.

21st September 1971 passing Old Grey Whistle Test, but what was it?

Old Grey Whistle Test Presenters

David Attenborough commissioned the program, which was created by Rowan Ayers.

The show went through several presenters over its long run, starting in 1971 with Richard Williams, the first presenter, who was also editor of Melody Maker. The following year Bob Harris would take over and would become become the presenter most associated with the show. Bob was a radio DJ with the nick name, ‘Whispering Bob Harris’, on the account of his low toned whispering radio voice. Other presenters over the years would join the line up including Ian Whitcomb, Annie Nightingale, Andy Kershaw, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen, Richard Skinner, Ro Newton.

Unknowns who became known

Music performances from non-chart artists who became known later on such as Roxy Music, David Bowie, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Roger Daltrey from THE WHO, John Lennon, Dire Straits, Gary Numen. The list is vast all first appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test

The show ran from 1971 to New Years 1988 on the late night BBC 2 slot and rebooted on BBC 4 up to 2018.

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Old Grey Whistle Test 40th Anniversary

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Old Grey Whistle Test 2 [DVD] [2003] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

21st September 1971 passing Old Grey Whistle Test, but what was it? 521st September 1971 passing Old Grey Whistle Test, but what was it? 6

The Old Grey Whistle Test – Vol. 3 [DVD]

The origin of the name, “The Old Greys”

The name seems to arrive from a real term, “The Old Greys” that was given to elderly service people working in the buildings where music writing and publication happened, back from the Tin Pan Alley days in the USA. These people would be exposed to the songs and those who could retain part of the melody or hook whistling or humming it, would be a sign that these tunes were likely to be a success. This was known as passing the “Old Grey Whistle Test”.

Theme tune of the Old Grey Whistle Test “Stone Fox Chase”

Area Code 615 was the name taken from the dialling code for Nashville and used by the country rock band of the same name. The harmonica playing tune “Stone Fox Chase” by Charlie Mccoy is the theme tune of the programme.

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The Old Grey Whistle Test – The Definitive Collection [DVD] [1977]

Though Stone Fox Chase, would be the bands most recognisable music, the band was made up of largely session players for other music greats of the time.

The Old Grey Whistle Test theme tune

Courtesy of YouTube shared Link

Which bands appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test?

