Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top Six Record Club - the membership badge

I recently had a fault on my telephone line, which put my PC out of action for a couple of days - during which an Ebay auction which I wanted to bid on was due to close. So I headed out to find a computer in the local library, paid the fee, logged onto Ebay and put a bid in. When my PC eventually came back to life I discovered that I had won the badge below, for the sum of £1.95. So what is it that caused me to go to such lengths? Read on...



Look familiar? The logo is of course that of the Top Six record label, Bill Wellings' creation which was marketed by Pye in the 1960s. Although better known for their EPs, Top Six, with this logo emblazoned on the sleeves, carried probably the first ever UK covers LP series, right through 1964. This could be found printed on the backs of the covers:


But what exactly is this 'Record Club'? I've not been able to find out. The apparent link with Radio Luxembourg is intriguing, but also rather confusing. Surely Radio Luxembourg didn't have a weekly slot for these cover version records? So what is the connection there?

All I have been able to find via Google is the advert below, which confirms that Pye Records are involved, and mentions that these badges were given out free to club members. The application form looks like this - and I've recreated it below, for clarity...



I'd love to hear from anyone who might know anything about this club, and how Radio Luxembourg happened to be in on it.

And lastly, on the subject of badges - I thought Top of the Pops fans might like these. Unlike the Top Six badge, they aren't official, but still very nice things to have. I might even wear them one day!



4 comments:

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  2. Hi, I remember when I worked in the 'Cumberland Hotel' in 1964...we would go to the clubs in Wardour Street the Marquee etc, and my favourite was La Discotheque also we used to busk around the streets of the West-End, Piccadilly, Talk of the Town, London Palladium etc,..anyway walking home one night after work to Ladbroke Grove me and my friend passed the Pye Studios building and saw a queue of teenagers like ourselves standing outside, they said they were waiting to go inside to the Top 6 Record Club so we joined the queue...we hadn't a ticket but the security man was a nice old man and let us in...inside it was crowded and they were playing great music...before they started they asked if anyone wanted to make a request and pick a record to play...I was picked along with three others and was invited up to the control room where we were asked our names and told what record we should request when the DJ asked us...my record was 'He's in Town' by the Rockin Berrys....shortly after telling me the name of the record I should request the lady came over to me and told me they had changed the choice of record and now my request was to be 'Everythings Alright' by the Newbeats...so OK I tried to remember this....we were told that we would be interviewed on stage by their top DJ 'This Boy Don Wardell'..we were informed they were recording two Top 6 Record Club shows for Luxembourg...they had some groups appearing on stage and I remember 'Shelly' with their new release 'Stairway to the stars' and an Irish Showband called the Black Aces...after they played I was called out onto the stage and met Don Wardell , he was a lovely man and made me feel at ease, we chatted, with him asking me where I worked, music I liked, etc,etc,...by this time I had forgotten which one of my record requests was so when he asked me what record would I like to hear I just took a chance and thankfully it was the the correct one...it really was a great night and everyone had a great time with free cokes etc...at the end of the night before going home Don Wardell called me over and presented me with a Top 6 Club Badge and a Top 6 Record Disc that he had signed, it had three songs on each side, this was in 1964 and I have still got that record which I treasure because of the great memory of a great experience...I would attach a pic of the signed record but that's not possible on here but if you would like to see it please let me know...it was great relating this story so if anyone wants to contact me please do on: jamesgbrown2003@yahoo.co.uk Sincerely James G Brown

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this fascinating story. From what you say, the Top Six Record Club was being recorded at Pye, then broadcast on Radio Luxemburg? That explains the connection, and why Pye would be plugging the Club on their "Top Six / Top Twelve" records.

      Was the badge you got like the one pictured here, by the way?

      If you could send me a pic of your signed disc, I'll post it up. You can send it straight to my email address, toppopper@live.co.uk.

      Thanks again for sharing this.

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    2. Hi i appreciate your reply and have sent you two pics of my signed Top 6 Record Disc...i enjoy your site and look forward to reading a lot more...
      Sincerely
      James G Brown

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