Chart Music: the TOTP Podcast
May 17th 1977 - The Nationwide Jubilee Song Contest
In the last episode of Chart Music, we broke down Nationwide's Jubilee Fair - an astonishing melange of forelock-tuggery, Trad Jazz and moaning that things were better when we had an empire and National Service, which offered its viewers both an opportunity to revel in the past and a chance to experience what it was going to be like in the entertainment room of a care home in the future.
But we stopped short of mentioning one thing: the ending, where the winner of the Nationwide Jubilee Song Contest got the chance to reprise their tune. And we’ve seen the final – 15 and a bit minutes of musical astonishment
So, let us take you back to the post-teatime haze of Thursday May 17th 1977, as the hundreds of musical tributes to the Queen have been whittled down to five, and a nation – or at least, the part of it who isn't watching Crossroads – baits its breath for a Jubular soundclash of monumental proportions.
Eric Smallshaw of Eccles gets the party started with a sultry Lancastro-Cuban call to Rhumbic Bacchanalia. The youth of Hucklow First School, Sheffield, praise the Queen with balalaikas for her ability to get on a massive boat and go around the world. Richard Gwyn and Cameo let an entire Principality down with their 'rocking' music. The Farringdon Infants School of Sunderland produce an indecipherable dirge of xylophone-bonging and recorder-blaring. And the Singing Butcher and the Coventry Kids shout their fealty to the Monarchy in a way that only 70s youths and a ginger meat-man can. But who will win? Only Richard Stilgoe knows...
Team ATVLand - Neil Kulkarni, Taylor Parkes and Al Needham - sit down and tuck into one of the most gloriously mental slivers of British TV we’ve ever come across, breaking off to discuss Other People’s Children, the Hexham Heads, the difference between United and City fans, the Asian Jubilee Song Contest, and lifeboat crews rescuing a rugby ball in tribute to the Queen, or summat. SHIMMY AND SHAKE TO THE NUMBER, POP-CRAZED YOUNGSTERS!