Years active 1955–1997
Name Jack Good
Role Television producer
Education Oxford University
|Born 7 August 1931 (age 91) (1931-08-07) Greenford, London|
Occupation Television producer, musical theatre production, musician
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy-Variety Or Music Program
Employer BBC Television, American Broadcasting Company
Movies Father Goose, Catch My Soul, The Genesis Children, The Switched‑On Symphony
Similar People Sharyl Locke, Ray Cooney, Trevor Howard, Ralph Nelson, Patrick McGoohan
Jack Good (7 August 1931) was a pioneering British former television producer, musical theatre producer, record producer, musician and painter of icons.
Jack Good was a pioneer television and music producer who produced the Six-Five Special, Oh Boy!, Wham! and Boy Meets Girls TV series, the first UK teenage music programmes. Jack Good introduced and managed a number of the UK's first rock and roll stars, including Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Jess Conrad and Cliff Richard. He was a significant figure in popular music during the 50s and 60s expanding the popularity of rock and roll.
Good was born in Greenford, London. He joined the BBC on the magazine-format show Six-Five Special. He wanted music and a lot of movement. To get his way, Good had sets built, but shortly before the show started, they were wheeled out of the way, and he filled the space with the milling audience and performers. Television then was live, so once the programme started, the producer got his way. Good kept it all as impromptu as possible. The running order was sketched out on Friday morning, then the only complete run-through happened immediately before transmission. The show launched the hand jive and Good even wrote an instruction book, Hand Jive at Six-Five. None of the Six-Five Special productions shows was taped, so they are lost forever, but a low-budget film based on the show survives.
Although Jack had given the BBC a show that was attracting 12 million viewers, he was being paid only £18 a week . He left for independent television and launched Oh Boy! in June 1958. After trial broadcasts in the Midlands, it went national, in direct competition with Six-Five Special on Saturday evenings. Six-Five Special stuck to its mix of rock, jazz, skiffle and crooners, but Good was in his rock 'n' roll element with Oh Boy! The programmes were broadcast from the Hackney Empire, London, and made a star of Cliff Richard, as well as showcasing Billy Fury on several editions. Oh Boy! is arguably seen as Good at his very best; it was non-stop rock and roll. Each show was 26 minutes, and no song lasted more than a minute. When ITV replaced the show on 12 September 1959 with Boy Meets Girls, people wondered whether Jack had lost his touch. Jack later claimed his wife persuaded him that rock 'n' roll was on the way out and to adopt a more middle of the road approach.
In the early 1960s he wrote a column for Disc, a weekly UK pop magazine. He has appeared on numerous TV shows such as The Monkees plus Hogan's Heroes and produced the rarely seen television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee starring the Monkees.
In 1964 he made a one-off programme Around the Beatles, but regular rock 'n' roll television had disappeared from British screens apart from Ready Steady Go, which made heavy use of Good's technique of building excitement and interest by allowing the audience to mill round the singers. Good championed the rise of rhythm and blues and went to the United States in 1962, where he spent $15,000 of his own money to produce a pilot show for the American market. After trying for a year to persuade television executives to take on the show, he gave up and returned to the UK. A year later, a disc jockey gave the tape of the pilot show to a TV boss, who sent for Good. This led to the broadcasting of the first Shindig! show, broadcast in the States on 16 September 1964, was, in fact, an episode of Ready Steady Go with changed titles. Shindig! had a half-hour spot until January 1965, when it was extended to an hour, before switching to twice-weekly half-hour episodes in the autumn. Occasional broadcasts were from London. Jack fell out with ABC executives and walked out. The show could not survive without Jack's dynamic influence and it was cancelled in January 1966 to make room for Batman.
He was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in March 1970 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
Music and musical theatre
Good played and recorded with Lord Rockingham's XI. Their hit singles included "Fried Onions" and the better known UK Singles Chart #1, "Hoots Mon".
He was a musical theatrical producer creating productions such as Good Rockin' Tonite. Oh Boy!, Elvis the Musical and Catch My Soul, which was also made into a film of the same name (1974). He had a cameo appearance as an uptight naval officer in the comedy film Father Goose.
In 1967, it is understood that Jack Good put together a band of musicians under the name of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as a promotion for the Beatles album of the same name. The band toured venues in the UK for 5 months, then were disbanded. Only one member of that band is known to still be working in the music industry today, Alan Spencer, who played the role of Billy Shears.
Good converted to Roman Catholicism and devoted his time to Christianity and icon painting, including a wall painting portraying the television as the Devil. His paintings have been exhibited at the Rancho de Chimayó gallery alongside those of painter Antonio Roybal. He lived in New Mexico for many years, but returned to England to live in Oxfordshire.