TV discoveries

TV discoveries: Johnny O'Keefe, the Bee Gees and more

Unseen moments from the Bee Gees and JO'K
 Helen Tully

Marking 60 years of Australian television in 2016, we've shared these rare treasures from the NFSA collection.

JO'K and the Bee Gees

From Sing Sing Sing (Episode 65, January 1964). Courtesy: Seven Network Australia and O’Keefe Family

This historic clip shows The Bee Gees backing Johnny O'Keefe on the Dave Clark Five's, 'Glad All Over'. The Bee Gees departed Australian shores in January 1967, only to return for the occasional concert tour. To find any unseen footage from their Australian teenage days is very rare. It was broadcast on ATN7 in January 1964. 

Sing Sing Sing brought popular music to Australian teenagers. It was broadcast on Sydney’s ATN 7 from 1962 to 1965. The show was initially hosted by singer Lionel Long and was replaced after a year by the very popular Johnny O’Keefe. O’Keefe had been seen on Australian television screens on the ABC’s Six O’Clock Rock (1959-62) and Seven’s The Johnny O’Keefe Show (1961-62). See more rare Johnny O'Keefe material in our curated collection.

The NFSA discovered the content of this episode when the 16mm image and sound negatives were digitally scanned to ensure their preservation and availability for a contemporary audience.

Meeting in the Middle

Meeting in the Middle (Episode 1, 17 June 1979). Courtesy: Southern Cross Austereo and Coralie Wood 

Meeting in the Middle was an innovative early Sunday evening chat show hosted by Canberra teenagers that ran for 26 weeks from 17 June 1979. Teenagers interviewed celebrities asking questions they devised themselves. The show was the brain child of Desmond Bishop, who ran the Canberra Children’s Television Workshop at CTC 7 (now Southern Cross Austereo), and aimed 'to bridge the generation gap'.

The first episode featured Shani Wood (Canberra Theatrical Entrepreneur and Coralie Wood’s daughter) interviewing legendary Australian actor Frank Thring. In this clip Shani starts the interview with, 'Today I will be talking to an actor who once seen is never forgotten',  followed by, 'What do you get out of doing TV commercials?'. Thring's response is an emphatic, 'MONEY!'.

Raising a Husband

Raising a Husband (Episode 1, 1957). Courtesy: WIN Television

This quiz is Crawford Productions' earliest surviving TV program.

The show was broadcast on GTV 9 within months of the station’s opening on 19 January 1957. It was adapted from the successful radio series of the same name, which Alwyn Kurts hosted from its commencement in the late 1940s on Melbourne’s 3XY, a show which professed to find 'the most human husband'.

Only two episodes of the TV quiz were previously known to have survived; with the identification of this first episode, we now have three episodes. 


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