TOTP goes Reggae

[Taken from the old The Ballroom Blitz blog on Blogspot]

I really like watching videos of Top Of The Pops on Youtube as it’s a good way to check out clothes and music from the period. Top of the Pops was a British music program that showed weekly performances of popular music artists, crowd dancing to tunes and also a rundown of the chart hits of the week.

TOTP 1971

The other day I was thinking about what to post and then I remembered some Reggae performances on this program, then looking for more information, I realised that there are already articles about this. Anyway, I’ll try to add some new things…

The program broadcast from 1964 until 2006, with several Jamaican music perfomances, especially in the 70’s. This time I would like to focus on the period from 1970 until 1975.


I think that in this year there were no live performances of Reggae music. However, Reggae was popular and in this video you can watch two tiny extracts from two episodes where people dance to Elizabethan Reggae by Boris Gardiner (min. 0.56) and to You can get it if you really want by Desmond Dekker (min. 0.59). The first one is from 19th February and the second one is from 10th September.


As Tony Blackburn would say “It’s quite nice to have a brand new number one record, particularly when it’s as good as this!”

This episode is from 29th April and in my opinion it’s the best. Top performance, I love the way they show off… And clothes were so beautiful in that year ♥! At the end of the video you’ll listen to Jig-a-Jig by East of Eden with some crazy chicks dancing to it… in knickers!

Later, in 1st July 1971, the reggae band Greyhound also performed their hit Black and White. Thanks to Del for reminding me this one.


Moog Reggae in this live perfomance from 25th January. I love Dandy’s outfit. Prince of Wales suit and penny collar shirt, great style!


Meowww… Ken wearing a catsuit! This was broadcast on Christmas and Ken Boothe’s gestures are definitely great. (Ignore the joke at the start of the video).

Jumpsuits rule!


Although I don’t like this song too much, it is a nice perfomance from 10th April.

This woman was so pretty and her afro was lovely!

Another perfomance by a Jamaican artist in TOTP might be this one of Desmond Dekker. This seems to be part of a lost episode from 18th September.


One thought on “TOTP goes Reggae

  1. In 1968 I tried to get into the Daylight Inn in Petts Wood, Kent, where Desmond Dekker was due to play live. I couldn’t, because I was 12 and no way did I look old enough – I couldn’t get past the door. If I had hung around I might have seen him at the stage door, because he turned up late. When I got home I found out why he was late. My mum said to me, “That singer you like – Desmond Dekker – he was just on the TV.” It was the very day when ‘Israelites’ got to No.1, so not only did I not see him on stage, I didn’t see him on TOTP either! :(

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