Upbeat (TV series)

Upbeat (TV series)

"Upbeat" was a syndicated musical variety show produced in Cleveland, Ohio at WEWS-TV that aired from 1964 to 1971 which spotlighted on the performers and their hit songs of the 1960s Top Forty pop music genre which was common on such AM radio stations as "WIXY 1260" in Cleveland and CKLW in Windsor, Ontario..the dominant formatted stations in that region during that particular time.

As such,the series was possibly inspired by "Ready Steady Go!" (a predecessor series produced in England by ITV) and by "American Bandstand" as many of the featured performers would often lip-sync to their hit singles (without the audience dancing or similar elements) and was a predecessor of "Shindig!" which aired on ABC-TV from 1964 to 1966 and "Hulabaloo" on NBC-TV from 1965 to 1966.

Brief history

Originally titled as "The Big Five Show" a local program when it premiered in 1964 and was a reference to WEWS Channel 5 and the 5 to 6 pm time slot on Saturday afternoons. When the program became sydnicated nationally, stations had the option of airing the program at different times, hence the program's title change and deletion of the Channel 5 and local air time references.

The introduction of the program commenced with a studio musician shouting "HEY LET'S GO WITH THE UPBEAT SHOW!" as the in-house band (Dave C and The Sharptones) would play the introductory theme song with the program's main title logo (done in viking stencil font) slowly exploding and coming back together again in a quasi-animated frame by frame fashion as the performers were announced for that particular episode. Ironically,the logo was almost similar to the logo of "WIXY 1260." The series was aired in black and white from 1964 until 1967 then broadcast in color from 1968 until the series demise in 1971.

Don Webster

The program's host, Don Webster, was a familiar face to WEWS viewers in local programs at the time as well as in later years he would also report the local weather and announce the evening winning Ohio Lottery numbers which were broadcast nightly throughout the state beginning in the late 1970s. In addition to Webster hosting "Upbeat," he also hosted several musical specials..one from Sandusky's Cedar Point in 1966 and from Expo 67 in Montreal in 1967 bringing with him an entourage of performers from the 1960s Top Forty era.

Local and area performers

In addition to such local talent as The Rapid Transit, The GTOs, The Grasshoppers, The Baskerville Hounds, Bocky and The Visions,Damnation of Adam Blessing, The James Gang and Raspberries founder Eric Carmen, many regional performers gaining national exposure also appeared on the show including Question Mark & the Mysterians, Terry Knight and the Pack, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, The Bob Seger System and Cleveland's own The Outsiders. During years when "Go-Go" was popular, the show featured its own go-go girls made up of area young ladies dressed in the popular outfits and footwear of that period.

Headliner performers performing on "Upbeat" (partial listing)

*The Beatles
*James Brown
*The Who
*The Rolling Stones
*Neil Diamond
*B.B. King
*Bobby Sherman
*The Monkees
*Otis Redding (Appeared on December 9, 1967, the day before he died in a plane crash)
*Lesley Gore
*Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
*Jerry Lee Lewis
*Paul Revere and The Raiders
*The Shadows of Knight
*The Music Explosion
*The Fifth Estate (band)
*The Velvet Underground
*Jerry Butler
*Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
*Velvet Crest

ee also

*Upbeat (music)
*WIXY 1260 (now WWMK)


See "Upbeat" tribute page

External links

* [http://www.retroradiotop40.com "Retro Radio" with Joe Madigan a WIXY-1260 tribute show on WJCU-FM.(nod to "Upbeat" show)]

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