Saturday 4th April 1959 to Saturday
29th August 1959
"Drumbeat was certainly a wonderful and exciting experience for me. Every week we were rehearsing our solo numbers, the backing for artists and any camera movements that we might be involved in. I have been involved with many TV series but never one that was as innovative, exciting and had such a team spirit."
Drumbeat has often been unfairly overlooked when compared with
similar pop shows such as Six-Five Special and Oh Boy. Yet this
one-off, 22-week BBC series deserves much more attention. Apart
from the fact that it launched the careers of Adam Faith & John
Barry, song-writers Les Reed, Johnny Worth and Trevor Peacock, it
also managed to include guest stars of the calibre of Petula Clark,
Billy Fury, Dickie Valentine, Paul Anka, Cliff Richard & Anthony
Below you will find details of the majority of the programmes,
both artists and songs. Over the next few weeks and months we hope
to add further information about the show, the artists and the songs
some of which may never have been heard since!
Sadly none of the episodes appears to have survived, but as one
of them was telerecorded there is just a chance it has.
If you have any memories of Drumbeat, whether it be watching, taking part, or even any photos of the artists, please get in touch and we'll be happy to add them to this page.
Please enjoy our tribute to DRUMBEAT!!
|March 19, 2013
I too used to go regularly to Drumbeat at Hammersmith
and Shephards Bush. John Barry used to send me tickets
following my getting to know him and first wife Barbara
at Redcliffe Gardens.
I had to decline an invite to audition for guitarist
in The JB7 which Vic Flick later filled.
I am certain these shows were recorded on a thursday
and transmitted on saturdays. Prior to one particular
show JB told me he wanted it done in one run through
as he was eager to get on the road up to York straight
afterwards. Right in the middle of the Ponytails number
one of the trio had a coughing fit so, much to the delight
of the audience, the whole show had to be re-run.(there
was no editing facilities in those days).
I complained to Stewart Morris that there were no
close-up camera shots of finger fret work - his reply
being that, being television, he had to emphasize rhythm
visually (so all we got was strumming or pick work)
I also suggested to him that the Drifters (Shadows)
be given their own spot - as they did on stage shows!
At least this later happened!
And as far as Jack Good goes - he destroyed Gene Vincent
by giving him the black leather image!
Footnote by Geoff Leonard:
There is often some confusion about Drumbeat. However, studies of the BBC "programmes as broadcast" records confirm that apart from one episode, it was transmitted "live" on Saturday evenings.
Where the confusion can arise is that many of the performances of The Poni-Tails were filmed for later insertion into the otherwise live shows. This was because they were a visiting American group who would either no longer be in England, or on tour elsewhere in the country, at the time of the broadcast.
So, although the Drumbeat episodes the Poni-Tails appeared in were broadcast "live", Stewart Morris would cut to a filmed insert for their contribution at the appropriate moment - often as the final act.
The one exception, as I said, was the episode that was pre-recorded in its entirety, in which the Poni-Tails also appeared. That was recorded on a Thursday.
My dad (Harry Taylor) was the lead singer in the Kingpins.
The 3 guys in the red suits at the front on the cover,
Harry was the one in the middle.
Simon James Taylor
Although I enjoyed Drumbeat, it never had the same buzz
as Oh Boy!
Adam Faith hadn't really developed his style, and sang
horrible things like Runk Bunk. Roy Young was, and still
is terrific. Sylvia Sands looked lovely, but was really
a band singer. I think Dusty appeared, when still in the
My Dad was in Bob Miller and the Millermen. His name was
Bill Golding. He is on the Drumbeat cover (above)directly
behind Danny Williams. He was the Tenor Saxophone player.
I did my best to identify all the people on the cover
of Drumbeat when it was recently re-issued on CD, mainly
through asking some of the ones there I recognised, but
sadly nobody identified your father. Geoff Leonard.
a teenager growing up in Shepherds Bush, I attended many
of the Drumbeat shows. Some were at the Riverside studios
in Hammersmith and others at the Television theatre in
I remember one show when before the show started John
Barry and his band were doing sound checks and he noticed
someone in the audience.
Waving aknowledgement he then went off and Stewart
Morris came on to warm up the audience and then introduced
the mystery man as "The producer of the greatest
rock n roll TV show Oh Boy....Jack Good. And he was
sitting a few seats away from me...
Eager was the first and last singer each week. I remember
one programme not ending with Vince, he was second last.
This particular progamme ended with three drummers on
the studio floor in front of the bandstands. The three
drumkits were on a low step-high platform. I never forgot
the sight of three drummers soloing.