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PHOTO SCRAPBOOK Ken Gibson #4 1960s -70s

                                                                  PHOTO SCRAPBOOK KG #4. #235
                                                       THE KEN GIBSON COLLECTION. 1960s - 70s
                                                                         Posted January 7th 2019

I was working as a studio director on Vancouver's weekly contribution to the teen Let's Go network series in 1966 when producer Al Vitols was assigned to direct a sports program and Let's Go simultaneously on November 4th!  I was given the opportunity to produce/direct that one show which the Vancouver Sun's Les Wedman the next morning reviewed: "Let's Go this week was ...a good one. Its production was turned over to Ken Gibson who got back to using performers from an acceptable age bracket. There were no grown-ups except 28 year old Red Robinson, senior citizen of the crowd." Then on January 15 1967 just before I was contracted as a staff producer, Wedman wrote: "Ken Gibson will produce Let's Go when it returns to Channel 2 at 5:30pm on Tuesday February 21. His immediate move is that he wants new talent for the show in the hope that he can present one new face each and every week for the next 19 weeks. The accent is on youth so teenagers and those just out of that age bracket are what he wants to find in the auditions. There will be no new auditions for Let's Go's new host job. Red Robinson is out and singer Howie Vickers, just 25, has the assignment." And that's how my career as producer/director started. Below are some of the productions in which I was involved during the 1960s into the '70s. I apologize for the quality of the photos which were originally on slides, and I hope there are enough photos here to keep you interested and some may being back memories of the way we were. Click once on each photo below to enlarge or on the arrow on the right size to change photos. The photos from some of my productions with a bit of background to them.

