Pop Go The 60s! was a one-off, 75-minute TV special originally broadcast in colour on 31 December 1969,to celebrate the major pop hits of the 1960s. The show was a co-production between the United Kingdom's BBC and West Germany's ZDF broadcasters. It was shown on both stations on the same day, with other European stations broadcasting the programme either the same day or later. Although a co-production, it was primarily produced by the BBC and recorded at the BBC's Television Centre in London, in late 1969, featuring largely only British pop acts and hits.
The show (which went out at 10:35pm) was presented by Jimmy Savile and Elfi von Kalckreuth. The two presenters introduced each act (with the exception of Cliff Richard), but neither was present in the studio recording with the artists, their links being added later. Savile spoke English, whereas Elfi von Kalckreuth speaks in German throughout.
The BBC's Johnnie Stewart produced the show, while Stanley Dorfman directed. Both men were involved with the regular production of BBC music show Top Of The Pops and this show had a very similar look and production style. The artists performed on rostra, surrounded by a standing audience who danced along with the music. Klaus Weiding was the co-producer for the German station. The end titles are in both English and German.
Some of the artists present in the studio performed live, singing with an orchestra directed by Johnny Harris but many mimed to their original studio recordings. The Ascot Dancers appeared with a large number of the performers. Although a British-West German co-production, only one West German artist appears and that is on a pre-recorded film insert. The only song performed in German is by Sandie Shaw, who performed incomplete versions of two songs.
The participating artists were (in order of appearance):
The Who - I Can See For Miles
Adam Faith - What Do You Want? & Someone Else's Baby
The Tremeloes - Silence Is Golden
Lulu - Boom Bang-a-Bang
Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen - Midnight in Moscow
The Bachelors - Charmaine & Diane
Sandie Shaw - (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me & Wiedehopf Im Mai (German-language version of Puppet On A String)
Marmalade - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Johnny Harris Orchestra & The Ascot Dancers - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
The Kinks - Days
Horst Jankowski - A Walk In The Black Forest
The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Helen Shapiro - Walkin' Back to Happiness
Tom Jones - Delilah
The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
Cilla Black - Anyone Who Had A Heart
The Shadows - Apache
Cliff Richard & The Shadows - Bachelor Boy
Cliff Richard - Congratulations
The Beatles - I Feel Fine & Help!
Dusty Springfield - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Adam Faith's song What Do You Want? had reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in 1959, but was the first number 2 record of the 1960s.
Tom Jones had to withdraw from the recording at short notice, resulting in the inclusion of an earlier performance of his song from Top Of The Pops. This footage was a film recording in monochrome and was shown on a giant screen in the studio, with the audience dancing to the soundtrack. Horst Jankowski appears in a, rather soft, film insert shot in a snowy landscape in West Germany. Neither The Rolling Stones nor Cilla Black were present for the recording either. Their performances were recorded (in colour) in other studios without an audience and cut into the final edit.
The Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter was the only track included in the show that had not been a hit single but instead an extremely popular album track. The Beatles performances were also archive clips, taken from the film The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Although presented back-to-back, Sandie Shaw undergoes a costume change between her two performances. Most of the full programme recording has survived in the archives, together with out-takes and a re-recording of The Shadows performances. The only missing footage is that of Dusty Springfield, which is no longer available. The show has been repeated on both BBC Four and The Yesterday Channel in the UK and often on other European stations. Due to rights issues, the repeats have often been forced to omit The Beatles footage. The most recent repeat on BBC Four (in 2015) was edited to remove all appearances of Jimmy Savile. Each song originally introduced by Savile (shown in a completely random order compared with the original production) was introduced by an on screen caption, although Elfi von Kalckreuth still appeared in the edit.