Journal of World Popular Music, Vol 3, No 1 (2016)

Not Just Boys and Rock ’n’ Roll: Rediscovering Women on Early Australian Music Television

Liz Giuffre
Issued Date: 21 Jul 2016

Abstract


Histories of early Australian music television, like histories of early music television from around the world, tend to focus on performances by young men and the development of rock 'n' roll. This article seeks to add to these histories by drawing attention to the women who participated in these music television programmes during the formative years of the genre in Australia. Unfortunately there is very little remaining footage of the actual programmes left, so the "rediscovery" offered here is based on the written archives and photographs that remain from the production files of the 1950s television programme Six O'Clock Rock. However, even remaining publicity photos for the programme can reveal how much women were involved with the show as performers and presenters, and the inclusion of a wider variety of musical styles and collaborations than historical accounts have suggested. The visual styling of these women and their promotion in women's magazines suggests they were used to bring a more domestic audience to the programme, indicating an important place for women in the early audience for rock 'n' roll in Australia. The presence of these women in 1950s and 60s Australian television suggests that this was a time that was more diverse than contemporary audiences and producers may otherwise remember.

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DOI: 10.1558/jwpm.v3i1.31131

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