In an obituary for one of Pan’s People, we find this:
And they came to be as synonymous with the much-loved chart show as cigar-chomping Jimmy Savile and the pounding Led Zeppelin theme tune.
Ah, no, the theme tune wasn’t Led Zep. It was a reworking of a reworking. CCS had reworked it, then it was done again each week for the show.
Both CCS and the ToTP orchestra were roughly the collection of all the decent session musicians in London at the time. Alexis Korner, Alan Parker, Herbie Flowers…..not sure if it actually happened but it’s possible that, for example, Herbie was playing on the theme tune, then in the orchestra, while also being a member of T-Rex on the stage and (well, unfortunately not, for he’d left T-Rex by this point) also being the writer and producer of the Clive Dunn song that kept T-Rex off the No 1 spot.
For, it wasn’t actually the records that were played, but recreations of them by that ToTP orchestra, or specially recorded versions:
Initially acts performing on the show mimed to the commercially released record, but in July 1966 — just after the show had been moved to London — and after discussions with the Musicians’ Union, miming was banned. After a few weeks during which some bands’ attempts to play as well as on their records were somewhat lacking, a compromise was reached whereby a specially recorded backing track was permitted — as long as all the musicians on the track were present in the studio. The TOTP Orchestra, led by Johnny Pearson augmented the tracks when necessary.
Union rules, don’tcha just lov’em?