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21 April 2014
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The History Of TOTP!

Select from one of the four Pops phases on the right and find out all you've ever wanted to know about your fave music show!

When the BBC launched Top of the Pops on 1st January, 1964, absolutely no one could have believed it would become an authentic pop institution. Originally transmitted from a converted church in Manchester, Top of the Pops was commissioned for six shows. There have been over 2000 editions of the Pops since then.

The reason for its success was simple. Top of the Pops always remains true to its original format. After so many years, the show provided - via the Top 40 chart - a weekly snapshot of what's truly popular in popular music, always ending with the No.1 record. "It's a great idea for a programme, a brilliant format," said Chris Cowey, who produced the show from 1997 until 2003.

The influence of the Pops has been so huge over the years, that performing on the show became almost a 'rite of passage' for aspiring artists. "I always used to consider myself a failure until I appeared on Top of the Pops," said Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. There have even been songs - by The Kinks and The Rezillos - named after the show, which was also name-checked by The Boomtown Rats' 1978 No.1 hit, 'Rat Trap'.

The very first Top of the Pops, broadcast on a Wednesday evening at 6.36 pm, was introduced by DJ Jimmy Savile. The opening band was The Rolling Stones, who had just made No.13 in the chart with 'I Wanna Be Your Man'. They were followed by Dusty Springfield with 'I Only Want to be With You'; 'Glad All Over' by the Dave Clark Five; The Hollies with 'Stay' and The Swinging Blue Jeans performing 'The Hippy Hippy Shake'. The show was completed by filmed pieces with Cliff Richard & The Shadows and Freddie & The Dreamers, together with The Beatles, who played the week's No.1, 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'.

Next: Cover your eyes, here comes the '70s...
History of TOTP


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