999Elkie BrooksKing CrimsonRuss Ballard
10CCEllen FoleyKissing The PinkRy Cooder
AC/DCElton JohnKris KristoffersonSad Café
AceElvis CostelloLandscapeSaga
Adam and the AntsEmerson Lake and PalmerLarry CoryellSandy Denny
Adam ClaytonEmillie KeyLarry Mullen Jr.Sandy West
Adam FaithEmitt RhodesLaurie WisefieldScorpions
After The FireEmmylou HarrisLene LovichSeals & Crofts
Al Di MeolaEmory Gordy Jr.Lenny WhiteSean Tyla
Al StewartEric ClaptonLeo KottkeSecret Affair
Alan DarbyErik RussellLeo SayerShawn Phillips
Alan ShacklockErnest CateLeon RedboneSimon Emmerson
Alan StivellEurythmicsLeon RussellSimon Raymonde
Alan WhiteEverything But The GirlLeon WilkesonSimple Minds
Albert LeeFabulous PoodlesLes DavidsonSiouxsie and the Banshees
Alexis KornerFairport ConventionLesley DuncanSiouxsie Sioux
Alice CooperFamilyLevel 42Sir Douglas Quintet
Alice StuartFannyLieber StollerSister Sledge
Alison StattonFashionLight of the WorldSmall Faces
Allan HoldsworthFiat LuxLinda LewisSmokie
Allen CollinsFischer Z.Linda RonstadtSniff 'n The Tears
Allez AllezFishLindisfarneSoft Cell
Altered ImagesFlamin' GrooviesLindsey BuckinghamSonny Terry
Alvin LeeFleetwood MacLink WraySonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
AmericaFocusLita FordSouthside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Andrew BaileyForeignerLittle BobSpandau Ballet
Andrew GoldFrank InfanteLittle FeatSparks
Andrew McCrorie-ShandFrank ZappaLittle Steven and the Disciples of SoulSpirit
Andrew Pryce JackmanFreddie KingLone StarSpliff
Andy DiagramFreeezLori LiebermanSplit Enz
Andy EllisonFun Boy ThreeLoudon Wainwright IIISqueeze
Andy Fairweather LowFuzzboxLouisiana RedStackridge
Andy MackayG.B. Zoot MoneyLowell GeorgeStanley Clarke
Andy PeakeGallagher & LyleLuther GrosvenorStealers Wheel
Andy RobertsGang of FourLynsey de PaulSteel Pulse
Andy WardGarland JeffreysLynyrd SkynyrdStefan Grossman
Angie BowieGary FletcherMadnessStephen Bishop
Ann WilsonGary MooreMagazineStephen Fellows
Anna McGarrigleGary NumanMaggie BellSteppenwolf
Annabel LambGary RossingtonMaggie DunneSteve Blacknell
Annette PeacockGary U.S. BondsMaggie ReillySteve Ellis
Annie LennoxGavin HodgsonMagna CartaSteve Farr
Ant GlynneGene ClarkManfred MannSteve Forbert
Arlo GuthrieGene OctoberManfred Mann's Earth BandSteve Goodman
Ashley HoltGenesisMarcella DetroitSteve Hillage
AswadGeoff DugmoreMari WilsonSteve Hogarth
Atlanta Rhythm SectionGeorge BensonMarillionSteve Howe
Au PairsGeorge CummingsMark BrzezickiSteve Nieve
Average White BandGeorge DukeMark KellySteve Parry
Aztec CameraGeorge TerryMark KingSteve Rothery
B.B. KingGerman GonzalesMark KingsmillSteve Simpson
Bad CompanyGerry RaffertyMark KnopflerSteven Severin
Barbara ThompsonGil Scott-HeronMarshall CrenshawStevie Nicks
Barclay James HarvestGirlMartin GordonStevie Wonder
Barry De SouzaGladys Knight & The PipsMarty GrebbStone the Crows
Barry DevlinGlen D. HardinMartyn ShieldsStuart Adamson
BauhausGlen MatlockMasayoshi TakanakaStuart MacKillop
Baz WattsGolden EarringMatthew SeligmanSupertramp
Be-Bop DeluxeGongMeat LoafSutherland Brothers & Quiver
Ben E. KingGordon GiltrapMedicine HeadSwans Way
Ben SidranGraham BroadMeghann LoneyT.V. Smith
Beth KeyGraham DeakinMel WessonTalking Heads
Big CountryGraham NashMichael AppletonTasavallan Presidentti
Bill BrufordGraham ParkerMichael ChapmanTears for Fears
Bill CobhamGrateful DeadMichael Des BarresTed Nugent
Bill NelsonGreensladeMichael KaroliTéléphone
Bill WithersGreg JamesMick FleetwoodTelevision
Billy BraggGreg KihnMick JaggerTerry Bozzio
Billy DuffyGregg AllmanMick KarnTerry Cashman
Billy FrancisHank DeVitoMick PearlTerry Reid
