Legs & Co. – Funkin’ For Jamaica

Top of the Pops 7 August 1980: Legs & Co. dance to Tom Browne’s Funkin’ For Jamaica.

Update: new high-quality BBC4 version.

from the old blog, Saturday, 16 February 2013:

Legs & Co. dance to Tom Browne’s Funkin’ For Jamaica, in what I assume must be traditional Jamaican National Costumes.

“I will be quite honest, Flick Colby and I used to discuss that we probably needed to do a gymslip number or a raincoat number every so often because that intrigued a certain audience.” – Robin Nash, TOTP Producer

Looks like that was one traditional that Michael Hurl was prepared to continue with.

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Ruby Flipper – Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty)

Top Of The Pops, 5 August 1976:
Ruby Flipper dance to Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty) by KC & The Sunshine Band.

Thanks to SuePaLu for the YouTube post.

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Legs & Co. – Nights on Broadway

Top of the Pops, 4 August 1977: Legs & Co. dance to Candi Staton’s Nights on Broadway.

Update: an anonymous contributor has sent me a more complete version of this routine: while the previously posted version was 1 minute 42 seconds long, this one comes in at 2 minutes 16. That’s a whole 34 seconds more! Many thanks.

From the old blog, Tuesday, 5 February 2013:

Jings! Here’s another long lost Legs & Co. clip that’s turned up on YouTube, and been found by Flight14 over on panspeople.com: this time it’s Candi Staton’s Nights on Broadway from TOTP, Thursday 4th August 1977.

There are a couple of little fluffs here (and a big one from Rosie, right at the start – 0:06) so perhaps this is a dress rehearsal rather than the broadcast performance?

My suggestion that fluffs implied that this was a rehearsal was corrected over on the discussion forum by Sue Menhenick herself:

we very, very, rarely got to do retakes on our routines… recording time of the show was done with preference to the bands and the D.Js links, and often technical errors or breakdowns. Taping started at 7.00pm and had to be over by 9.00pm at the latest.

…There are some routines where really big mistakes went on, and they still let it go out regardless… Flick used to say that perhaps the only way to start again was to fall off the set!

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Pan’s People – Coconut

Nationwide, BBC 1 3 August 1972: Pan’s People dance to Harry Nilsson’s Coconut.

Nationwide was a weekday teatime magazine / chat show broadcast regularly from 1969 to 1983. Growing to become pretty much a national institution, it’s freewheeling diverse style, coupled with a voracious appetite for material to fill its five-night-a-week slot, meant you could expect to see just about anything. Like for instance, Pan’s People larking around in a sand quarry with cream cakes and coconuts, wearing what I think I referred to in my now-lost old blog post as “colour-blind Uncle Sam carnival outfits”. All apparently to illustrate a feature on healthy eating. Such fun.

Discuss this routine over on the OFTD forum.

Thanks to Andeebee for the YouTube clip.

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Flick Colby’s Ruby Flipper – Games People Play

Lena’s Music, 1 August 1979: Flick Colby’s Ruby Flipper dance while Lena Martell sings Games People Play.

Thanks again to Andeebee for the youtube post.

From the old blog, Saturday, 7 January 2012

My thanks once again go to PattiforPM, who has sent me another Ruby Flipper clip from Lena Martell’s TV show.

In this clip, Lena sings Joe South’s Country classic Games People Play, while the Flipsters dance dressed as arguing, petulant kids.


PattiforPM said…

Well it’s not complex or graceful but quite fun and the ladies look cute I think. I always imagine Flick writing these simple routines on the back of a napkin in some London cafe. Two comments; short boy-shorts are one of the things I don’t miss from the 70s and if that guy [?David] doesn’t start treating Patti with a little more respect I’m gonna thump him.
7 January 2012 14:45

Some Guy said…

Well for a second i thought that Patti and David might be on for a bit of a snog in this one,LOL.
No i thought of the 3 weve had so far, this is the weakest to date. Its just like their going through the motions, could be Ms Martells robotic singing style that leads me to this opinion.
You know what, im kinda glad Sue sat these dances out. On saying that, its a great thrill to see these lost gems and i thank P4PM and YMG for giving us that opportunity.
7 January 2012 22:58

Suefan said…

A little more camera time on Goldilocks would have been nice while one of those guys looks like he’s earned himself a high kick!
19 January 2012 11:12

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Flick Colby’s Ruby Flipper – Beautiful Noise

Lena’s Music 1 August 1979:
Flick Colby’s Ruby Flipper dance while Lena Martell sings Beautiful Noise.

Thanks to Andeebee for the youtube post.

from the old blog, Wednesday, 18 january 2012

Thanks again to PattiforPM, who sent me this clip of Ruby Flipper from Lena Martell’s show, dancing to her singing Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise. Lots of literal choreography here…


julian said…

Lena sings well and always has a very good voice but in this series, the lack of an audience, a visible live orchestra and a chorus to relate to/with, meant the the show had no atmosphere. She looks bored, static and the whole show including Lena and the dancers on this clip lack energy. It looks as if they filmed a dry run of the show in the old BBC Glasgow studios in 1979. The producer(the late Robin Nash I think) clearly didn’t get that what this perfomer (whose voice and impressions were her forte) needed showcasing in a much more traditional format – the kind had been used to being part of as a guest in in her owns shows on TV since she was discivered in cabaret and theatre ain the late 1950’s.

