The British Rock & Pop Awards 1979

The 1979 ceremony was held on 26th February 1980, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. It was simulcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 1, and took place again at the Café Royal, London. It was presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley, with commentary by Mike Read on the Radio 1 broadcast.

Best Female Singer

Winner: Kate Bush

Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality

Winner: Paul McCartney

Best Group or Band

Winner: The Police

Best Male Singer

Winner: Gary Numan

Best Album

Presented by Rick Wakeman, with remote help from Anne Nightingale.

Winner: The Police, for Regatta de Blanc

Best Single

Winner: Boomtown Rats, for I Don’t Like Mondays

Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music

Presented by John Peel.

Winner: Jerry Dammers with Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music for his work with The Specials

Nationwide Golden Award for the Artist or Group with the Most All-Round Family Appeal

Winner: unknown

Further Details

Presenters included Barron KnightsKate BushMarianne FaithfullAndy Gibb, and Leo Sayer, and possibly also Thereza Bazar of Dollar.

It was reported the following year that Gary Numan supposedly won “multiple awards”, which may tell us that he won the All-Round Family Appeal award, but we can’t tell that for sure.

Performances

Ronnie Hazlehurst and His Orchestra performed the music again, with Apollo performing dance routines.

Sources

The British Rock & Pop Awards 1978

By 1979, there was no longer a Daily Mirror Pop Club Reader Awards ceremony – just The British Rock & Pop Awards. The 1978 ceremony was held in early 1979 at the Café Royal, London, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. It was presented by Bob Wellings and David Jensen, and was broadcast by the BBC on 11th April 1979 (possibly live, although this isn’t definite) with a simulcast on BBC Radio 1.

Best Female Singer

Winner: Kate Bush

Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality

Winner: Ian Dury

Best Group

Presented by Dusty Springfield, with a brilliant blooper when she announces the “best grope”.

Winner: Bee Gees, represented at the event by Robin Gibb

Best Male Singer

Winner: Leo Sayer

Best Album

Winner: Electric Light Orchestra, for Out of the Blue

Best Single

Winner: Gerry Rafferty, for Baker Street

Radio 1 DJs’ Award

Winner: Nick Lowe

Nationwide Golden Award

Winner: Barron Knights

Further Details

The end credits from the ceremony, including footage from the awards, can be viewed here:

Other presenters of awards included Dave Dee, Georgie Fame, Mary Hopkin, and Hank Marvin. The BBC TV series Nationwide covered the event on 15th February and 29th March.

Performances

Top of the Pops resident dancers Legs & Co performed a dance medley of Rod Stewart‘s D’Ya Think I’m Sexy, Bee Gees‘ Night FeverBrian and Michael‘s Matchstalk Men and You’re the One That I Want from Grease. Ronnie Hazlehurst and His Orchestra performed the music.

Sources

British Rock & Pop Awards 1979-1981

From 1982 (confusingly the 1981 ceremony thanks to the year numbering) onwards, the British Rock & Pop Awards were happening concurrently with the British Record Industry Awards (later the BPI Awards, and even later the BRIT Awards).

1979

The awards for 1979 seem to have taken place on 26th February 1980. Simulcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 1, and again at the Café Royal, London (see BFI record). Presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley. Awards included:

  • Best Single
  • Best Album
  • Best Male Singer
  • Best Female Singer
  • Best Group or Band
  • Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music
  • Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality
  • Nationwide Golden Award for the artist or group with the most all-round family appeal

Presenters included Barron KnightsKate BushMarianne FaithfullAndy Gibb, and Leo Sayer.

Rick Wakeman presented The Police with the Best Album award for Regatta de Blanc.

Kate Bush seems to have either won Best Female Singer for a second year running, or the previous entry was an error (see here). Paul McCartney won the Daily Mirror Readers’ Award.

Dave Lee Travis introduced John Peel to present Jerry Dammers with Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music for his work with The Specials. Apparently Gary Numan also won “multiple awards” (see video entry for next year).

1980

Again presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley (see BFI record here) on 24th February 1981. This entry on a Wikipedia talk page is largely apocryphal, but mentions The Jam winning the Best Single Award for Going Underground, which is mentioned in more detail here.

Best Male Singer nominees included:

  • Gary Numan
  • Cliff Richard
  • Paul McCartney
  • David Bowie

Winner: David Bowie. Presented by Lulu. See also image here and entry here. There’s an alternative recording of the video here.

Ultravox were nominated for Best Video for Passing Strangers, but failed to win.

Showaddywaddy were also in attendance according to this page, and MadnessAdam and the Ants, Hazel O’ConnorHot ChocolateMadness, and Ronnie Hazlehurst and His Orchestra all performed (see here).

1981

The 1981 ceremony took place on 8th February 1982 at the Lyceum, London, and were presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Cook (see BFI record).

Ultravox won the Best Single award for Vienna (see here). Toyah Willcox won the Best Female Singer award (see Daily Mirror article here and record company coverage here, but note that her IMDB biography is incorrect). She also performed I Want to Be Free:

Shakin’ Stevens also won the Best Male Singer award (see here), while Duran Duran were nominated for Best Newcomer, and performed Girls on Film and My Own Way (see here). Bananarama performed Shy Boy (see here).

If you would like to see the comparison, the 1982 BRIT Awards are covered here.

This series will continue next week with 1982.

British Rock & Pop Awards 1976-1978

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.

1976

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.

1977

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.

1978

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.

Kate Bush won Best Female Vocalist (see here and here). Dusty Springfield presented Best Group to Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees (see here).

Top of the Pops resident dancers Legs & Co performed a medley of Rod Stewart‘s D’Ya Think I’m SexyThe Bee Gees‘ Night FeverBrian 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiKQJz34xv0 Winners:

  • 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

The event date is also corroborated by this post. The BBC TV series Nationwide covered the event on 15th February and 29th March.

We’ll work our way forward to 1979 next week!