Billy JoelHans VandenburgMick RonsonThe Baker-Gurvitz Army
Billy PowellHans WatermanMick TaylorThe Beach Boys
Billy PrestonHarry ChapinMickey NewburyThe Bluebells
BlancmangeHarvey AndrewsMicky JonesThe Boomtown Rats
BlondieHazel O'ConnorMik GlaisherThe Chevalier Brothers
Blood Sweat & TearsHeartMike AbsalomThe Chieftains
BloodstoneHeavy Metal KidsMike EdwardsThe Comsat Angels
BlueHellmut HattlerMike HuggThe Country Gazette
Bob BurnsHenry GrossMike OldfieldThe Crickets
Bob DaisleyHenry McCulloughMike O'NeillThe Cult
Bob HenritHerman Brood & His Wild RomanceMike RutherfordThe Damned
Bob MarleyHolger CzukayMollie MarriottThe dB's
Bob WestonHolly VincentMontroseThe Doobie Brothers
Bob 'Willard' HenkeHomesick JamesMorris PertThe Doors
Bobby TenchHot TunaMott the HoopleThe Drifters
Bonnie RaittHoward JonesMuddy WatersThe Edgar Winter Group
BonoHoward WerthNancy WilsonThe Edge
Brian EnoHudson FordNatural Acoustic BandThe Everly Brothers
Brian MayHughie FlintNazarethThe Fabulous Thunderbirds
Bridget St JohnHuman Sexual ResponseNeil BrewerThe Faces
Brinsley SchwarzHumble PieNeil SedakaThe Go-Go's
Brownie McGheeHuw Lloyd LangtonNeil YoungThe Icicle Works
Bruce SpringsteenIain MatthewsNenaThe Inmates
Bruce ThomasIan AndersonNew MusikThe J. Geils Band
Bruce WatsonIan AstburyNew York DollsThe Jags
Bruce WoolleyIan BroudieNick LoweThe Jam
Bryan FerryIan DuryNicko McBrainThe Jim Carroll Band
Bryn HaworthIan EmesNicoThe Jimmy Castor Bunch
BudgieIan GillanNigel HarrisonThe Kinks
Buffy Sainte-MarieIan MacLeodNigel OlssonThe Knack
BuzzcocksIan MosleyNils LofgrenThe Manhattan Transfer
Caleb QuayeIggy PopNina HagenThe Members
Calvin HayesIke TurnerNine Below ZeroThe Monochrome Set
CamelInga RumpfOle FickThe Motels
CanIrmin SchmidtOllie HalsallThe Motors
Canned HeatIt's ImmaterialOrange JuiceThe Move
Carl RadleJack BruceOrchestral Manoeuvres in the DarkThe Movies
Carla BleyJackie LyntonOsibisaThe Mystery Girls
Carmelo LuggeriJackson BrowneOtway & BarrettThe Only Ones
Carole KingJaki LiebezeitOxThe Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Casey CameronJaki WhitrenPat BenatarThe Passions
Cat StevensJames Christopher StevensonPat TraversThe Police
Catherine HoweJames LitherlandPatrick MorazThe Pretty Things
Charles O'ConnorJamie OldakerPatti SmithThe Psychedelic Furs
Charlie DoreJamie StewartPaul BradyThe Racing Cars
Charlie HarrisonJan AkkermanPaul BrettThe Rezillos
Chas CronkJance GarfatPaul GambacciniThe Roches
Chas HodgesJanis IanPaul JonesThe Rolling Stones
Cheap TrickJapanPaul KingThe Rubinoos
CherJD SoutherPaul SimonThe Runaways
Chester ThompsonJean-Jacques KravetzPaul YoungThe Selecter
Chick CoreaJean-Luc PontyPercy JonesThe Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Chris CutlerJean-Michel JarrePersia NumanThe Sisters of Mercy
Chris DiffordJeff BerlinPete AtkinThe Skids
Chris HarleyJeff DuffPete KircherThe Smiths
Chris HillmanJeremy MeekPete SinfieldThe Sound
Chris MaclachlanJerry Lee LewisPete TrewavasThe Spinners
Chris MasuakJesse Colin YoungPeter CalicherThe Strawbs
Chris ParrenJesse WinchesterPeter FilleulThe Style Council
Chris ReaJethro TullPeter FramptonThe Teardrop Explodes
Chris SquireJim CapaldiPeter GabrielThe Tourists
Chris SteinJim CrocePeter WolbrandtThe Truth
Christine McVieJim DiamondPhil ChenThe Tubes
Chuck MangioneJim RodfordPhil CollinsThe Undertones
Claire HamillJimmy CameronPhil LynottThe Vibrators
Clark DatchlerJimmy DestriPhil SpaldingThe Wailers
Clem BurkeJimmy GriffinPhil WaldenThe Waitresses
Clem ClempsonJimmy HastingsPhilippe CatherineThe Waterboys
Cliff WilliamsJimmy LockhartPhillip Goodhand-TaitThe Weather Prophets
