April 5, 2018


1960s UK pop idol Billy Fury made a number of appearances on the ITV music television series, Thank Your Lucky Stars. The show started in 1961 and ran through 1966. And like many such programs, it featured current artists miming to their latest hits (live performances began around 1966). Hosted by Brian Matthew, who Spy Vibers might know from the various reissued BBC tapes, Thank Your Lucky stars shined a spotlight on many guest who made regular appearances. According to IMDB, here are some stats re: frequency: The Shadows (18 episodes), Dave Clark Five (17 episodes), The Rolling Stones (14 episodes), Cliff Richard (12 episodes), The Beatles (12 episodes), Dusty Springfield (11 episodes), Chris Barber (8 episodes), and Billy Fury- a whopping 22 episodes. I love these photos from a 1963 appearance. These shows could be so modern and innovative on a small budget just by using minimal geometric shapes and color. Very cool set design! During that same era, one could see a smilier design approach in The Avengers, where minimal shapes were used, in this case- in the foregrounds, to suggest environments. It appears Billy Fury's photo shoot was also used for the cover of the Thank Your Lucky Stars magazine. Photos curtesy of Billy Fury Archive. The excellent British Music Experience in Liverpool recently hosted a special Billy Fury event in conjunction with the publication of a new book, Halfway to Paradise. I highly recommend The British Music Experience, by the way. I visited the museum last summer and was very impressed with the collection of original instruments, costumes, and other artifacts that literally take the viewer from the early days of Trad Jazz and Skiffle through the 1960s and beyond to contemporary pop (Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Oasis, etc). I wrote a piece about it for jazz legend Chis Barber's website hereEnjoy! 

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