CHANNELLING THE BEAT! – BOOK REVIEW BY JOE MEEK SOCIETY’S ROB BRADFORD
(The Ultimate Guide To UK 60s Pop On TV)
Author Peter Checksfield
Well, this magnificent tome certainly delivers. It is surely the definitive book on this fascinating subject. In essence, it is the summation of 30 (yes 30!!) + years of patient, determined, dedicated and dogged research. Author Peter Checksfield is both a TV/Film and music fan/ writer. I love the introduction to his book. It is clearly a labour of love and it is most definitely written by a fan, for fans. For over 25 years, Peter had been researching TV / Film appearances by UK Pop Music artists of the 1950s / 1960s. He was waiting for someone to publish a book on the subject. Eventually, it dawned on him that he was the person to do it. So, he then spent the next five or six years organising, refining and typing up all of the information that he had amassed – before self – publishing the results. Over 700 pages, crammed with information.
Anyone who has done any writing at all or undertaken research in archives etc (as I most certainly have) will know that it all involves a simply enormous amount of time and effort. In the past, I have done some small scale projects (eg….Joe Meek / RGM acts on TOTP), Joe Meek / RGM acts on Five O’Clock Club / Thank Your Lucky Stars etc., etc. The Tornados at the BBC (Radio) and numerous others that I could list. Essentially, it required some research skills…..but then literally hours and hours of tedious slog to extract the relevant information and then hours more work to write it all up.
Now….I know how long it took me….concentrating upon small areas of research. What Peter Checksfield has done is to research every single TV / Film apppearance by no fewer than 150 different artists!!! It is truly a monumental effort. Of course – all of the big names are included: The Animals, the Beatles, Cream, the Dave Clark Five, the Hollies, Manfred Mann, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, the Rolling Stones, the Searchers, the Shadows, the Small Faces, the Who…etc etc.
Plus, of course, Peter has included quite a few Joe Meek / RGM acts too: These include: Mike Berry, Billie Davis, Heinz, the Honeycombs, John Leyton, Screaming Lord Sutch, Sounds Incorporated, the Syndicats and the Tornados.
Although the above will primarily be of interest to JMS members, I am sure that most people / music fans will find the entire book absolutely fascinating. The book is packed with interesting facts and trivia. Transmission dates are included whenever possible as is information about the songs performed. Not only that – it is all incredibly nostalgic and a great memory jogger. I’m sure that most of us recall the main music shows: 6.5 Special, Oh Boy!, Drumbeat, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Ready, Steady, Go!, TOTP, OGWTest, Colour Me Pop, The Beat Room etc., etc. But where ”Channelling The Beat!” really scores is in reminding us of half – remembered / long forgotten shows (especially children’s TV) on which a lot of groups and singers made regular and numerous appearances – eg Pops And Lenny (the Lion!!), Tich and Quackers, Big Night Out, Top Beat, the Pop Spot, the Tingha and Tucker Club, Whistle Stop, Action! and many more. Again, we all tend to remember Crackerjack, Five O’Clock Club and Blue Peter….but I hadn’t thought about some of the others for well over fifty years. So many variety shows too (apart from the fondly remembered ones). They are all here in this remarkable book.
OK…to whet your appetite – Mike Berry’s 60s TV appearances: 07 – 04 – 62 Thank Your Lucky Stars (It’s Just A Matter Of Time), 11 – 08 – 62 Twist! Music With A Beat, 20 – 04 – 63 T Y L Stars (My Little Baby), 29 – 09 -63 T Y L Stars (It Really Doesn’t Matter), 24 – 01 – 64 Ready Steady Go!, 08 – 02 – 64 T Y L Stars (On My Mind), 25 – 04 – 64 T Y L Stars (Lovesick), 08 – 05 – 64 RSG!, 18 – 05 – 64 Hi-T!, 20 – 06 – 64 Open House, 26 – 06 – 64 RSG!, 02 – 07 – 64 For Teenagers Only, 17 – 10 – 64 TYL Stars (Two Lovers), 12 – 12 – 64 (Two Lovers), TYL Stars Summer Spin (That’s All I Ever Want From You Baby). Peter goes on to list all of Mike’s 1970s / 80s / 90s appearances too – ending with the Voice (13 – 02 – 16) when Mike sang True Love Ways.
