and Cash – not the first!
Roger Williams, a fan of the Dynamic Duo from the start, had discovered another morning duo in 1963
I was there listening to Kenny right from the beginning at the end of 1964. I was entranced and excited by the pirates and recognised Ev immediately as someone very special.
It is usually thought that there had never been a radio duo in the UK before Kenny and Cash in April 1965, but this is open to challenge. I lived in Plymouth from 1962 onwards. The Home Service was partly regionalised in those days and Bristol was a particularly creative regional centre. My mates and I used to listen to a programme on Saturday morning called 'Good Morning'. It sticks in the mind so clearly because it had two co-hosts, Derek Jones and Alan Gibson. Alan Gibson was, amongst other things, a cricket commentator who undertook a stint on Test Match Special before his familiarity with alcohol finally tested the patience of his superiors.
The lure of 'Good Morning' was precisely because of the banter between two excellent broadcasters and the complete unpredictability of the music choices played. The programme is admirably summarised by Arunabha Sengupta on cricketcountry.com thus:
"His (Alan Gibson's) long stint at the BBC thus started from 1948 and saw him take up a variety of programmes. He did everything from parochial features and voiceovers and unscripted editions of Good Morning, a show full of dreadful jokes and charming banter with fellow compere Derek Jones - a forerunner of the modern day stuff hosted by disc jockeys."
I kept a diary in 1963 which records my sending off a postcard for a request to 'Good Morning on July 20th. Although it's unlikely that Ev would have heard 'Good Morning' my diary says that I was in Liverpool for Christmas 1963 and on Saturday December 21st, 2 I listened to the programme on medium wave up there.
My mates and I enjoyed 'Good Morning' simply because it was so innovative and unscripted with unpredictable music choices. I think it's unlikely that 'Cash of Canada' or 'Everett of England' (as they sometimes styled themselves), would have heard this programme, so the Texan influence of 'Charlie and Harrigan' remains pre-eminent.
I discovered the autobiography of Derek Jones (Microphones and Muddy Boots – pub 1987 by David and Charles), which contained some interesting information.
Alan Gibson and Derek Jones became something of a cult double act and although the book is written in less-than-zappy prose, the evidence is there that it's in the same territory and on the air several years before Big L.
1) The show was presented by two people
2) It was unscripted
3) They were taken off the air for a few weeks for overstepping the mark
4) They went off into their own unscripted flights of fancy
5) They pulled off an April Fool that baffled local press
6) They invented fictional characters
7) They did most of it without the London bosses' knowledge or permission.
I remember listening to Ev's reports from the Beatles US tour. Even then, to my untutored ears, you could tell that this was one interview with Paul McCartney more than earning its keep. The nightly reports simply didn't have the momentum that a tour should have generated and to that extent were a disappointment.
I'm sure Ev had great affection for his BBC Producer the late Angela Bond. He made a jingle for her based on the early 60's hit by Michael Cox called 'Angela Jones.'
I'm trying to recall the first time I saw Ev on the TV. I believe Kenny and Cash appeared together on Juke Box Jury while they were still pirates, but I could be wrong about the timing. I remember watching the programme with Mum, warning her that they might not be fab because this was their first time on telly and they'd be nervous. I was SO protective of them because they meant so much to me.
Roger Williams is Radio London Club Member 8W-7639 and still has the membership card! Roger presents 'A World Of Difference' every Monday night between 1900 and 2200 on Trent Sound
We asked around to see if anyone else recalled an appearance by the Dynamic Duo on Juke Box Jury (JBJ).
Jon Myer of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame found a listing on the TV Pop Diaries site for Dave Cash appearing on JBJ, but not Ev:
Saturday 30th July 1966
BBC1 Juke Box Jury (due to be shown 5.40 – 6.05 pm, but probably delayed due to World Cup Final extra time and cup celebrations)
Panel: Dave Cash, Joy Marshall, Jackie Stewart, Susan Hampshire
Jon notes that the viewing figures for that must have been huge, with the programme following immediately after England winning the World Cup.
Webmaster Mary returned from her school trip to Austria on that day, too late to see JBJ, but notes that the date was well after the last KC Programme. In the meantime, Dave had left Radio London and Kenny had been sacked and reinstated as a Big L jock. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the duo would have appeared together on the programme.
'Memory Man' Peter Young believes that Roger is recalling a KC appearance on 'Ready Steady Go!'
"As far as I know they never appeared on JBJ together. Kenny was on JBJ after Radio London, but before Radio One started. He was already on the Light Programme on 'Where It's At', so that made it acceptable. I saw that edition which was memorable for Ev getting out of his seat and pretending to strangle Leslie Crowther. Crowther forced a smile, but you could tell he didn't like it.
Dave may have appeared separately but I didn't see it, so can't be sure. He was of course also on the Light, pre Radio One.
You probably know the story of TW being booked to appear on the show at the height of his fame on London. Initially it was going to go ahead, but he was dropped a day before the scheduled appearance, when some BBC busybody put pressure on the producer.
Kenny and Cash did once appear on 'Ready Steady Go!' – I watched that in '65. They didn't get their record played and it was an all too brief appearance with Cathy McGowan (right) lasting no more than about 15 seconds!"
Thanks to everyone for their input.