The British Rock & Pop Awards 1976

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

Winner: Wings

Best Rock Group

Winner: Wings

Top Musical Personality of the Year

Winner: David Essex

Best New Singer

Winner: John Miles

Best New Group

Winner: Real Thing

Best Instrumentalist

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

Best Album

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.

Further Details

The Beatles Diary suggests The Rubettes also supposedly won something, but this is not confirmed by other sources.

Performances

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.

Sources

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!