I won’t list any more RGM acts just yet…..as I am sure Peter would like you to buy this brilliant book. By the way, he lists film appearances too and a handful of foreign shows like Germany’s Beat Club and the main USA shows (Shindig! The Ed Sullivan Show etc.) too. There are no illustrations, it’s all text. The main reason, of course, is to keep down the cost of the book. I got mine from Amazon for £24.95 (there was also a Kindle version for a mere £6.99). Quite honestly, it’s a steal, considering the sheer amount of work involved. A must buy for anyone with more than a passing interest in UK TV / Pop Music. This book will immediately be the ‘go to’ reference on the subject. It’s officially recommended by Peter Noone, Mike Pender, Brian Poole, Steve Ellis and Billie Davis. Oh, and me too!! (ISBN9781723468216)
Rob Bradford – Thunderbolt editor
KIndle edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FWMTCC4/
Amongst the featured artists are Mike Berry/The Outlaws, John Leyton, The Tornados, Screaming Lord Sutch, Heinz, and The Cryin’ Shames.
The book includes a foreword featuring some interesting anecdotes by Peter Noone, Billie Davis, Mike Pender, Brian Poole, Tony Crane and Steve Ellis.
With 30 years of research, over 700 info-packed pages, and a foreword by Peter Noone, Mike Pender, Tony Crane MBE, Brian Poole, Steve Ellis& Billie Davis,‘Channelling The Beat!’ more than lives up to its subtitle ‘The Ultimate Guide to UK ‘60s Pop on TV’!
Profiled are over 150 “British Invasion” artists. These include the post ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll of Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and The Tornados; the beat explosion of The Beatles, The Tremeloes and Herman’s Hermits; the rhythm ‘n’ blues of The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things and The Who; and the psychedelia of The Pink Floyd, Procol Harum and Traffic, not forgetting the girl singers such as Cilla Black, Billie Davis and Dusty Springfield.
Amongst the 100’s of legendary shows featured are the UK’s ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’, ‘Top of The Pops’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, the US’s ‘The Ed Sullivan Show, ‘Shindig!’ and ‘Hullabaloo’, Europe’s ‘Beat Club’, ‘Popside’ and ‘Twien’, and 100’s of more!
So, whether you have just a casual interest in ‘60s music and culture, or you’re a more serious researcher and historian, this is the book for you!
To purchase go to our Merchandise link
ROBB’S NEW RELEASE – 10 INCH VINYL
Official release from Western Star.
This is a wonderful project, featuring original 60s Joe Meek recording artist Robb Shenton backed here by our all star Western Star house band featuring the likes of Rusti Steel, Alan Wilson, Steve Whitehouse and many more.
MALCOLM LENNY BOOK
Malcolm Lenny (ex Packabeats) has a book out. While not a 100 percent Meek book he does recall his recording with Joe.
It’s available in paperback and e-format at Amazon worldwide
Here’s the Amazon UK links:
Book Description: After being told that I should make a note of all the stories and people I’ve met during my life in music, as well as working in the television industry for 34 years, I felt compelled to put my own reminisces down on paper. It’s just that it occurred to me that I’ve met an awful lot of quite well-known people during my life, albeit some in only a small way. I played in ‘60s pop groups The Packabeats and recorded 3 singles with Joe Meek (The TELSTAR Man) and The Hi-Fi’s and recorded two singles with Glyn Johns (The Beatles record producer after George Martin). I also had a No.1 & No.4 in the German charts in ’65 and ’66 and a hit album with The Hi-Fi’s. Later on I worked in the TV industry, mostly with London Weekend Television (ITV) and later SKY TV (Satellite TV).