Lena went on to play every major venue and gained radio and TV awards and gold discs across the globe until major ill health took its toil in the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s (including cancer) follwd by bankruptcy. These days (and since 2000) Lena, who is now is in her mid 70’s, is funny and much more relaxed and engaging as a performer and she’s still seling out on regular tours!

This TV show led to her only muti million selling Number 1 in 4 countries including the UK, but this series was far below the standard of her previous work, Indeed, her series in 1977 `Make the Music Speak’, produced by the award winning David Mallet (of Kenny Everett show fame) with a 1930’s style caberet setting, was much, much better than ‘Lena’s Music’; though the album of the same name won her a platinum disc in the UK and hige sales abroad.

4 February 2012 19:46

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Pan’s People – It’s Been So Long

Top Of The Pops 31 July 1975:
Pan’s People dance to It’s Been So Long by George McCrae

Thanks to SuPaLu for the Youtube post.

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Legs & Co. – Hooked on Classics

Top of the Pops, 30 July 1981: Legs & Co. dance to Hooked on Classics by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Update, 9 May 2015: I was jealous: The poster of the re-dubbed, augmented version of this routine obviously had a better quality version of the original recording than I did. Lo and behold, he’s sent in a copy of that higher-quality version, complete with original soundtrack, for us to enjoy! Grateful thanks to sNEaKY ReMaSTeR!

Gosh, the old me seems to be having a right cranky old rant about this record (below): looking at the routine again, I really don’t see what I was getting so worked up about. It’s a tongue-in-cheek production, bathetically combining high-art Classical Music with Low Commercial Click-Track production. Justy a bit of fun, really.

But I do still prefer Portsmouth Sinfonia’s take.

From the old blog, Friday, 28 January 2011

Suefan recently sent me this clip, in response to a request from PattiforPM. it’s Legs & Co, dancing to The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Hooked on Classics.

Jings. I’ve no desire to criticise either the choreography or the dancing, but this record really is the ultimate example of the dreadful late seventies/early eighties fashion for medley-with-a-click-track-shoved-in records. I’m no musical stuffed shirt: I’ll take vernacular pop music over academic music any day of the week: but pop music, already heavy on rhythm and beat, can stand up to this relentless heavy-handed bump-click a lot better than the lightweight romantic stuff that’s being butchered here. And who is to blame? The RPO musicians? A group of professionals I’m sure, who consider it their job to take on whatever work is offered. The producers? Professionals again, doubtless with families to feed. TOTP? BBC? L&C? They all have the task of reflecting the nation’s taste. Who’s left to blame then? I blame the people who actually bought this vile thing, in enough numbers to ensure that it was forced on the rest of us. And the same people who bought Start on 45, Tight Fit’s Back to the Sixties, and all the other Frankendisco records. Pah!

But thanks to Suefan nonetheless, for the clip; and PattiforPM for the opportunity to rant.

From the ridiculous to the sublime: A good antidote to this aweful record is the Portsmouth Sinfonia’s Classical Muddley.

There is however, something else annoying me today…

Here’s a different version of the same routine, also on YouTube, this time dubbed over with what I assume to be the posters’ own musical creation:

Now don’t get me wrong, here: It’s not that I object to overdubbing new bits of music on to old Legs & Co. routines. Or Pan’s People, or Ruby Flipper routines either. YouTube is awash with similar examples, and I take them all to be compliments to the original material.

I’m not going to make a habit of posting these overdubbed versions here since, it’s the original works I’m interested in. But I’m not going to get all purist and holier-than-thou about it, either. Live and let live, I say. Leben und leben lassen.

No, what’s really getting me annoyed is that this guy has a better quality copy of the original routine than I do. Aargh! The green-eyed monster consumes me.

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Ruby Flipper – A Fifth of Beethoven

Top of the Pops, 29 July 1976:
Ruby Flipper dance to A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy and his Big Apple Band.

Since this is based on a piece of classical music, presenter David Hamilton starts of with a variation on all-time classic creaky corny “just-flew-in … arms tired” gag beloved of stand of comedians.

Thanks to Andeebee for the YouTube post.

From the old blog, Wednesday, 10 march 2010:

More Ruby Flipper on TOTP, on the 29th of July 1976. The music is A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band, a bit of kitschy funked-up classical fluff used in Saturday Night Fever.

Oh my! This clip has got me in quite a quandry. I just can’t decide who has the best legs. What do you think?


Carl said…

and Shhhhhhhh! Let’s enjoy music and picture co-ordination while it lasts for this routine.
Finally a chance to see the authentic version of the Flipsters routine in it’s full uncensored glory.
Who’d have thought even Beethoven could be put into a disco groove – with great success!
16 January 2011 00:12

PattiforPM said…

Let me think – Patti has the best legs YMG
30 April 2011 02:43

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Legs & Co. – Roadrunner (Twice)

Top of the Pops, 28 July 1977: Legs & Co. dance to Roadrunner (Twice) by Jonathan Richman.

Legs & Co. chew gum and bounce around to Jonathan Richman’s masterpiece Roadrunner. With some surprisingly vigourous head banging from everyone – except Lulu, who has to concentrate on her driving. Anyway, she’d probably lose that cute little cap if she joined in.

Thanks to Andeebee for the YouTube post.

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