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Rock 'n' Roll Britannia

Episode 1 of 3

Documentary about the pre-Beatles rock era, when the likes of Lord Rockingham's XI, Vince Taylor and Cliff Richard and The Shadows created a unique copy of American rock 'n' roll.

Long before the Beatles there was British rock 'n' roll. Between 1956 and 1960 British youth created a unique copy of a distant and scarce American original whilst most parents, professional jazz men and even the BBC did their level best to snuff it out.

From its first faltering steps as a facsimile of Bill Haley's swing style to the sophistication of self-penned landmarks such as Shakin' All Over and The Sound of Fury, this is the story of how the likes of Lord Rockingham's XI, Vince Taylor and Cliff Richard and The Shadows laid the foundations for an enduring 50-year culture of rock 'n' roll.

Now well into their seventies, the flame still burns strong in the hearts of the original young ones. Featuring Sir Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Bruce Welch, Cherry Wainer and The Quarrymen.

58 minutes

Last on

Sat 17 Oct 2020 02:20

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:05

    Bill Haley and His Comets

    Rock Around The Clock

  • 00:07

    Lonnie Donegan

    Rock Island Line

  • 00:14

    The John Fox Symphonic Orchestra

    Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance No 4

  • 00:35

    The Shadows


  • 00:35

    The Shadows


  • 00:53

    Johnny Kidd and the Pirates

    Shakin' All Over

  • 00:56

    Cliff Richard

    The Young Ones (Film Version)


Role Contributor
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Producer Ben Whalley
Director Ben Whalley


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