Excerpt from Six O’Clock Rock, 1959
Johnny O’Keefe initially saw television as just another gig, but soon realised the power of the medium to reach and build a national audience. The first of four shows that he hosted in the 1960s, Six O’Clock Rock ran on the ABC from February 1959 to September 1962. Billed as the ‘first national teenage programme’, it was Australia’s first live-to-air music TV program. The pressure of live television is obvious from this clip. Johnny giggles when he realises he has inadvertently endorsed Louis Prima’s movie Hey Girl, Hey Boy with a free plug on a government-owned TV station. Flustered, he forgets the name of the song he’s about to present, ‘Only Love Me’, and valiantly tries to conceal that he’s forgotten the name of performer Ernie Wilson too.
Notes by Tamara Osicka and Stephen Groenewegen