Jack Good, ‘Shindig!’ Producer, Dead at 86

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If you were a rock ’n’ roll fan living in the United States in the mid-’60s, chances are very good that Shindig! was part of your television diet. The prime-time variety program, which aired on ABC-TV, brought many of the era’s music stars into American homes. Jack Good, who created and produced Shindig!, died Sept. 24 in Oxfordshire, England, after a fall. He was 86.

Born in London on Aug. 7, 1931, Good went to work for the BBC in the mid-’50s and first brought rock ’n’ roll to British TV with the program Six-Five Special. He then left for the independent channel ITV and created Oh Boy!, which showcased young British rock stars such as Cliff Richard and Billy Fury. When the Beatles arrived on the scene, Good made a special I 1964 called Around the Beatles. Good had been trying unsuccessfully to launch a rock TV show in the States but that year ABC commissioned him to create a weekly half-hour program that would feature the artists who were dominating radio. Shindig! premiered on Sept. 16, 1964—originally as a replacement for the folk music show Hootenanny—and was an immediate hit among American youth.

Jack Good (from YouTube)

Hosted by Los Angeles disc jockey Jimmy O’Neill, Shindig! featured Sam Cooke, the Righteous Brothers and the Everly Brothers on its maiden show. In time, dozens of the era’s biggest names, from both the U.S. and the U.K., appeared on the program, including the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Supremes, the Who, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, the Mamas and the Papas, Chuck Berry, the Shangri-Las, Roy Orbison, the Yardbirds, Ike and Tina Turner, the Turtles, and the Rolling Stones, who insisted on inviting one of their blues heroes, Howlin’ Wolf onto the show. The Beatles appeared on the show too, albeit on tape from England.

Watch Jack Good in a promo for the upcoming Shindig!

Watch Manfred Mann perform “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” on Shindig!

Shindig! initially ran for a half-hour on Wednesdays, then expanded to an hour in January 1965. Finally, in the fall of 1965, it aired two half-hour programs a week, on Thursday and Saturday nights. The final show aired on Jan. 8, 1966.

Related: When Howlin’ Wolf appeared on Shindig!

Watch the Beach Boys on Shindig!

The Shindogs (l. to r.): Glen D. Hardin, Delaney Bramlett, Joey Cooper, James Burton and Chuck Blackwell

Shindig! featured a house band—at first called the Shin-diggers and later the Shindogs—composed of several of the finest musicians on the L.A. session scene at the time, some of whom would later known as the Wrecking Crew. Among the regulars were Leon Russell, Billy Preston, James Burton, Delaney Bramlett, Glen Campbell and Larry Knechtel. Also featured regularly was a dance troupe whose ranks included future stars Toni Basil and Teri Garr. The program’s backup singers, the Blossoms, included Darlene Love, who had recorded hits for Phil Spector.

After Shindig!, Good produced a rock musical version of Othello titled Catch My Soul, starring Jerry Lee Lewis. He left TV work in the ’70s after becoming religious, and became a painter.

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Watch Sonny and Cher on Shindig!

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  1. j.j.
    #1 j.j. 9 October, 2017, 17:43

    “Great show!”

    j.j.
    east orange, nj, usa.

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