The entire history of the British Rock & Pop Awards is a little confusing, but its first couple of years are particularly difficult to unwrap. As far as I can make out, this awards series started out as the Daily Mirror Pop Club Reader Awards, or possibly the Daily Mirror Pop Club British Rock Awards. Anyway, the 1976 ceremony was held at Bingley Hall, Stafford, on 9th January 1977, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. It was compered by John Peel, and presented by NME founder Maurice Kinn.
The first time it came to be called The British Rock & Pop Awards appears to have been when it was televised by ATV on 27th January. The recording still exists to view at the BFI.
Best Singer (Male)
Winner: David Essex
Best Singer (Female)
Winner: Kiki Dee
Top Hard Rock Band
Winner: Status Quo
Best Pop Group
Best Rock Group
Top Musical Personality of the Year
Winner: David Essex
Best New Singer
Winner: John Miles
Best New Group
Winner: Real Thing
Winner: Eric Faulkner (Bay City Rollers)
Best Disc Jockey
Winner: Noel Edmonds
Best Single Record
Winner: Elton John & Kiki Dee, for Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Winner: Bay City Rollers, for Dedication
Best Male Group Singer
This was an award which wasn’t reported in the programme, but The Beatles Diary says that it was won by Paul McCartney.
The Beatles Diary suggests The Rubettes also supposedly won something, but this is not confirmed by other sources.
A lengthy recording of Status Quo‘s performance is available to view here:
Comparison with the BRIT Awards
October of the same year saw the first British Record Industry Britannia Centenary Awards take place, which would later become the BRIT Awards. That first ceremony was very different, as it was held to celebrate the preceding 25 years of British music rather than just the preceding year.
- British Rock & Pop Awards 1976-1978
- BFI record for the original broadcast (second record here)
- The Solo Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1971-1980
- The Beatles Diary: Volume 2: After the Breakup: 1970-2001
- Screengrab from the 1976 ceremony television broadcast (shared by Gary Jordan)
- Images of the programme for the live event
- Image of an original ticket for the live event