Cliff performing Move It! on his debut TV appearance on
Another performance of Move It! from Jack Good's cult TV show
THE song that started the legend of Cliff Richard! It was written by Drifters lead guitarist Ian 'Sammy' Samwell and originally released as the B-side to Norrie Paramor's choice of Schoolboy Crush. Move It! was recorded with session musicians at EMI Columbia's Abbey Road Studios on 24 July 1958; released in late August, it climbed to number 2 in the NME UK charts during October 1958 and stayed in the Top 40 for 17 weeks.
Cliff performed his debut single frequently on radio and television throughout his early career. He sang it on BBC Radio's 'Saturday Club' on 25 October 1958 (his first appearance), 27 December 1958 and much later on 13 July 1963. It is known that the producer of the series Bernard (Bernie) Andrews hoarded his own private recordings of these early shows since they first began in October 1958. These early Cliff and The Drifters radio performances are now in the hands of a record company, but the prospect of their seeing release seems remote at the time of writing.
Cliff had made his debut television appearance on ABC TV's 'Oh Boy!' five weeks previously, on 13 September 1958, singing Move It! and another great rocker Don't Bug Me Baby. He was backed by The Drifters on that occasion who then comprised just Ian Samwell on lead guitar and Terry Smart on drums. The series resident band, Lord Rockingham's XI, supported them. Producer Jack Good spent the entire week prior to Cliff's debut television appearance teaching him how best to perform the song and instructing his young 17-year-old protégée in the art of stagecraft. Cliff sang Move It! frequently in the series to increasingly wild audience response, most often in the shows from October to December 1958 when he appeared regularly nearly every week. It is unlikely that these early shows were ever tele-recorded but it is thought that a rendition of Move It! on 'Oh Boy!' does survive from the Spring of 1959 near the end of its run, when several of the shows were exported for broadcast in the United States. It is believed Cliff and The Drifters did perform Move It! on the first of those filmed shows on 7 March 1959. If ever returned it will have the distinct honour of being the earliest Cliff and The Drifters' film in existence, predating the footage of Mean Streak recently discovered from the 23 May 1959 show. See http://www.ohboytvshow.com for more details of this classic series and details of the missing shows.
A recently discovered soundtrack of Move It! is to be found on the second half of the 11 October 1958 'Oh Boy!' show, which was then just five weeks into its 38-week run on British television. On that show Cliff also sang Somebody Touched Me. Also preserved is a superb version of Elvis' Trouble, which Cliff performed to close a different show in the autumn of 1958. For this number Cliff was backed by Lord Rockingham's XI who replicate the sound of the original recording to great effect. These bootleg recordings (32 in total – three of Cliff) were made by 'Oh Boy!''s sound engineer Bill Nuttall who randomly audio-recorded some of the shows while they were broadcast live from the Hackney Empire. Unfortunately these 1958 'Oh Boy!' shows are unlikely to have been telerecorded, so the soundtrack is all that remains. However, it is believed several of the last thirteen shows of the series telerecorded for broadcast on ABC in the United States may now be in the hands of a private collector in America.
A classic performance of Cliff and The Shadows' Move It! does survive from the first of three ATV 'Saturday Spectaculars' made in 1960 for the ATV television network and broadcast on 19 March 1960. This blistering version was officially released on the Hit List video compilation back in 1993, and to date remains the earliest surviving film footage of Cliff's debut hit single.
A very exciting and abridged version of Move It! was performed on Radio Luxembourg during 1959 together with Don't Bug Me Baby. It is unclear when the surviving entire version for the 'Me And My Shadows' shows was recorded for the station. It is not believed to be from 1960, but was probably recorded during one of the occasional 1961–1962 sessions. The quality is quite good in parts, but intermittent bad interference spoils the second half of the song especially.
MC: the later of the two, certainly 1960/62 rather than 1960, sounds mannered if not positively tired — not nearly gutsy enough.
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