Have you ever heard of the British Rock & Pop Awards? Honestly, neither had I until very recently. They’re thought by some to have been the predecessor to the BPI Awards, which would later become the BRIT Awards, but the two ceremonies actually ran in parallel for a few years.
Over the next few weeks we’ll examine what seems to have been – as far as I can make out – the ceremony’s eight year history, from 1977 to 1984, using all the information which I could find online. Note that due to the sources used, some of the information may not be accurate.
The first ceremony seems to have taken place in 1977, celebrating the previous year of music, and was televised by ATV (a record exists in the BFI database here, with a second record here). If this book is to be believed, the award ceremony had a connection with the Daily Mirror too.
Winners and participants included:
- The Bay City Rollers
- David Essex
- Eric Faulkner
- Elton John and Kiki Dee
- Paul McCartney / Wings (winners of Best Rock Band and Best Pop Band)
- John Miles
- Real Thing
- Status Quo
Interestingly 1977 saw the British Record Industry Britannia Centenary Awards take place, which would later become the BRIT Awards. The presenter seems to have been Noel Edmonds, who of course appeared at the BRITs on a number of occasions too.
I can’t find any trace of a 1977 ceremony – perhaps it took a year off, or perhaps it has just been lost in time. Maybe one day, someone with a bit too much time on their hands will trawl through the press from the year and confirm for us.
The 1978 ceremony seems to have taken place on 11th April 1979, at the Café Royal, London, and this time was broadcast by the BBC (BFI record here). Presenters included Bob Wellings and David Jensen.
Top of the Pops resident dancers Legs & Co performed a medley of Rod Stewart‘s D’Ya Think I’m Sexy, The Bee Gees‘ Night Fever, Brian and Michael‘s Matchstalk Men and You’re the One That I Want from Grease (see here).
The end credits from the ceremony, including footage from the awards, can be viewed here:
- Best Single: Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
- Best Album: ELO – Out of the Blue
- Best Male Singer: Leo Sayer
- Best Female Singer: Kate Bush
- Best Group: The Bee Gees
- Radio 1 DJs’ Award: Nick Lowe
- Daily Mirror Readers’ Award: Ian Dury
- Nationwide Golden Award: Barron Knights
A detailed write-up, including a review from Clive James, is available here. This post quotes this document, erroneously referring to the ceremony as having later become the BRIT Awards, but also describes further participants as including:
- Dave Dee
- Georgie Fame
- Mary Hopkin
- Hank Marvin
We’ll work our way forward to 1979 next week!