Here’s an interesting clip, generously sent to OFTD by GJB Gaz (many thanks). The Pamela Devis Dancers performing in some unknown TV show, dancing to a big band arrangement of “Whole Lotta Love” similar to (if not the identical to) the hit version by CCS, and the TOTP Orchestra version used as a theme tune to that selfsame show through most of the seventies.
A thoroughly enjoyable performance, energetic and well-rehearsed, if perhaps somewhat showbizzy: definitely school of Dougie Squires and Lionel Blair, rather than Flick Colby or Arlene Phillips.
I’m very much hoping someone out there can give me some more information about this clip. Here’s what I know (and don’t know):
Pamela Devis Dancers: Going by her 2004 obituary in the Stage, Pamela Devis was a well established choreographer in the UK TV/Light Entertainment world throught the sixties and seventies. She seems to have run her own dance troup since the early seventies. I don’t have any information about the identities of the dancers seen here.
The TV Show? All that I have to go on is the file name of the clip as it was sent to me: “PAMELA DEVIS TOTP NIGHT CLUB.mpg”. The TOTP seems to be a reference to the music: we can be confident from the arrangement of the stage and audience that this is not a clip from Top of The Pops. So we’re left with “NIGHT CLUB”: this could either be a description of the setting, or perhaps a programme title. Was there ever a BBC or ITV show called “Night Club”?
Original Transmission Date? Since the CCS version of this song (on which this arrangement is obviously based) was a it in the Autumn of 1970, that gives us a rough earliest possible broadcast date. I’ll have to make a guess at the latest possible date, based on the few glimpses we get of the clothes and hairstyle amongst the audience: say 1974?
Please let me know if you can shed any light on this performance and its context, either in comments here or over on our discussion forum.