle of a British tour with the Beatles, and she is getting a wonderful reception everywhere with her very individual rhythm-and-blues numbers.
    "Mary, who is 21, hails from Detroit, where she turned up at an audition there one day with a song - not her voice - for sale.
    "A recording company so much liked what they heard, both song and voice, that they signed her up at once.
    "Since then Mary's record of My Guy has swept not only America, but all Europe. Her latest number What's Easy For Two Is So Hard For Only, looks like doing the same. The Beatles obviously have good taste."

    The picture is the same as the one that appears on the back of the booklet issued with the Kent CD Mary Wells - Two Classic Motown Albums.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=reese;567806]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.

    Hi Reese,
    A belated thank you for this clarification, you are absolutely correct. When I originally indexed the tracks about 30 years ago, I didn't make any distinction between the differing performances and I don't think I have ever watched them since.

    I have now managed to transfer my VHS recordings on to DVD, although I had originally recorded them on Betamax as I didn't have my first VHS recorder at the time they were tranmitted. Nice to see them again after all this time!

    As I had recorded the programmes, I never bought any of the commercial tapes, so I didn't know which clips were duplicated. Interestingly I read a few days ago that only around 10 episodes have survived, and three of those are incomplete. This information came from the producer of the show who bought tapes of some of the shows at the time and that is the only reason that any have survived.

    So Dave Clark and BMG may not be sitting on a treasure trove. Also it means that my previous guess at how many episodes may have survived is inaccurate. Now that I have watched all the ones I have, some clips which I had dated did not come from appearances on the show, but were filmed clips inserted into the middle of the programme - often containing an ubiquitous Dave Clark Five performance.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I will have to look out for these - thanks for mentioning.

    I have the Motown special already (and had the original VHS when it came out in the 80s) but always enjoy these BBC documentaries.
    Still available on the BBC iPlayer for a further 15 days. Alternatively, BBC4 does have a good habit of repeating some of their excellent programmes not too long after their initial screening.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I think it was Stevie's first appearance that was wiped. I was told he made a total of 3 appearances including the Motown special.
    The sketchy information I have suggests that he appeared on the following programmes:

    1. 27 December 1963 - performing Fingertips Pt.2 (presumed wiped).

    2. unknown date - this is the Drum Solo I mentioned previously, now that I have transferred my tapes to DVD, I can confirm that this is just a brief clip from a pre-filmed performance which was inserted midway through the programme and had nothing to do with the live studio.

    3. 18 March 1965 - The Sounds of Motown Special

    Whether he made a third live appearance in the programme, I don't know as the records I either have or have found, are incomplete.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by soulwally View Post
    Reach out, the Isleys’ song title is simply The Last Girl, an amazing ballad I still love to this day. And it’s on YouTube if you have a look!!
    Thanks soulwally! At the time I did the indexing 30+ years ago, I didn't have much in the way of reference material, so I just wrote down what I assumed was the title. When I included the track in my earlier posting, I was too lazy to check my collection for the correct name. Now you have kindly answered my question, I did the check and found out that I don't have it anyway! As it came out on the Atlantic label, this could explain why I missed it.

  22. #22
    Mary Wells also appeared on the BBC's 'Juke Box Jury' on Saturday 17 October 1964. She probably didn't sing on this show as it was a panel show rating new release records.

  23. #23
    I've seen pictures of The Miracles on a different set (with Claudette) from Ready Steady Go - not the Motown special. Anyone know if that survived somewhere as I haven't seen it pop up anywhere?

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post
    I've seen pictures of The Miracles on a different set (with Claudette) from Ready Steady Go - not the Motown special. Anyone know if that survived somewhere as I haven't seen it pop up anywhere?
    Hi tjl,
    According to my copy of the TV Times, the Miracles appeared on RSG! on Friday 4 December 1964 "The Miracles - four boys and a girl with the most exciting sound in American pops".

    P J Proby also appeared on this programme "with his new record" which would have been Somewhere, but like the Miracles appearance, this did not appear on the compilation programmes.

    What I can add is that the programmes, both immediately before and after, have survived as several clips were included from both episodes in the compilation programmes. The earlier one included the Beatles, Kim Weston and the Isley Brothers, so I'm afraid I believe that the one with the Miracles has probably joined the long list of tapes wiped by ITV.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    Mary Wells also appeared on the BBC's 'Juke Box Jury' on Saturday 17 October 1964. She probably didn't sing on this show as it was a panel show rating new release records.
    Yes, indeed. Although occasionally artists were invited on to the show and hid behind a curtain listening to the panellists commenting on their songs, in this case Mary Wells was a panellist - along with Des O'Connor and Jimmy Young!! No record who the fourth panellist was. (UK members will recognise those names, although they may be unfamiliar to those elsewhere in the world. I would simply suggest that Mary was the odd one out!)

