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BBC People's History of Pop - Wigan Casino & Northern Soul

BBC People's History of Pop - Wigan Casino & Northern Soul cover

Am sure that many of you will remember the recent requests from BBC researchers regarding the BBC series 'The People's History of Pop' that showed up here on Soul Source.
Well going by some msm pre-reviews it seems that this Friday the second episode touches 'Northern Soul' and features an account by Cheryl Summers of her experiences of Wigan Casino Allnighters

Here's a preview of the blurb from the BBC, a link to the programme webpage follows at the end
 

The People's History of Pop Episode 2 of 4 

1966-1976: The Love Affair

Fri 22 Jul 2016
21:30
BBC FOUR
 
Sat 23 Jul 2016
00:30
BBC FOUR

Writer, journalist and broadcaster Danny Baker looks at the years of his youth - 1966 to 1976 - a time when music fans really let rip.

From the psychedelia of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper to the birth of thelarge-scale music festival, this is when hair, sounds and ideas got wilder and looser as a whole new generation of fans got really serious about British pop music and the world around them.

There is testimony from hippies who found love and happiness at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, from a teenager growing up in Birmingham who discovered a new sound called 'heavy metal', and from fans sent wild with excitement after David Bowie and Marc Bolan were beamed down and glam rock was born.

A shy young man tells how he found expression through progressive rock, a fan relives her weekend escapes to Wigan Casino and a new scene called northern soul, and a young man discovers a new hero as reggae becomes mainstream.

Unearthed pop treasures include a rare item of clothing worn by Marc Bolan and given to a young fan as a gift after he knocked on Marc's door. A former teacher and pupil of Peckham Manor School are reunited, more than forty years after they witnessed an unknown Bob Marley perform in their sports hall, and rare photos of the event are shown. Plus, some rare and special material from the biggest star of the 70s himself - David Bowie.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07l24rf

Guess it could be interesting viewing, not really my cup of tea so if you do catch it this Friday then make sure that you let us all know how it was via the comments.below....

 




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'What!'! 'Say it Isn't So'!?  'Nine Times Out Of Ten' these programmes replicate each other, 'Marching' along the same path. Oh, god another Wigan-centric soul history, as if there was no scene after it. The Wigan brand being pushed yet again. 'If You Ask Me',  its lazy, poor, un-researched journalism in these type of programmes, acting as if time stood still when the doors of Wigan Casino closed. Why do they never look beyond the commodified brand? They just don't 'Get it Baby'....

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, paul-s said:

its lazy, poor, un-researched journalism in these type of programmes, acting as if time stood still when the doors of Wigan Casino closed

Think the clues in the strapline:    "1966-1976: The Love Affair Episode 2 of 4"

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4 hours ago, chatty said:

Think the clues in the strapline:    "1966-1976: The Love Affair Episode 2 of 4"

Yes, but I guess I am doubting that it will extend a Northern Soul strapline running beyond that or before that, thats my point. They tend to reify the whole scene into a narrow time warp......as if it began and ended there. Unless I have got it wrong and its covering the Torch and Wheel in this bit and then in the 80's and 90's section picks up the momentum of the scene again with Stafford, 100 club etc, etc and then in the millennium covers Europe & UK etc,  in which case, I stand corrected and apologise to the fantastic producers.

4 hours ago, chatty said:

 

 

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I wouldn't read too much into this Northern segment. In a ten year period of huge popular music transition, Wigan was a mere footnote, surely deserving a brief acknowledgement but not wanting much more than that in a series of this sort. British popular music ruled the world in this period but Northern Soul was an adopted dance craze that has stuck around much longer than anyone expected it to. The BBC continue to make their cultural noddings but just don't geddit but that's the BBC for you, a bunch of overpaid, self-important twerps who have absolutely no idea whatsoever despite (many) having attended the most expensive public schools and famous universities in the land.

 

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7 hours ago, FRANKIE CROCKER said:

I wouldn't read too much into this Northern segment. In a ten year period of huge popular music transition, Wigan was a mere footnote, surely deserving a brief acknowledgement but not wanting much more than that in a series of this sort. British popular music ruled the world in this period but Northern Soul was an adopted dance craze that has stuck around much longer than anyone expected it to. The BBC continue to make their cultural noddings but just don't geddit but that's the BBC for you, a bunch of overpaid, self-important twerps who have absolutely no idea whatsoever despite (many) having attended the most expensive public schools and famous universities in the land.

 

Well put indeed.

 

Edited by paul-s
It always posts the text twice!

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 22:27, paul-s said:

'What!'! 'Say it Isn't So'!?  'Nine Times Out Of Ten' these programmes replicate each other, 'Marching' along the same path. Oh, god another Wigan-centric soul history, as if there was no scene after it. The Wigan brand being pushed yet again. 'If You Ask Me',  its lazy, poor, un-researched journalism in these type of programmes, acting as if time stood still when the doors of Wigan Casino closed. Why do they never look beyond the commodified brand? They just don't 'Get it Baby'....