ADRIAN KERRIDGE’S BOOK
ADRIAN KERRIDGE’S BOOK
We have been contacted by Adrian’s daughter to advise:
From: Suzanna Kerridge
Subject: Adrian Kerridge’s book
Just to let you know we are in the final stages of editing. There was a delay due to the sudden death of my father. However, having worked closely with him in producing this book I have taken over its publication and we are working hard towards a date. As soon as that is available I will let you know.
NEW TRIUMPHS ALBUM AVAILABLE
THE TRIUMPHS – MEEK AND WILD
CD 24 Tracks with 12-page booklet
1. Meeksville 2. Telstar 3. Runaway 4. Husky Team 5. North Wind
6. Eye Of The Storm 7. Wild Wind 8. M25 9. Green Jeans 10. All Shook Up
11. Wipeout 12. Here Come The Good Times 13. He’ll Only Hurt You
14. Loneliness 15. Sunday Date 16. Dreaming Of You 17. Heart Of A Teenage Girl
18. Teardrops Fall Like Rain 19. Big Jim 20. The Coalman’s Lament
21. Night Of The Vampire 22. Jack The Ripper 23. Little Sister (Live) 24. Have I The Right (Live)
This is The Triumphs’ tribute to the work of famed record producer Joe Meek. Joe recorded many styles of music and ‘Meek and Wild’ offers a ‘jukebox’ full of great sounds, both vocal (15 tracks) and instrumental.(9 tracks).
In addition to popular chart toppers like Telstar and Have I The Right, the spotlight also falls on rarities such as Ray Dexter’s The Coalman’s Lament and, from the Tea Chest tapes, Geoff Goddard’s Here Come The Good Times. There are five original tracks, all inspired by the work of Joe Meek.
The Triumphs (Rob Bradford, Trev Faull, Ken Ledran and Ray Liffen) have as their special guest Dave Kaye, who recorded with Joe Meek. One of Dave’s tracks is He’ll Only Hurt You, a powerful ballad which he recorded with Joe, but which was never released at that time. Now you can hear it in a brand new arrangement with Dave backed by The Triumphs.
The album’s 12-page booklet includes descriptions of all the tracks and pictures of the band with many of the original Joe Meek artists that they have had the privilege of working with, including Clem Cattini, Dave Kaye, Malcolm Lenny (The Packabeats), Ray Dexter, Bobby Rio and Danny Rivers.
UK £9.99 including postage and packing
Europe £12.50 including postage and packing
Americas, Africa, Asia £13.50 including postage and packing
Australia, New Zealand £13.80 including postage and packing
Go to The Triumphs web site to purchase securely through
Now also available on-line at Bim Bam Records and Leo’s Den
Other methods of payment:
Pay by cheque (drawn on UK bank) made payable to ‘R. Liffen’
and sent to 24 Dalmeny Road, Carshalton, SM5 4PP U.K
Pay manually Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
The album is also available as a digital download at many outlets including
I Tunes UK I Tunes US Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Google Play and also Spotify
ROBB HUXLEY’S BOOK
320 pages and many photos
Buy now from Amazon UK £10.99 – in stock and with free delivery
or buy from Amazon.com (USA) for $14.99 plus delivery
Or order in your local Waterstones (extra charges and delivery delay)
The highs and lows of a Joe Meek recording and touring band are vividly detailed. R0bb was in Robb Gayle & The Whirlwinds/The Saxons/The Tornados
BACK ISSUES OF OUR NEWSLETTERS
All our Newsletters are still available as back issues and they have now been reduced to 10p (plus postage) – the same price as digital copies. Special rates available if you buy in bulk. There is a lot of information in these – specially the early ones edited by John Repsch and he used to answer letters in these too. Contact us if you are interested in back issues.