1. On Friday April 12th 1968 at 5:30pm "Let's Go" from Vancouver presented a special show featuring popular British rock group Eric Burdon and the New Animals. From the Vancouver Province: "What is remakable is its success with the visual portion of the total TV product. It is not a light show, it is a first rate black & white show that could have been improved by the addition of colour. Visual effects are fascinating, with negative, solarized, double images, Enterprize-like creations. Not psycheledic, merely creative visual accompanient, and all the better for it." Meanwhile those in the studios marveled at Bob Black's colourful pulsating rear screen oil projections while in the control room the monitors were black and white!!!  The half hour black & white Animals show is currently on Youtube in 3 parts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7NFAkq7YO8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6exfsws9jgQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGeVQEUHPN0
2. On Sunday March 29th 1969 at 2pm, a new Vancouver series "Town 'n Country" debuted and featured as hosts Mike Neun and Brian Bressler, a US singing-comedy duo performing in West Coast night-spots as "Mike and Brian, An Act as Exciting as its Name," which I had first seen as guests on Neil Sutherland's "Parade" series and was impressed enough to create a series with them hosting. Due to regular pre-emptions by NHL hockey play-offs, the "Town 'n Country" shows, which national critics stated had "full potential," were cancelled more often than not.  CBC Network liked 31 year old Neun and in 1970 offered him (but not partner Brian) another Sunday 2pm summer replacement series, "In the Round." Joan Irwin, Montreal Star, reviewed it as CBC's best variety weekly show: "The whole feeling is as amiable and refreshing as its attractive host, Mike Neun, a most engaging young man."  Patrick Scott, Toronto Daily Star wrote: ""The best variety show offering the CBC has come up with in the past several seasons, and its whole secret is simplicity." Then followed a 26 week contract for the 7pm Mike Neun Show followed by the series "Neun at Night" and "Nice 'n Easy" (taped in West Vancouver's Panorama Studios), till in March 1971 Neun had had enough and abruptly quit his series with six shows left in his contract. Why? As a folk singer/comedian, he hated hosting a variety series with a big band, dancers and glitzy sets which CBC Toronto had insisted on, promoting Mike as Canada's answer to Glen Campbell's popular variety series.  EnterThe Irish Rovers (see below).
3. From the "Town 'n Country" series and flanking Neun are singers Buddy Knox (Party Girl, Hula Love) who had moved to BC in 1962, and Vancouver country music star Irene Butler, singer with the 1960s Vancouver group The Valentines.
4. Me with other guests, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Knox. Jerry Lee's contract was for just two songs Green Green Grass of Home and Roll Over Beethoven/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, and instead he and his band kept playing and playing to an enthusistic audience's delight. If only we had saved that tape!  Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSl6kYq5hYk  
5. On December 28th 1969, CBC presented "Two for the Road," a 4-city hop across Canada starring Pat Hervey and Ray St. Germain where they were joined by a number of talented performers. Animation and live action sequences linked the segments and Vancouver actor Allan Anderson, portraying the CBC butterfly (the colour symbol of the network) is the visual catalyst who makes the electronic "magic" happen on the holiday Special. For the Vancouver segment the executive producer was Len Lauk, I was the producer, and film director was Michael Berry.
6.  Producer Neil Sutherland approached me about producing/directing one program in the network's classical music series "Music to Remember" and the featured guest would be popular 50s and 60s TV and radio pianist Clive Lythgoe, considered Britain's answer to Liberace. In the 1960s, he was the first classical pianist to abandon formal concert attire. The stylish collarless suit which Pierre Cardin designed for him attracted the attention of Brian Epstein, who asked if the Beatles could adopt the same style!  Here we are on location at Lost Lagoon for the interview section. On the left is Bill White (former cameraman, here production assistant). This was my one and only involvement with classical music.
7.  Clive Lythoe is being interviewed by Meredith Davies, renowned British conductor. Early in July 1961, Davies went to Vancouver for the North American premiere of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 1964 he was appointed musical director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and stayed in that post until 1971, apparently broadening its repertory considerably.
8.  Lythgoe's UK TV series "The Lythgoe Touch" lasted for 85 weeks, and his radio show "My Piano and I"  lasted 52 weeks. He also hosted a TV series, "A Touch Of Lythgoe," for PBS. Two more shots at Lost Lagoon, the first with technician Terry Hudson on the left ...
9  ... and the second with Annie Guimaraens (script assistant) on the left and Bill White on the right of Lithgow and Davies.  Car buffs may be interested that Lythgow owned a Bristol 405 sports car.
10. Here I am with Patsy MacDonald but neither of us can remember where this was taken. Recognize the background?  HELP!
11. Following a ratings' winning "Christmas with Juliette" Special I produced in Vancouver, Julie was offered a CBC Vancouver music series, "It's a Musical World," which would feature Julie with a musically talented bunch of kids (a sort of all-music "Partridge Family") with Julie in the Shirley Jones mom role. But CBC Toronto offered her a daily talk show and temptation was too great and she returned back east. We then decided to fill the vacant "parent" role with an all-Canadian looking male and Tommy Common fit the bill perfectly. Here was a blond haired, blue eyed, handsome guy with a superb voice, known to Canadians for performing in the TV network series Country Hoedown. So we contracted Tommy for the first few shows together with charismatic Irish musician Tommy Makem as co-host (Makem later pulled out because of previous North American concert commitments with the Clancy Brothers). The series debuted in 1973 and lasted three seasons.
12.  The Musical World kids' group was first named "Sweet Majac' (the initial from their 5 surnames) and later "Sweet Magic," and they were assembled by Angela Gann, herself a radio star from CBC some years earlier. Margot Kidder wanted to audition!  Over time group members came and went and in this photo the girls are Chris Rennie, Janice Third and Janet Docherty and the boys Bob Barker (now Rob Haynes), Andrew Mowatt and Greg Bannon.  The series had a viewing audience of about one and a half million each week.
13. They first performed with Juliette on her Special and according to CBC Audience Research they were just as popular as Julie!  Now, according to Research, they were even more popular than Tommy!!  Angela was their musical director and Grace McDonald their choreographer while Doug Parker and his orchestra provided the music. From Bob McGall, Director for BC: "The audience enjoyment of index 88 achieved by Musical World on April 25th places the show in a tie position with the April 6th episode of Happy Days as the most enjoyed entertainment program from any source rated so far in the '75/'76 season. My congratulations."
14. Here I am with Patsy MacDonald but neither of us can remember where this was taken! HELP!
15. When Mike Neun abruptly left his unfinished series in 1971, the Irish Rovers took over the slot.  The Rovers with leader Will Millar (here on his unicorn), George Millar, Jimmy Ferguson, Joe Millar and Wilcil McDowell with their first show more than doubled the audience size of the Neun show.
16.  Here on location with the Rovers in Victoria are Jimmy Ferguson, Patsy MacDonald (script assistant),  Joe Millar and Beverly Takeuchi (makeup).
17. My apologies for the quality of these slides. Left to right: Roger Packer (production assistant), George Millar, Wilcil McDowell, Beverly, Pat Abercrombie (costumes).
18.  Wilcil, George and Joe outside the replica of Anne Hathaway's Cottage, which apparently has since been torn down. Hathaway married playwright William Shakespeare when she was 26  and he was only 18. This age difference, added to Hathaway's antenuptial pregnancy, has been reported as a "shotgun wedding," forced on a somewhat reluctant Shakespeare by the Hathaway family.  Bet you didn't know that!
19.  Another bad photo. You'll recognize Patsy, Jim O'Brien (lighting) and Ray (camera) and the backs belong to Jimmy and Roger, with Joe way up on the hill.
20.  Jimmy, Roger and Joe.
21.  Joe, Pat Abercrombie, Alfio Berado (staging), John Crawford (audio), Beverly.
22.  Sorry, I can't remember where this shot of me was taken.
23 & 24.  Just in case you missed my previous collection, here's a repeat of the Beatles press conference photo in Vancouver which took place just prior to their first Canadian concert at the PNE's open-air Empire Stadium on August 22, 1974 in front of 20,000 fans. As an avid fan of the Beatles, I was absolutely thrilled to be there. A few years later for Good Rockin' Tonite, host Stu Jeffries interviewed Paul McCartney in Montreal. Paul offered me a front row seat at the concert that evening but I had to fly back to Vancouver that night to edit the interview for inclusion in that week's Good Rockin' Tonite show!  Now that's dedication!

