The History Of TOTP!
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
Next: Cover your eyes, here comes the '70s...