10 Jan 1976 – Series Four (4)

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Manchester comedian Johnny ‘Goon’ Tweed

Joining panel regulars Mickie Most, Jimmy Henney, and Dickie Hurran for show four of the series was BBC disc jockey Noel Edmonds.  He was the first person employed by the BBC to appear on the show and it took quite some time for the ATV team to arrange his release from his BBC contract.

They watched the following seven new acts;

  • Smith & Jones (country & western duo)
  • Don Collins (male vocalist)
  • Hooker (four-piece group)
  • Jamboree (four-piece group)
  • Malwoods (magic act)
  • Joy Rose (female vocalist)
  • Johnnie ‘Goon’ Tweed (comedian)

With both female vocalist Joy Rose and comedian Johnny Goon Tweed appearing in the All Winners Show at the end of January 1976, it remains unclear which of the two acts actually won this show.

Booking her place on the first All Winners Final of the series, was the entertaining blonde singer Joy Rose, who was managed by brilliant musician Gil Lucas (founder of the sixties group The Migil Five), who also had the group Monopoly, winner of the previous weeks viewers panel vote, on his books.  Joy performed the song He’s My Man, which was written by Jim Ellis, who was the voice of the Gnu in the Typhoo Tea advert.

19760225_Sunshine_SongforEuropefeatJoyRose
Song for Europe act Sunshine, featuring New Faces winner Joy Rose (centre). Image: Trinity Mirror. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved.

Joy Rose decided to enter New Faces as a solo artist  instead of with the big band she was performing with at the time, who were known as Blood.  She shared the vocals in the band with Opportunity Knocks Guy Steele.  Joy Rose has a voice that was described as good range and depth with a slightly raw, rasping quality that sounded great with brass.  She had been singing songs such as Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain and Barbara Streisand’s People. Following her success on New Faces the band were billed as Blood and Joy Rose.

In February 1976 Joy joined the group Sunshine, formed by singer-songwriter and record producer Rod McQueen.  Along with other members Drew Ross, Alistair MacBean and Jean Hawker they performed the song Maria at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC’s Song for Europe.  Also performing that evening were Hazel Dean, Tony Christie, Frank Ifield and runners-up Co-Co, with future Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker in their line-up. Sunshine finished seventh out of twelve acts with the Brotherhood of Man’s Save All Your Kisses for Me going to represent, and ultimately win, The Eurovision Song Contest at The Hague.

Such was her success, Joy would appear again on New Faces as a guest act on the fourth All Winners show of the series.

Johnny (Goon) Tweed was a studio top scorer, with his zany vignettes of the immortal Goons, and had one of the largest followings of any comedian in North East clubland enjoying consistent success across his 30 years of performing in clubs.

Johnny’s act gave fans of the late lamented Goon Show an opportunity to relive some of the mad gang’s riotous moments as he recreated the radio characters with accurate impressions of excellent quality, utilising his own first rate and topical material.

He was an inventive artist and with a seemingly endless source of material to draw on he changed his material so frequently it was one of the major reasons for his club act popularity.  A highlight of his act was undoubtedly his Michael Bentine impression, which was presented with great authenticity.

Being a qualified chef Johnnie had always dreamed of opening his own restaurant in Worsley, Manchester and finally in November 1976 he gave up the entertainment business to return to his former profession.

He did pop-up in the Rovers Return on Coronation Street in February 1977 as a darts player, see clip below.

The People newspaper’s Peter Oakes attended the auditions for the new series, where he witnessed a variety of acts that didn’t make it. He saw a Pakistani gentleman in an Australian bush hat sing in broken English, a female ventriloquist whose lips moved and a fire-eater who spilled her paraffin on stage.  He also witnessed comedian Harry Harris glance at his right hand, palm held towards him, to read out his first joke. It wasn’t funny and neither was his next nor was the blue joke he tried next. When no one laughed he tried an even bluer joke which was met with stunned silence. Unsurprisingly Harry failed his audition, however West Country singer Don Collins, from Plymouth, was selected during these auditions to win his place on the show.

Jamboree, were a melodic and harmonious group whose organist had survived two car crashes during the group’s comparatively short career up to their appearance on New Faces.

The Malwoods combined visual magic with comedy, and saw Malcolm assisted by his wife Julie.

Smith and Jones were a foot stomping Country and Western duo who previously were with Johnny Duncan And His Blue Grass Boys.

3 thoughts on “10 Jan 1976 – Series Four (4)

  1. […] London duo Ash had the backing of veteran boxing promoter Jack Solomans, the man behind a total of 26 world title fights. He spotted the singing duo performing in a club and funded the recording of the song Mediterranean Woman which they performed on the show.  The song was written by John Garfield and his co-writer Jim Ellis who also penned the track that Joy Rose performed way back on show 4.4. […]

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