Clifford T. WardJimmy PagePlanxtyThe Who
Climax Blues BandJo DunnePocoThe Winterbabies
Clive JohnJoan ArmatradingPrefab SproutThin Lizzy
Cockney RebelJoan JettPremiata Forneria MarconiThomas Dolby
Cocteau TwinsJoe ElyPublic Image Ltd.Thompson Twins
Colin BentleyJoe JacksonQueenTim Buckley
Colin BlunstoneJoe PartridgeRab NoakesTina O'Neill
Colin GibsonJoe WalshRachel SweetTina Turner
Colin TullyJohn CaleRain ParadeTodd Rundgren
Country Joe McDonaldJohn Cooper ClarkeRalph McTellTom Barlage
Cousin Joe PleasantJohn DensmoreRamonesTom McGuinness
Cozy PowellJohn DummerRandy NewmanTom Paxton
CrawlerJohn DunstervilleRay SawyerTom Petty
Crazy HorseJohn EntwistleRaymond FroggattTom Petty & The Heartbreakers
CrowbarJohn EtheridgeReg BrooksTom Robinson
Curtis MayfieldJohn EvanREO SpeedwagonTom Verlaine
Dan HartmanJohn GiblinRic SandersTom Waits
Danny BakerJohn GiffordRich GilbertTommy West
Danny McIntoshJohn GoldrosenRichard DiganceTony Banks
Daryl HallJohn GoodsallRichard StrangeTony Butler
Daryl StuermerJohn HalseyRichard ThompsonTony Colton
Dave CousinsJohn HiattRichie HavensTony Connor
Dave EvansJohn KayRick JamesTony Fernandez
Dave KellyJohn LennonRick JonesTony Hughes
Dave LambertJohn MartynRick VitoTony Kaye
Dave LloydJohn MayallRick WakemanTony Stevens
Dave MasonJohn McBurnieRickie Lee JonesToyah Willcox
Davey JohnstoneJohn McVieRicky NelsonTrace
David A. StewartJohn MellencampRik ElswitTrevor Rabin
David AcklesJohn OatesRita CoolidgeTrevor Williams
David BowieJohn OtwayRitchie BlackmoreTrust
David FosterJohn PrineRobby KriegerTubeway Army
David GatesJohn Valentine CarruthersRobert FarrarTurning Point
David LawsonJohn WareRobert GordonTygers of Pan Tang
David McWilliamsJohn WeiderRobert KingU2
David SanciousJohn WettonRobert PlantUdo Lindenberg
David SinclairJohn WoltersRobert SmithUFO
David StewartJohnnie WalkerRobert VincentUltravox
Dean FriedmanJohnny FeanRobert WyattUpp
Debbie HarryJohnny RiversRoberta FlackUriah Heep
Dee MurrayJohnny WinterRobin GuthrieUtopia
Del ShannonJon AndersonRobin TrowerVan Halen
Dennis LocorriereJon LordRock & Roll AllstarsVan Morrison
Denny LaineJonathan KellyRod ArgentVickie Perks
DevoJoni MitchellRod StewartVictory Tischler-Blue
Dick MorrisseyJosé van IerselRodney CrowellVinegar Joe
Dickey BettsJudas PriestRoger ChapmanViolent Femmes
Dini LamotJudd LanderRoger DaltreyWalter Egan
Dire StraitsJudee SillRoger DeanWang Chung
Dobie GrayJudi PulverRoger GloverWhitesnake
Don McLeanJudie TzukeRoger McGuinnWildwood Kin
Don Van VlietJules ShearRoger NewellWilko Johnson
Dory PrevinKarsten VogelRoger TaylorWillem Ennes
Dr. FeelgoodKate BushRoman HollidayWindle Davis
Dr. HookKate McGarrigleRonnie LaneWinston Hislop
Duane EddyKazuhiko KatoRonnie LeahyWishbone Ash
Duncan BrowneKeith GemmelRonnie Van ZantX-Ray Spex
Duran DuranKeith MulhollandRory GallagherXTC
Eamon CarrKeith WestRoxy MusicYella Cameron
Earl CateKenny CraddockRoy BuchananYes
Eddie and the Hot RodsKevin AyersRoy DykeYukihiro Takahashi
Eddie JobsonKevin BaconRoy HarperYvonne Elliman
Eddie MoneyKevin CoyneRoy Young
Edgar WinterKiki DeeRoye Albrighton
Edward KingKim MenzerRupert Hine
Elizabeth FraserKim WildeRush
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mike
8 months ago

Anne Nightingale ran a live John Lennon tribute on The Old Grey Whistle Test, i think they struggled to find people to come in on air

Ant
8 months ago

Bob Marley in 73, that must have been one great episode

Jason
8 months ago

The Old Greys, as in playing new tracks to doormen, why where they so influential one wonders

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