Thursday, 21st September, 2017
We are trying an experiment with the U.K. Island Bumpers from 1970.
I’ve created playlists for the album’s on Spotify.
I have had the Festival Australian version of the album since the Australian Broadcasting Commission (as it was) moved their radio studio’s from a series of terraced houses in Lonsdale Street to a “modern” complex in Melbourne’s South Bank area quite some time ago. (The “new” studios have been refurbished twice since opening.)
The record was used by Dick Williams of the show Hit Scene. This was the precursor to the show Countdown (1974-87). Hit Scene was a “fill” show in that it played within the sporting telecasts on a Saturday afternoon from early 1969 to late 1972. It started in Melbourne, but soon spread nation wide.
Hit Scene had “live” performances from local bands and acts, both in the studio and on location. It was really at the forefront of the video clip era. It even had Dick playing with an early domestic video recorder!
There is speculation as to why it ended, but as the artists were miming their records and the Union band the practice, it is likely that the studios sound equipment wasn’t up to the task. Richard also didn’t exactly fit the part of hip young TV host
Amazingly, all the episodes seem to have survived and the ABC uses clips of the local bands on Rage from time to time.
Back to Bumpers. This is an important record because while almost all the tracks and some of the artists are different, it introduced Australia to the Island label in a meaningful way.
K-tel, EMI, and Festival were all producing compilations, but Bumpers was different. It was a single label promoting their up coming albums. These weren’t singles that had been hits, and recycled.
I’ve put together two playlists of the U.K. and Australian versions on Spotify. However, as with most older things, there are big gaps. You still get a pretty good selection though.