Television and music

The Toddler’s Truce

As two facets of British social history, Rock and Roll and Television started more or less together in the mid 1950s. The visual excitement of the early rock and roll singers was a gift to television and the ‘box’ was far more immediate than a trip to ‘the pictures’ in this respect. It’s interesting to note that in the classic cinema film The Girl Cant Help It in 1957, rock legend Eddie Cochran is shown singing Twenty Flight Rock on a television screen.

We all know that in America Elvis Presley was only permitted to be seen from the waist up on his early performances on the small screen but the fact remains that he was seen, and the power of television brought him into the homes of a potential million more fans.

Up until 1957 The Television Act in Britain had ordered a complete closedown on channels between the hours of 6 and 7pm; a weird interlude known as “the toddlers’ truce”. The break was designed to allow parents to put their young offspring to bed without further distraction from the telly, and in the Fifties you were either an adult or child.

It was symbolic that the first TV programme to break the truce on Saturday 16 February 1957 would acknowledge the existence of another category, the Teenager. At five minutes past six, just after the News, Six-Five Special steamed in and immediately established a new television tradition of Good Rockin’ on a Saturday Night.  Or at least Good Rocking on a Saturday tea time. – Text by Paul Newman

Most of these television-related pieces were written when we originally started the book a decade ago, and Paul did all the initial work. Revisiting them now it’s apparent that a trove of new information and photos is now on line, so I edited and amended to fit these in. I hope I haven’t lost Paul’s original style.

This section has (will have) the following sub pages:

Six-Five Special
Oh, Boy!
Boy Meets Girls

Juke Box Jury
Thank Your Lucky Stars
Discs A Go Go
TV Drama
Ready Steady Go
Top of The Pops
Queens of Pop
The Old Grey Whistle Test
The Tube
Video Killed The Radio Star