Six O'Clock Rock
Johnny O'Keefe Show
Sing Sing Sing
Where the Action is


February 1959


October 1961
August 1962


February 1963
October 1965


January 1967
November 1967

Come 6 O'clock every Saturday night, right across the ABC network you'd hear the sounds of London's Big Ben Clock chiming out whilst on screen a silhouette couple would be dancin' their socks off. The sounds of. "Weeeeee'll , come on everybody its 6 O'clock huh huh huh" would bend the small TV speakers and Australia's first 'live' Rock'n'Roll show would be on its way!

It started in February 1959 and first hired J.O'K as a singer with his band The DeeJays. They were to present the minority 'New Music' part of the show, with Modern Jazz and contemporary hits of the early 50's making up the 'most important' part of the show.

It wasn't long before two things happened.

The first was that the new audience spread across Australia turned out to be the teenagers who demanded more of this new music stuff...

The second was when producer Peter Page made Johnny the compere instead of just an act.

As he had never been a radio or TV compere before, his first few weeks as compere could be described as 'disastrous. He would forget stars names and songs when announcing them and would generally just fumble through. However this is exactly what the teenagers wanted as it quickly became the most popular TV show.

Future stars such as Lonnie Lee, Barry Stanton, Warren Williams and hundreds of others were to get their first 'Australia-wide' exposure through this show.

It eventually lost some appeal after Johnny was replaced and it became more 'softer' and like Bandstand which was its opposition in TCN9.

In 1962 the plug as finally pulled and the screen went black. It went into history as the first ever true raw Rock'n'Roll TV Show in Australia.

It has not been forgotten however. Mention the name to anyone over 40 and you'll get a 'gleam' in the eye and 'what a great show' response.

A little later, Johnny was successful in getting ATN7 and its network to go ahead with a big production show that would feature many of the stars who got their first breaks on Six O'clock Rock a few years before.

Unlike Six O'clock Rock, it featured a large orchestra with most backings for the songs being pre-recorded at the Festival Records' studio.

Some of the stars had to mime their songs whilst at time others were 'live'.

Virtually no expense was spared with the sets, lighting and production facilities, even though they still had a limited budget which Johnny was for ever trying to get increased.

The most popular artists of the time such as Lonnie, Lucky, Warren, Barry etc., were naturally featured often, but Johnny still had room for the newer acts who he thought had the potential to 'make it'.

The actual show was recorded in the Epping studios of ATN7 and there were several producers over the run of the show.

The Australian Rock'n'Roll industry really grew during these times due to the fact that as soon as an artist had a new record, it could be aired that same week right across the country.

Due to the pressures of trying to balance a touring schedule, producing records and putting many hours a week into this TV show, Johnny unfortunately had a health breakdown and the show was put on hold.

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After reinstalling Johnny, ATN decided to call the show 'Sing Sing Sing' in case he would have to leave again. This was they could still keep the show going with another compere if they wanted.

Johnny had a great record release at the time called 'Sing ' and this was to become the well known theme.

The show was produced much the same as its forerunner 'The Johnny O'Keefe Show' and its popularity was still very high.

The two main producers for both these series were Ron Way and Kevin Ryder.

It would have possibly gone on for many years but unfortunately Johnny's health deteriorated and his physiological problems that started after the crash continued to haunt him.withe back to haunt

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yet again.

In #### they closed the show down for the last time.

Other than Bandstand, this was the last big national Hit Parade TV show to

This was Ten's first attempt at a popular music TV show and they decided to film it all on outside locations.

This gave the viewer a scenic tour of Sydney while watching and listening to their favourite stars.

The show lasted only a few months due to budget problems and low viewer ratings. Ten at the time was a new station and their signal could only be picked up in a small proportion of the Sydney market.

Later they took care of this problem, however in the early stages they had many frustrated television set owners who could never see the station or the program 'Where the Action is'.

This was to be Johnny's last weekly TV series..

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