 

 

 

Replicate it did, clips from This England I expected there would be some nice memorabilia as promised, maybe I'm being a snob because personally i've collected this stuff all my life but I'm sure a photo album, a pair of shorts that were worn at Wigan and a copy of Russ Winstanleys book would be disappointing for anyone

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My main gripe with it was their line that....   UK music fans became hippies around 1967, then got into satanism via Black Sabbath before being converted by T-Rex and then moving on to worship all things Bowie ...... I was there at the time & not one of those scenarios even touched my life or any of my friends lives ... still the BBC says that's what happened so I guess I can't really have been there.  

Edited by Roburt

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A Spanish TV Crew asked if they could film a documentary of 2 young Spanish fans 'soul journey' during the Benidorm International Soul Fiesta in May.  I know the 2 Spanish lads very well and agreed. Both Mick H and myself were interviewed and managed not to make horses asses out ourselves and the 2 Spanish lads did equally well but sure as eggs are eggs it was all interspersed with 'rinse and repeat' footage from This England.  Even AFTER explaining to the producer and the front man that that was a false image of what we're about nowadays. 

If there was visually impacting, vintage film or video of TOTW, 100 Club, etc they'd use it.  Anything that has a visual impact.

Thing is... media folks are ONLY interested in visual imagery. Any substance or intimate detail, if perchance it does materialise in any production, is more by fluke than design. 

Dave 

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On 20/07/2016 at 22:27, paul-s said:

 

Back in the day part of the joy was that it was an underground scene and we were part of the "in crowd".

If the majority of the country still think it's all about baggie trousers and Wigan Casino we should rejoice because it's still an underground scene then! :D

 

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Last nights BBC4 show 'Arena -- 1966 - 50 Years Ago Today' was a lot better (in parts at least).

In 1998 I took a large group of UK soulies to Vegas. We went to loads of shows, had 2 we organised ourselves (Nancy Y did the work on the LA one & we had 2 live acts there -- Brenda Holloway being one), Lou Ragland organised the Vegas one where we had about 10 acts perform. Anyway, we also organised a 'soul crowd trip' to the local Motown Cafe. The weekend after our visit, they were running the 'Temptations Story' TV movie on a major network all over the west coast. To promote the show, the LA news team from the network contacted the Vegas Motown Cafe. They told them to come along on the day we were there (we had arranged the day / time ahead so that they would give us a behind the scenes look round) and so we found ourselves being interviewed by the news team & being pushed up on stage to sing / dance with the 'Imitation Supremes' who were performing live numbers.

The subsequent news piece wasn't too bad BUT almost 30 minutes of footage they shot was condensed down to a 90 - 120 seconds long piece for broadcast.    

A few of the UK crowd at the Motown Cafe (with the LP-lookalike menus -- got one of them here somewhere) ...

 

MotownCafeLV.jpg

Edited by Roburt

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As soon as I saw Danny Baker my heart sunk (sorry!). But having Cheryl narrate it was good, as she knows her onions and is well respected. I guess the BBC can't magic film up from the 1970s if it isn't there in the archives.   

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The lack of old film (& even photo) evidence of what went on in the 60's / early 70's UK soul scene is a real problem.

There was the period of around 4 years when fake soul groups were all the go. Loads of US artists came here but had to perform as 'fakes' (not their fault as they were told do the gigs or we'll not pay your airfare home). The only remaining (photo) evidence of this period seems to be the few photos of the Invitations (fake Drifters) in an old UK book on the Drifters (shots taken at the Wheel being featured in that book).

Then there's all the real acts who came over here in that same period. It was (many of) these artists that inspired the UK beat group / R&B group scene (and in the mid 60's, every UK pop group was following the R&B route at least on their live show material). These visitors all played the London venues when over here, so you'd think a few photographers or music mag guys (mostly London based people) would have documented their visits ... SADLY that doesn't seem the case.

When Jo Wallace was collating the photographic archives for London museum collections (documenting music related photos), she found next to none that were of visiting soul stars. Of course, big touring parties such as the Motown & Stax Reviews were covered but not the Oscar Toney Jnr, Roy C, Inez & Charlie Fox, Alvin Cash & the Crawlers, Billy Stewart, Edwin Starr, Lee Dorsey, Spellbinders, Vibrations, Mad Lads, Garnett Mimms (apart from the photos on his live UK LP), James & Bobby Purify, Percy Sledge type shows.   

HECK, the likes of J J Jackson, Clyde McPhatter & more even lived here for some time & there seem to be very few photos of them even.

IN THE US, it's a totally different story. Loads of old photos were taken, though many aren't properly stored & documented so may be lost to us in the near future. ALSO many local TV stations ran their own soul shows for a period of a few months to a couple of years. Problem is most of the footage was junked within a couple of years as no one at those stns could see a market in the future for footage of current soul artists back then.  

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