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by reachoutuk View Post
    Yes, indeed. Although occasionally artists were invited on to the show and hid behind a curtain listening to the panellists commenting on their songs, in this case Mary Wells was a panellist - along with Des O'Connor and Jimmy Young!! No record who the fourth panellist was. (UK members will recognise those names, although they may be unfamiliar to those elsewhere in the world. I would simply suggest that Mary was the odd one out!)
    Both Des and Jimmy were big fans of Motown. Diana was a guest on Jimmy's radio show a couple of times, and she appeared on Des's ITV chat show around five times in the 90's. Other Motown and soul artists were also guests. I never met Jimmy, but i met Des several times and he was always warm and friendly.

  27. #27
    Well, it seems that my original posting was premature. I have now received a wonderful book written by Andy Neill about Ready Steady Go! It is LP sized, contains 268 pages and is described as the definitive account. I have now had a chance to cross reference the indexes, and hopefully this is the complete list of Motown or Motown connected appearances on the shows.

    27/12/63 - Stevie Wonder: Fingertips Pt.2; Workout, Steive, Workout
    09/10/64 - Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go; Baby Love
    16/10/64 - Isley Brothers: The Last Girl (Live)
    23/10/64 - Mary Wells: failed to appear, trapped in theatre due to security after appearing with the Bealtes
    06/11/64 - Martha and the Vandellas: Dancing In the Street; Heatwave
    20/11/64 - Marvin Gaye: Can I Get A Witness; How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You
    27/11/64 - Isley Brothers: Stagger Lee; The Last Girl
    27/11/64 - Kim Weston: A Little More Love
    04/12/64 - Miracles: That's What Love Is Made Of; Mickey's Monkey
    12/03/65 - Temptations: It's Growing
    12/03/65 - Stevie Wonder: Kiss Me Baby; Hey Harmonica Man
    19/03/65 - Martha and the Vandellas: Nowhere To Run
    19/03/65 - Miracles: Ooh Baby Baby
    26/03/65 - Chuck Jackson: I Need You; I Keep Forgettin'
    26/03/65 - Supremes: Stop! In the Name of Love
    26/03/65 - Chuck Jackson and Diana Ross duet, backed by the Supremes: What'd I Say (Live)
    28/04/65 - The Sound of Motown
    Supremes: Baby Love
    Miracles: You Really Got A Hold On Me
    Stevie Wonder: I Call It Pretty Music But the Old People Call It the Blues
    Temptations: The Way You Do the Things You Do
    Martha and the Vandellas: Heatwave
    Earl van Dyke Six: All For You (as background)
    Miracles: Ooh Baby Baby
    Martha and the Vandellas with Dusty Springfield: Wishin' and Hopin'
    Temptations: It's Growing
    Supremes: Shake
    Earl van Dyke Six: Too Many Fish In the Sea
    Martha and the Vandellas: Nowhere To Run
    Stevie Wonder: Kiss Me Baby
    Dusty Springlfied with Martha and the Vandellas: Can't Hear You No More
    Supremes: Stop! In the Name of Love
    Temptations: My Girl
    Martha and the Vandellas: Dancing In the Street
    Miracles: Shop Around
    Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go
    Miracles and everyone: Mickey's Monkey
    21/05/65 - Four Tops: I Can't Help Myself; It's Not Unusual
    18/06/65 - Marvelettes: I'll Keep Holding On
    09/07/65 - Major Lance: failed to appear
    08/10/65 - Supremes: Nothing But Heartaches
    03/12/65 - Major Lance: Everybody Loves A Good Time
    21/01/66 - Stevie Wonder: Uptight (Everything's All Right)
    25/03/66 - Mary Wells: failed to appear, having left Motown
    01/04/66 - Martha and the Vandellas: failed to appear, moved to 08/04/66
    08/04/66 - Martha and the Vandellas: My Baby Loves Me
    10/06/66 - Stevie Wonder: failed to appear
    15/07/66 - Edwin Starr: Headline News
    23/09/66 - Chuck Jackson: failed to appear
    28/10/66 - Edwin Starr: Stop Her On Sight (SOS); Agent Double-O-Soul
    18/11/66 - Four Tops: Baby I Need Your Loving; I Can't Help Myself; Reach Out I'll Be There
    02/12/66 - Jimmy Ruffin: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
    09/12/66 - Jimmy Ruffin: I've Passed This Way Before; What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

    The book also states that this not a comprehensive list, as little has survived from the shows. There were 177 episodes and only nine plus The Sound of Motown have survived.
    Last edited by reachoutuk; 11-01-2020 at 08:48 AM.

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