NEXT SCRAPBOOKS:
JAN 21 #236  CBC TIMES 1962 Part 2
FEB 4   #237  CBC Vancouver Senior TV Audio Technician Larry Watson's Retirement 1994
FEB 18 #238   ALAN STEWART COLLECTION #3  Walt Disneyworld/Switchback

 

1. Eric Burdon & me,

1. Eric Burdon & me,

2. Mike Neun.

2. Mike Neun.

3. Buddy Knox, Mike Neun, Irene Butler.

3. Buddy Knox, Mike Neun, Irene Butler.


4. Me, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Knox

4. Me, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Knox

5. Alan Anderson, Pat Hervey, ?

5. Alan Anderson, Pat Hervey, ?

6. Bill White, Clive Lythgoe, Meredith Davies.

6. Bill White, Clive Lythgoe, Meredith Davies.


7, Pianist Clive Lythgoe, conductor Meredith Davies.

7, Pianist Clive Lythgoe, conductor Meredith Davies.

8. Terry Hudson, Clive, Meredith.

8. Terry Hudson, Clive, Meredith.

9, Annie Guimaraens, Clive, Meredith, Bill White.

9, Annie Guimaraens, Clive, Meredith, Bill White.


10. Tommy Common.

10. Tommy Common.

11. Tommy Common & Sweet Magic

11. Tommy Common & Sweet Magic

12. Sweet Magic: Chris, Janice, Janet, Bob, Andrew, Greg

12. Sweet Magic: Chris, Janice, Janet, Bob, Andrew, Greg


13. Sweet Magic performing

13. Sweet Magic performing

14. Patsy MacDonald & me

14. Patsy MacDonald & me

15. Rovers' Will Millar on unicorn

15. Rovers' Will Millar on unicorn


16. Jimmy Ferguson,  Patsy, Joe Millar, Beverly Takeuchi

16. Jimmy Ferguson, Patsy, Joe Millar, Beverly Takeuchi

17. Roger, Joe, George, Wilcil, Beverly, Pat Abercrombie.

17. Roger, Joe, George, Wilcil, Beverly, Pat Abercrombie.

18, Wilcil, George, Joe at Victoria's  Anne Hathaway's Cottage replica,

18, Wilcil, George, Joe at Victoria's Anne Hathaway's Cottage replica,


19. Patsy, Ray Waines, Roger, Joe.

19. Patsy, Ray Waines, Roger, Joe.

20. Jimmy, Roger, Joe.

20. Jimmy, Roger, Joe.

21.  Joe, Pat, Alfio, John Crawford, Beverly.

21. Joe, Pat, Alfio, John Crawford, Beverly.


22. Me in unknown location

22. Me in unknown location

23. The Beatles at press conference 22/8/64.

23. The Beatles at press conference 22/8/64.

24. Stu Jeffries & Paul McCartney.

24. Stu Jeffries & Paul McCartney.