The Old Grey Whistle Test – Best Performances – Season 1 Episode 1

The Old Grey Whistle Test – Best Performances

The Old Gray Whistle Test was a British television music show. The show was conceived by BBC producer Rowan Ayers, commissioned by David Attenborough and aired on BBC2 from 1971 to 1988. It took over the BBC2 late-night slot from Disco 2, which ran between September 1970 and July 1971, while continuing to feature non -Chart Music.

The original producer, involved in an executive capacity throughout the show’s entire history, was Michael Appleton.

The Old Grey Whistle Test

According to presenter Bob Harris, the program derived its name from a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years earlier. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the old greys–doormen in gray suits. Any song the doormen could recall and whistle, having heard it just once or twice, had passed the old gray whistle test.

On 23 February 2018, a one-off live three-hour special of The Old Gray Whistle Test was transmitted on BBC Four, hosted by Harris to mark 30 years since the final episode aired.

Some music TV shows can serve as a perfect background for your normal life. Presenting a short score of everything that happened to you that day. However, some music TV shows demand your attention away from society – others redefine culture as we know it. The Old Gray Whistle Test, which first aired 50 years ago today, is definitely the latter.

We’re taking you back in time to see ten of the best performances from the iconic BBC programme, one of the most famous music shows of all time. Keep an eye out for features by John Lennon, David Bowie, Patti Smith and many more.

The Old Gray Whistle Test remains one of Britain’s most iconic music TV shows of all time. As famous as it was for its presenter, Whispering Bob Harris, and its esteemed guests during the 1970s, TOGWT was the only place to get your dose of rock and roll, alternative music and definitive cultural exploration.

The show’s original presenter Richard Williams said of the series’ unusual name: “Before a new record is released, a rough mix is played for the grey-haired doorman. If he can whistle the tune after one listen ‘, then it passes ‘The Old Gray Whistle Test’ and is released.’ It was a feeling that would characterize the show.

The Old Grey Whistle Test: The music played on the show was a bit softer and louder than most television channels. It was for the grassroots of society, not the establishment, it was a place for rock and roll to reach the masses and the music’s leading figures would grace the stage for those at home. The guest list for the show is truly amazing. Along with some veterans of the music business, the show also brought in new talent.

Below, we’re taking you through ten of our favorite performances on The Old Gray Whistle Test.

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