Friday, 9 March 2012
'The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club' ran on ITV for five series between 1974 and 1979. Set in a fake working man's club in Blackpool, it basically showcased the sort of 'turns' one could expect at a real WMC, for better or worse.
Some of the acts were on the way up (Cannon & Ball; The Krankies), many were indisputably on the way down (Johnny Ray; Kathy Kirby), some were down but not out (Roy Orbison). Most, however, were at their level and, apart from these brief appearances on the telly, would do the circuit until they gave up or gave out.
Here's Lonnie Donegan doing his best (not particularly good) Tom Jones. It is an interesting feature of the show that the star turns seem to resist doing they're best known for. In this case, Lonnie doesn't do any skiffling whatsoever, which is really the least you'd expect if you'd paid good money to see him. I like his outfit, though, just not sure where I would wear something like that.